The admission by Lance Armstrong that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career may finally lead to a comprehensive account of the widespread doping during the past two decades of the sport.

Armstrong in 2002… one of 500 tests which returned nothing of interest

Drug use has been known to cycling for decades. In the early days, some riders consumed a cocktail of amphetamines to withstand the long hours of competition, day after day, in the grand tours.

But it was the discovery of Erythropoietin (EPO) in the 1980s that has cast a long shadow over cycling to this day. EPO is the hormone that regulates red blood cell production, giving the user an unfair advantage.

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  • Cat says:

    02:48pm | 19/01/13

    It is good to see that some are using this latest media coverage to support the young people entering cycling, but international sport more generally, taking a new step in the direction of healthy, clean, positive sportsmanship. It would be a huge shame for the community to continue to look… Read more »

  • Barren says:

    02:26pm | 19/01/13

    Abbott will be very upset with you Andrew. How you didn’t turn this into being all Labor’s fault is beyond comprehension and obviously deviates form the party script. Read more »


“I view this situation as one big lie.”

It was about the truth

“It’s just this mythic perfect story and that just wasn’t true.” It just wasn’t true. After a decade of denials and threats to critics, Lance Armstrong has confessed, in a lengthy interview with Oprah Winfrey.

In 2000, Armstrong - off the back of Tour De France victory - penned the book, It’s Not About The Bike: My Journey Back to Life, co-authored by a US journalist.

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  • PW says:

    06:58pm | 19/01/13

    Those who think they own the road make it so hard for those of us who actually do. Read more »

  • stephen says:

    06:29pm | 19/01/13

    According to Phil Liggett in the Courier Mail today, Alberto Contador was innocent and should never have been sanctioned. I’ll bet that that’s wrong. Contador is, however, probably the best cyclist from the past 20 years. Now, has anyone thought to ask Miguel Indurain where he got his legs from… Read more »


There’s a very simple reason why watching other people confess their sins never fails to be fascinating – and that’s because they’re other people’s sins.

After this ad break, I swear I'll go tell someone the truth. Photo:Herald Sun

There is no worse feeling than the gnawing, tight, gut-wrenching sensation you experience when you know you’ve done the wrong thing, and realise that only you can fix it.

And it’s becoming impossible not to keep searching for some sign of that feeling among all the photos of Lance Armstrong this week. 

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  • stephen says:

    04:44pm | 17/01/13

    Well that’s untrue, certainly, as there is really nothing at stake whether at the club level, a rider wins or comes second. (When I was racing years ago, the winner would be entitled to either a new tyre - front or rear, take your pick ... and gobsmack, you can… Read more »

  • pete says:

    03:17pm | 17/01/13

    Contador had 2010 taken off him. Seriously, he wasn’t suss when he won his other two titles? Read more »


For all the talk about doping that has dominated the news since Lance Armstrong finally admitted to using performance enhancing drugs during his cycling career, there is a curious silence about another kind of dope.

Cartoon: Warren Brown

Even before his spectacular fall from grace there was something nonsensical about the international fawning and obscene sums of money corporations were so eager to throw in his direction.

No-one was forced to spend millions in endorsements on a man who was, all hyperbole aside, famous for merely riding a bike very, very fast.

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  • stephen says:

    04:55pm | 17/01/13

    We don’t worship the person but what they have achieved, and the personification is simply putting a face to the act. So many of us, myself included - mostly -  think of the present and how difficult it would be to train ourselves for a sport only to realize later,… Read more »

  • rob says:

    04:16pm | 17/01/13

    Don’t forget Movie Stars, they too are a leech on society Read more »


Don’t let cycling supercheat Lance Armstrong take you for another ride. This is what he’s no doubt planning to do when he appears on Oprah’s couch in a no-holds-barred interview next week.

I'm, um…..sorry…

Oprah is promising no question will be off-limits, but, interestingly, the interview will not be broadcast in full or live. No doubt Armstrong will be contrite, sincere and regretful. He may even cry.

He may need a few rehearsals to get these emotions down pat.

