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July 13, 2004

Yes, that Simeoni

SuperCycling | Simeoni to sue Armstrong for defamation

By the way, the Filippo Simeoni who spent 80 ultimately fruitless miles in the break today, only to be stomped by the sprinters a whisker off the line, is the same Filippo Simeoni who says he will sue Lance Armstrong for defamation.

The case stems from an article in Le Monde (and don't they all) where Simeoni claimed that Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari, with whom Armstrong has admittedly worked, showed Simeoni how to use erythropoietin (EPO) without being caught. Simeoni apparently didn't accuse Armstrong of anything.

Le Monde quoted Armstrong calling Simeoni a liar for the claim, and that's the basis of Simeoni's suit.

Ferrari is due to go to trial later this year.

Said Simeoni:

"It's not a question of money. If I'm awarded money, I'll give it to charity."

Simeoni meanwhile said he is glad to have turned his back on doping.

"By speaking out, it's cleared my conscience, but don't believe that it's easy to admit to a judge, to spit it out to your friends and your parents that you've taken certain substances.

"I was ashamed, my parents were ashamed and I was on the brink of depression. I was scared of everyone, what they would say.

"But the thing that did me the most damage was the attitude of Armstrong," added Simeoni referring to Armstrong's appearance on Italian television.

Simeoni says he admires Armstrong, and would never accuse him of anything personally, but wants "him to publicly recognise his mistake."

After today's loss, Eurosport talked to Simeoni:

Filippo Simeoni (Domina-Vacanza) 17th same time: "With a kilometre to go it seemed like we'd stay away but destiny stepped in and didn't want to help us stay clear. Losing like that really hurts.

"It's terrible to be caught so close to the line but I've got to accept it because losing, just like winning, is part of cycling."

On his feud with Lance Armstrong: "I attacked for personal pride today. I love cycling and I've dedicated my life to cycling but I've been unfairly treated and so there's a lot of anger and desire for revenge in my heart.

"I wanted to show that today at the Tour de France by riding well and winning a stage. Unfortunately it didn't come off but I'll try again."

Posted by Frank Steele on July 13, 2004 in Lance Armstrong 2004 | Permalink


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Posted by: john at Jul 13, 2004 3:06:38 PM

Simeoni is yet another blow-hard pinhead with a body that can't keep up with his mouth. How odd that his name is so similar to another of his ilk, Simoni.

Simeoni acknowledges working on doping, yet he thinks he's been "treated unfairly"? Please, cry us a river, Fillipo, and then learn how to ride a bike.

Posted by: Larry at Jul 13, 2004 4:38:44 PM

Get a life, you dork! Lance is just so much better than you are. Whining sucks. EEC

Posted by: Edie at Jul 22, 2004 9:46:38 PM

Whinging, moaning, whining, lying, whatever you want to call it, Simeoni had EVERY right to race today.

I think it incredibly small-minded of Farce Armstrong to spoil a rider's day just because the rider has ticked him off - namely bringing him to court in a few weeks.

If rider's chased down every break that contained someone who does, what would the point of racing be? FA's private affairs are entering his racing, and that don't smell right to me.

I don't see Kirsten trying to run over FA while he's out training and racing! Oh, hold it- Maybe that's why he's got the heavies around him...

Yet another reason for me to think that FA may have great lungs and legs but his heart and head are not for the love of cycling but for the love of the buck. BLOODY SELFISH.

Can you imagine the whinging an American, namely FA, would have made if it had happened to him? I'd be deafened.

Posted by: EvB at Jul 23, 2004 5:40:09 PM

Simeoni had it coming to him.

Posted by: Ben at Jul 23, 2004 6:34:58 PM

I think it's brilliant, EvB - regardless of nationality or team. Tactics, tactics, tactics. Remember: Simeoni had every right to stay with the break if he wanted to.

Posted by: Freddy at Jul 23, 2004 7:03:18 PM

How much do we expect Lance to take? Accused of doping daily, hounded by reporters that try to break into his hotel room, spat on by German fans, and sued by a fellow member of the pelton--and never a positive or ambigous test result. Oh, except testing positive for cancer.

