Episode 417: Lance Armstrong and The Business of Doping : Planet Money In this episode, we consider a world where everybody cheats, and where you can't win unless you game the regulators: Professional cycling.
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Episode 417: Lance Armstrong and The Business of Doping

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Episode 417: Lance Armstrong and The Business of Doping

Episode 417: Lance Armstrong and The Business of Doping

Episode 417: Lance Armstrong and The Business of Doping

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/475929464/475947333" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lance Armstrong reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 17th stage of the Tour de France in 2004. Laurent Rebours/AP hide caption

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Laurent Rebours/AP

Lance Armstrong reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the 17th stage of the Tour de France in 2004.

Laurent Rebours/AP

Note: This episode originally ran in November 2012.

In this episode, we consider a world in which everybody is cheating, a world where it has become impossible to succeed unless you can game the regulators: Professional cycling.

Under the leadership of Lance Armstrong, the U.S. Postal Service cycling team was wildly successful, winning the Tour de France for seven consecutive years—from 1999 to 2005.

Then, in 2012, after years of speculation, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency filed this report. It announced that the team had been running a secret, high-tech doping operation during those years. It also showed that operation was run a lot like a business, complete with an infrastructure, employees, and a leader. According to the report and a number of professional cyclists competing at the time, that leader was Lance Armstrong.

For more: Read Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle's book, The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs.

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