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  • nihonin says:

    06:54pm | 12/01/13

    ‘You’re the side of cheats and liars! ‘ Bear, which side is that?  Personally I’m not on any side, but if you have insurmountable proof that I am, please provide it, here in the Punch for all and sundry to see.  I believe you can be a conservative progressive.  Unlike… Read more »

  • marley says:

    06:06pm | 12/01/13

    @WADA - Armstrong never tested positive for drugs?  Well, I can remember a time when he was nicked for cortisone in his system, and he got a doctor to backdate a prescription for topical cortisosteroids.  Let’s see, 1999 I think.  He got away with it because he got a doctor… Read more »


Tell-all interviews usually reek of sex. Mostly adulterous, always complicated, sometimes violent and just like an old-school western – with the “goodie” and “baddie” laid out plain for all to see.

Read ALL about it. Photo: AFP.

Tragedy, celebrity, victory, great wealth or misfortunes get a look in too. Ditto multiple childbirth, homosexual offspring and gender transformation surgery.

They’re trashy, melodramatic, addictive and moving. They can be tragic. But the best tell-alls give us something else as well.

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  • Glen says:

    12:16am | 28/07/11

    Oh come on, the classic interview of our times is Katie Couric and Sarah Palin. One extended interview and there was Palin caught cold in her lack of suitability for one of the highest offices in the USA. It’s hard to think of any other interview unsupported by reportage which… Read more »

  • graham says:

    12:10am | 28/07/11

    Joel b1 asks and I’ll answer. He looked like nothing I’ve ever seen, but in your world, yes, one of your “real” people. And Nafe, you should really copyright your post even if only for its literary value. Where did you learn to write like that? It’s magnificent, and more… Read more »


So US tourist numbers are down since Oprah’s “Down Under” fire sale of our national dignity and the much-wished-for Oprah cash has failed to materialise.

State Treasury's estimate of the value of Oprah's visit to the NSW economy

The idea of letting a foreign talk show host turn our country into giant television studios smelt dodgy from the start, but after yesterday’s revelations, it stinks.

The news yesterday that US visitor numbers have dropped by 0.8 per cent in the last year just leaves you wondering how this ever got so out of hand.

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  • andy says:

    12:04am | 23/07/11

    @Tubesteak - Oh dear, tubey. Where have you been going? No wine bars? *facepalm* I am no wine drinker but Vini, Love Tilly Devine, Bentley Bar, The Winery… those are just some I can quickly think of that are about 5 minutes walk from each other. The small “melbourne style”… Read more »

  • RyaN says:

    11:30pm | 22/07/11

    Just in case you were a bit slow on the Ali G part, I am ridiculing you on the pathetic over sensitivity of being black and feeling like you are being treated differently, having traveled the world its a given that people will treat you differently from wherever you come… Read more »


“She deserves to be here,” sobbed Dani, with her big puppy dog eyes and glossy black hair.

With the greatest of respect, who cares if her souffle flopped?

What a tragedy. Cleo, one of the most popular chefs in the Masterchef kitchen, had ignored the rules to prepare both her toffee dish and her chocolate ganache at the same time. Her elimination was inevitable. Her dream was over.

And we all sniffled too, as the ever-stoic Cleo departed the Masterchef kitchen and returned home to her miniature poodles. Ad break. News headlines. Oprah.

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  • BoyleMariana says:

    04:21pm | 17/06/11

    That is known that cash can make people free. But how to act if someone does not have money? The one way is to receive the loans or collateral loan. Read more »

  • Rod Blaine says:

    02:49pm | 31/05/11

    > “shoved out of sight to Malaysia, where they might be whipped and beaten” This article falls into the same loop that 99% of pro-asylum-seeker arguments fall into, ie, of trying to make two conflicting arguments simultaneously: (a) “Australians are racist and xenophobic because we pride ourselves on our tolerance… Read more »


Welcome to this week’s episode of I Call Bullshit. Today we’re going to look at Oprah. Oprah Winfrey is the sort of mega-star who often leaves people breathless. With wide-eyed adoration, gasping sycophancy, or cynical shock that she is indeed such a mega star.

