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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