What will WTC do with Lance?

It’s currently 9:15am in Chicago. The triathlon world is expecting to hear comments in about an hour from World Triathlon Corp, owners of the Ironman brand, regarding Lance Armstrong‘s newest round of doping allegations.

The initial word was that Lance has been banned from competition. But according to a great article on Slowtwitch, banned isn’t really accurate.

Here is my take. First of all I’d like to point out that I wrote about this months ago after Lace wasn’t tested after Panama. And weather or not he’s guilty of ever doing it, the long list of people who say he did, along with the slew of charges over the years (dropped or not) should have been a red flag & Ironman should have thought of before making Lance triathlon’s poster boy.

The question I’m writing about today has less to do with Lance being found guilty or not guilty, but rather, should WTC allow him to race.

Sure WTC has rules in place, but they are a private entity which means they have the ability to change or bend those rules as they see fit. And as I Tweeted yesterday, Lance is good for business.

Preventing him from competing wouldn’t really help draw the legions of new fans and Lance imitators that Ironman was hoping for. It would also make their partnership with Lance’s PR company Foundation LiveSTRONG look a little silly.

What I expect to hear from WTC is that even though rules dictate ” an athlete is ineligible to compete during an open investigation”, they’re going to allow him to race because these charges are pending & he hasn’t been found guilty.

They’ve already used the phrase “pending further review”.

Sure they’ll look like a podium full of fanboy’s standing by their blank check of an athlete. But it won’t be the first time Ironman reversed their stance on something, does anyone remember the Ironman Access Program?

And if they don’t allow him to race for they’re own reasons, maybe they’ll do it for the poor schmuck who already bid $40,000 in the LiveSTRONG auction to race with Lance in Kona!

But maybe I’m totally wrong.

WTC, Doping and Juan Pelota

When it comes to Lance Armstrong’s credibility, I flip flop like I’m running for office.

Part of me wants to believe that everything he has accomplished as an athlete came from nothing but hard work and dedication to his sport.

Then there’s the other part of me that thinks there has to be some truth to all the allegations, witness accounts and stories of doping in the media.

After the case against The Texan was dropped last month, I knew it was only a matter of time before we heard it all again.

After is 2nd place finish at Ironman Panama 70.3 Mellow Johnny “legitimately” secured himself a spot on the pro start-line for Kona this year. But in classic Lance Armstrong fashion this spot doesn’t come without controversy.

A few days ago Lance posted this Tweet

He sounded a little annoyed right? Well Big Tex, you’re not retired anymore. You just placed 2nd in your very first race in your return to triathlon which earned you one of the very coveted spots in the biggest race that sport has.

So yeah, you’re probably gonna get tested.

He later tweeted again and this time didn’t sound like such a child complaining that he had to get up early.

At first I thought he was just being a prima donna, then with the 2nd tweet he was trying to save face.

Then I read this article about how how The Boss DIDN’T get tested by the WTC in Panama.

Wait… WHAT?!?! I’m I being Punked?

“It is detrimental to us all. It is totally absurd. We are making a huge effort, we have a fantastic image, and now what? It’s terrible,” ITU president Marisol Casado told dpa in a telephone interview.”

Yeah, kinda shady. Why wouldn’t he be tested?

Here’s my guess. Lance racing in IM events financially benefits two groups, the first is obviously WTC. When lance took 2nd in Panama, it got more media attention then I’ve ever seen Ironman get. How many REAL headlines did you see about Bevan Docherty winning the race? Poor guy got second billing. Plus after Lance’s win 2nd place finish, a press release came out saying that with his qualifying entry to Kona, that NBC and WTC were talking about airing the even live for the first time.

Cha Ching. So if WTC was skeptical that Lance may not be clean, they may have intentionally delayed his test.

The 2nd benefactor is Lance and his LiveSTRONG foundation. LiveSTRONG is also in a gray area, especially after the article in

Outside Magazine in January. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you do.

“he’s never been shy about monetizing this appeal for personal gain.”

Between his $200,000 speaking fee and endorsements like Oakley and Michelob Ultra, Lance needs a clean image in order to keep the vault on the ranch full (I don’t really know if there is a vault).

So IF Lance wouldn’t have tested clean in Panama on February 12th, then delaying and doing a “random” test on February 29 would give him enough time to clean up.

So what’s the answer for Lance when it comes to squashing all the doping rumors? He could make a public spectacle each time he’s tested. He could do like Chrissie Wellington and post his test results online.

But what’s more likely is that Lance Armstrong will continue to what he’s done for years, fly almost under the radar until someone else comes out of the shadows to rat on him or until another event like this happens where for an unknown reason his testing was skipped, delayed or lost.

As for WTC, they have a brand to protect and need to decide how big of a liability Lance could be to it. When he races Kona with all his hype and later tests positive, it’ll be World Triathlon Corp, not just Lance that will have major image issues to deal with.

Amateur athletes and doping, do you care?

I was reading LAVA magazine yesterday and the Editor’s Note on page 12 really stood out to me. Editor Brad Clup wrote about Performance Enhancing Drugs in Triathlon. He mentions an article he was trying to write years back about PEDs that he didn’t finish.


The interesting part to Brad was that of the 12 athletes, race directors and industry execs he interviewed for the piece all but one said the use of PEDs is a bigger issue with amateurs athletes than with the Pro’s. 


But what I found interesting is that Brad was surprised at all…


I’ve spent years working in a few different health clubs, and a GNC, where I’ve heard members, customers and even employees talking about all the stuff they’re trying, how they’re using it and the results they’ve gotten.


Though I’ve never used anything you couldn’t purchase in a GNC, I’ll admit to looking up what I could use online, to try and find a way to gain an edge in High School… (hey, it worked for the guy in ‘The Program’).


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Brad says he can’t think of a single good reason for a Pro to dope. I’ll agree with that, mostly because it’s too easy for a pro to get caught and banned. 


But who’s really worried about the age grouper trying to qualify for Kona?!? It’s not like he or she will win. And if they did, don’t you think the WTC would test the ‘nobody’ who beat the Pros? If this Zero gets banned, he’s not losing his paycheck, endorsements and professional credibility.


I’ll be honest and say that I’m not for banning PEDs for amateur athletes for the same reason I’m not for banning smoking… If you want to pay to pump garbage in to your body go right ahead.


The majority of amateur triathletes you’ll toe the line with this season aren’t trying to win. This is a hobby for us, we pride ourselves on doing a little bit better each time we race. 


So if it makes you feel like you’ve accomplished a great feat by chemically engineering yourself to beat me and thousands of other people who trained hard, just for a goal of crossing the finish line then have at it! 


After you finish, feel free to tell all the kids you know that the Easter Bunny’s not real, cause you’d probably enjoy that too!


Enjoy that little bit of prize money or free pair of shoes you win for being first in your age group at your local Tri… Cause you’re a douche-bag.

Happy Wednesday Everybody!
Mooseman in 74 days.