Lance and his team prepare more thoroughly than any other Tour competitors, and they have dominated this tour because of their discipline. There is no secret to Lance's success. But there is a limit to the abuse and lawsuits that one man can take. Simeoni lied about Dr. Ferrari, and cut a deal to save his own skin. His actions hurt an innocent man, and the sport of cycling in and of itself. A true champion not only defends the yellow jersey, but also defends the peleton and his sport. This is a race not a charity event. No more gifts.

Posted by: Max at Jul 23, 2004 9:02:57 PM

well Edie, Simeoni can race, but LAnce can't? Like that reasoning. Hmmm, the peloton didn't even really chase them down did they? Jan and Lance had a laugh afterwards, didn't they? Simeoni's so weak Lance can make an example of him on the penultimate day of the most important cycling event in the world.

On second thought, all evidence points to the truth: Simeoni can't actually RACE, but he can cry with the best of 'em.

And he can give Lance an opportunity to show the world that some things are even more important than victory: pride and integrity. Why, thank you, Fillipo. Enjoy the ass-end of the peloton.

Posted by: lethargytartare at Jul 23, 2004 10:05:58 PM

If Lance is clean, he is right. Right to chase down Simeoni. Right to be pissed off. Right to do as he and his team damn well please -- As long as they honor the rules (written and unwritten) of le Tour.

If he is not clean, then sponsors should sue him for his dough and fans should yank him off the bike.

But here is the point: He is tested as often and inconveniently as any athlete in recorded history. AND HE COMES UP CLEAN.

Our boredom and his inferiors' frustration, should be managed better than baseless, cowardly dope charging.

He stays on the bike. Keeps the dough. Honors the rules. And rides as he damn well pleases.

Posted by: Floyd at Jul 23, 2004 10:19:33 PM

What is this personal feud? Did Simeoni accused Armstrong of doping? No, I don't think so. Yes, Simeoni himself took Epo, but, as I recall, he had the same doctor Ferrari (what's in a name!) as Armstrong has, or had. Armstrong claims that Simeoni is a liar. How do we know that Simeoni lied about it?
Simeoni accused Ferrari of delivering Epo to him and maybe this doctor did, as Simeoni claims; but, in my point of view, in these words lies the suggestion that Armstrong, himself, took doping, and that is what it is all about. No more, no less. I think, it is all blown out of proportion.
It is true, Armstrong has to deal with these rumours going on for years and, of course, it makes him sick; even fellow-american, Greg Lemond, himself a three-time winner of Le Tour, suggested Armstrong is not clean.
There's nothing wrong with pride and integrity, but Simeoni, of course, is not a big shot in the pelton; even Simeoni has his pride (let us face the fact that Armstrong claims that Simeoni is a liar). Simeoni has every right to go to court. Armstrong is not a divine supreme creature; he is a human being and is not God. What if Ullrich suggests Armstrong is a doping-user? So, what are we talking about?

Posted by: wiesje at Jul 24, 2004 1:21:52 PM

After his last breakaway, Simeoni basically said he was attacking for personal pride and for "revenge" (presumably against Armstrong). After a stupid statement like that, of course Armstrong should chase him down.

If a minor bikerider makes the race a personal issue against the grand champion, he shouldn't expect any crumbs and shouldn't whine when he doesn't get them.

Posted by: NIck at Jul 24, 2004 1:29:30 PM

What was his stupid statement. I thought he just stated athat Dr. Ferrari showed him how to use EPO and not get caught. I don't think he ever accused Armstrong of using EPO.

Armstrong chasing him down and then signalling a zipper across his mouth screams volumes. I'm sure all dopers keep their mouths shut ... except for Simeoni.

Posted by: ZOO at Jul 24, 2004 5:59:18 PM

Is EPO that difficult to detect? I think that all the top cyclists are being tested, and if caught, kicked out of the sport. It should be up to the ICF to police the sport, not the press or the public.

Posted by: Russ at Jul 24, 2004 9:48:46 PM

Yes, it's that difficult to detect. There is no specific test, and many of the increases in physiological markers caused by EPO can easily be attributed to normal stuff. See below.

J Endocrinol Invest. 2003 Sep;26(9):919-23.

