Color us skeptical, but a new book called The Secret Race is claiming just that: Lance Armstrong used blood transfusion to help cover up all his doping.
At what point is doping not worth it? We'd say it's at the "swapping out all your blood" point.
The book was written by Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service cycling teammate, Tyler Hamilton, and it supposedly reveals how Armstrong avoided positive drug tests for over a decade (apparently he's some kind of evil genius).
One of the ways he did it was to take advantage of a French law meant to protect Tour de France racers' sleep time by barring drug testing from 10 pm to 6 am… so his team “microdosed” immediately at 10 so the drugs would be out of their systems when testing would resume at 6 am.
Would that actually help them performance wise? Do "microdoses" have any effect?
Hamilton even says that Lance had a motorcyclist they nicknamed Motoman following USPS racers along the Tour de France route, who carried banned erythropoietin and prepaid cellphones to discreetly set up juice drops. Then, Lance personally gave out white lunch bags with testosterone pills and drops and erythropoietin at the end of each stage in Tour de France races.
How would nobody notice that??
Here's what Hamilton wrote about the transfusions:
“With the other stuff, you swallow a pill or put on a patch or get a tiny injection. But here you’re watching a big, clear plastic bag slowly fill up with your warm, dark red blood. You never forget it.”
This all seems pretty absurd to us that none of this ever got caught on to — it's a huge operation with a huge amount of moving parts. To keep it under wraps for more that a decade seems unlikely.
Plus, here's the other view of this — Hamilton just happens to be releasing the book at the height of Lance's public woes. Who wouldn't want to capitalize off of that?
Until there's proof, we're just going to have to go by the zero failed blood tests.
[Image via AP Images.]