Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lance Armstrong Investigation: Grand Jury is Still Working

The LA Times is reporting that two anonymous sources have told them that "Yaroslav Popovych, a teammate of Lance Armstrong on the Discovery Channel, Astana and RadioShack squads, will appear Wednesday before a grand jury in Los Angeles." This is the first news I've heard about the investigation for some time.

Meanwhile, the NY Times is reporting that Floyd Landis and his former coach, Arnie Baker, are being tried in France for computer hacking. According to the article:

A French arrest warrant was issued in January for Landis and Baker, who fought a legal battle to prove Landis did not dope at the Tour. Officials from the French lab that discovered synthetic testosterone in Landis’s urine sample claimed that hackers had obtained confidential information about Landis’s test results from their computers. Landis and Baker have denied involvement.
 I first met Arnie Baker when I raced against him at the 2005 High Uintas Classic. My teammate, Dale Maughan, and I dropped Arnie and his teammate, along with the rest of the peloton, as we climbed up the Mirror Lake Highway. Arnie and teammate chased and finished 3rd and 4th about five minutes back after the first stage of this three stage race. Dale easily won the other two stages and the stage race on Sunday.

Now that we know Arnie was Floyd's coach and doctor, it makes me wonder what a urine test would have revealed in 2005. How long will it be before we have random drug tests at amateur races? Given the news on Joe Papp, I'd like to see drug tests at every race next year...


  1. The sad part, is Arnie Baker is an MD. He never needed a guy like Joe Papp. He could just write a script for himself (and any of his friends or teammates).

    I have emailed him several times seeking a comment or explanation. Never does any reply come back. He still keeps his website active and he still seeks clients who want to go faster on their bikes. I guess this press is just what he needs now. He should re-name the site "Arnie Baker's Rocket Fuel".

    Arnie, you are a fraud, and you always WERE a fraud. I hope the CA medical board catches wind of your stench and takes action on your license.

  2. If there was testing after each amateur race, my paruresis would have me suspended in no time. :-\

  3. Mark,

    I couldn't agree more. It's discouraging to work hard only to have guys show up and produce extraordinary results that are outside the "bell curve" week after week. My experience is that if it's consistently too dominating a performance to be true, it probably is. For example, the guys who show up to the High Uintas Classic from out of state who live at 1800 feet or less, roll into town the night before, and are consistently attacking the group from 8-10K ft. Come on---you know who you are, and we know who you are. These are the same guys who recover amazingly from injuries, or go from being an average climber to ripping everyone's legs off in a year. Physiology just doesn't work like that. I think doping in masters racing is especially tempting since it is easier to justify i.e "I'm low on testosterone" or "It's just masters racing" and "so what if I get caught; I don't make a living at this anyway" etc. It all follows the same pattern: outright denial, then minimization, and then justification. Fraud is the name and it swindles the rest of us of our hard work. I'll be the first in line to provide my urine sample even if it's in S-O-S prostate impaired format! I get randomly tested in the military anyway...

  4. Rhid, I hear what you're saying about Arnie writing his own scripts. Given his association with Floyd, I don't doubt it.

    Piotrek, you probably wouldn't be the only one with this problem!

    Steve, I know exactly what and who you're referring to. People who have known this guy say that he used to be skinny and slow and then he morphed into a ripped cyclist who was dropping everyone. I've been waiting to hear more about Joe Papp's list of masters' racers to see if his name is on it...

  5. They say that if you do an altitude race, you should either roll into town or acclimate for over a week.

    I did a stage race in CO back in the 80's. The junior version of the Coors, and we rolled into town 2 days before the start. We lived below 1,000 feet and we were all creamed at the AF Academy Road Race (stage 1). The altitude absolutely killed us. But after a few days, we had an amazing recovery and started winning (often).