Indirect evidence of hormone abuse. Proof of doping?

Minuto F, Barreca A, Melioli G.

Chair of Endocrinology, DiSEM, University of Genova, Italy.

Besides anabolic steroids, the most common performance-enhancing hormones are erythropoietin (EPO), insulin, GH, and gonadotropins, mostly indistinguishable from endogenous hormones and with very short half-life. This makes virtually impossible to demonstrate their use by measuring their concentration in the blood or urine. A possible approach to the problem may lie in in-direct demonstration through detection of the biological effects of these substances. The finding of an increased hematocrit level is suspicious but not clearly demonstrative of EPO abuse. Very high levels of circulating EPO could be associated with a strong suspicion of doping, when associated to other abnormal parameters, such as Ht, sTFRr, EPO, RDW. The presence of antibodies against the polysaccharide fraction of lateral chains of EPO has been observed only in patients treated with rhEPO. Owing to the pulsatile pattern of GH, particularly during physical exercise, pathologically high values may be found in normal subjects. Therefore, as in the case of EPO, evidence of GH abuse can be gathered only indirectly by detecting the biological effects of its administration. In training subjects GH treatment increased GH, IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and ALS, and decreased IGBP-2. After cessation of treatment IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and ALS approached basal values between 49 and 96 h. Also the bone parameters PICP ICIP, PIUP and osteocalcin increased significantly. Four days after cessation of treatment, levels of PIIIP and ICTP were still abnormally elevated. In conclusion, increases in IGF-I, IGFBP-3, ALS, PIIIP and ICTP are all indicative of recent GH abuse or of acromegaly.

Posted by: The Bug at Jul 24, 2004 10:23:17 PM

Not a comment, just a question.
The way I understand it, Simeoni was sentenced to 2 years (jail time??). A deal was made with Simeoni that if he testified against Dr. Ferrari his sentence would be reduced to 6 months. It has since been reduced to 4 months.
Could having his sentence reduced that much possibly be a motive for Simeoni to lie?

Posted by: Moe at Jul 24, 2004 11:34:38 PM

All great champions, like Lance Armstrong will have wanna be insects buzzing around them. It appears that issues between Lance and Simeoni were accepted and respected by the pelaton. Simeoni needs to learn to train his body for biking not his mouth for tearing down other. I believe Lance is correct. He is a liar that should only be at the end of the pelaton.

Posted by: Dave at Jul 25, 2004 8:51:52 PM

The spotlight on doping will shine much brighter at the Olympics than it ever could at the TdF, and I suspect that certain riders who tested clean in the latter will test positive in Athens, which will cast a shadow over the entire Tour but probably not change anything for next summer's event. We have to consider this nothing more than a source of tourism and endorsement dollars(er..euros)and consider all comments in that light.

Posted by: pete at Jul 25, 2004 11:30:56 PM

good point Dave! Maybe that is why Lance Armstong is not going to race at the Olympics! However, that is speculation here are the facts (followed by a few opinions):
Fact - Simeoni has not accused Armstong of anything
Fact - Armstrong has called Simeoni a liar
Fact - the doctor who gave the EPO to Simeoni and showed him how to avoid detection, also used to be Armstrong's doctor
Fact - other well-known cyclists have called Armstong a doper
Fact - other well-known cyclists have only been caught for doping due to their stupidity, as testing is either useless or of debatable quality. So stating Armstong has been tested often doesnt really prove anything
Opinion - maybe Simeoni is a liar
Opinion - maybe Armstong has dabbled in doping
Opinion - Ferrari is most definately a 'dirty' doctor
Opinion - it strikes me that it is typical of americans to use dirty tactics to promote themselves, and maybe Armsrong is no different.

Posted by: J-Sax at Jul 26, 2004 11:08:45 AM

having just read the book LA Confidential it would appear that Lance has used EPO regularly since his cancer days. It sort of takes the shine of his achievements I think.

Posted by: marcus at Jul 26, 2004 11:15:04 AM


"...it is typical of americans to use dirty tactics to promote themselves..."

Nice broad brush you paint with.

Posted by: weimdog at Jul 26, 2004 11:25:51 AM

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