What do we call people who don't dream it and do it? That's right, kid, LOSERS! Photo: Supplied

She is worth gazillions, and her passing endorsement of any old product is worth millions, even billions. Her gift is that people dwell on her every word. But is she full of pearls of wisdom, or is she full of the proverbial? Let’s look at some of her more famous quotes.

I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.
Utter tosh. I am not becoming a crispy-topped piece of melt-in-your-mouth pork belly.

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  • fox says:

    07:43am | 28/05/11

    Funny you should mention that, Oprah was called out for doing exactly that, ie pretending SHE was giving out free cars, when it turned out later that it was the car company doing so, and that each recipient still had to fork out thousands of dollars before they could get… Read more »

  • St. Michael says:

    04:50pm | 27/05/11

    @ Kassandra: not every person who peddles dangerous woo has the reputation that Oprah has for objectivity, which is what makes her peddling that much more effective and that much more dangerous.  Nor does every person who peddles dangerous woo have the sort of apparent hold over her followers commensurate… Read more »


Did someone say “Oprah”? No? Are you sure? I could’ve sworn I heard someone say “Oprah”.

And on Tuesdays, everyone has to wear purple. Image: AP

Over the past few weeks the Talk Show Queen’s name has been noticeably absent from the nation’s media – which probably has something to do with the fact we were quite preoccupied with devastating floods, rampaging cyclones and horrific fires.

Those Oprah-filled days seem so far away now – almost dream-like.

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    09:11am | 15/05/11

    The loans are very useful for people, which would like to start their organization. As a fact, this is comfortable to receive a secured loan. Read more »

  • chris says:

    12:19pm | 10/02/11

    Who or what is a “Stedman”? Read more »


This week, we have seen two incredible women on television who have both made us feel proud to be Australian.

Oprah the saviour of Sydney?

One is Anna Bligh, with her outpouring of emotion, reminding Queenslanders and the rest of the nation that people from the sunshine state are “the people they breed tough, north of the border.”  The other is Oprah.Yes, Oprah.

In Sydney, we are struggling to harness a sense of pride.

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  • Wilma J Craig says:

    12:12pm | 24/01/11

    Come off it,Kristy! Anna Bligh, if she was genuine & not just pulling an early election stunt to make her & her government look good, appeared to be a decent, humane & caring politician (A Novelty). Oprah? She came here at great expense to Australian TaxPayers. She is, let’s face… Read more »

  • OchreBunyip says:

    10:32am | 24/01/11

    If an American talk-show host is needed to salvage Sydney’s pride then the city is in worse shape than I thought. Read more »


We’re approaching the day where after a month of rampant, random consumerism, and with the humility that only a major hangover brings, people make their New Year’s resolutions. Bad idea.

All you end up with is nicotine withdrawal for a few days, a gym membership you have to pay $5000 to get out of, and a fridge full of rotting “superfoods”.

So what I propose for this year is a more modest approach to becoming a better person: rather than worrying about reaching for a whole lot of unattainable virtues, let’s all just try not being such arseholes.

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    03:33pm | 10/11/12

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Oprah Winfrey (depending on which figures you believe) has anywhere between 25 and 45 million people tuning in every week to watch her uplifting combination of positive thinking and self-acceptance. 

Happiness takes a lifetime, unless you meet Oprah. Photo: Getty.

This “Oprah Movement” love Oprah and they hang on her every word – if Oprah says Australia is a nice place then somewhere between 25 and 45 million people are going to believe it. 

That is why Julia is so keen to be on the show and give Oprah a warm Prime Ministerial hug. 

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  • simon says:

    01:49pm | 04/01/11

    It’s funny that Brett expresses concern about American influence on Australia, but uses the American spelling of ‘summarise’ in the fifth paragraph… Read more »

  • cRook says:

    08:58pm | 14/12/10

    My mother bought The Secret. She thought it would help her get out of financial difficulty. Unfortunately, thinking positive thoughts did not stop her shopping, and she is now bankrupt. From another side, my ex told me that my only problem was that I was negative and all I had… Read more »


Hi. Sorry I’m late. Just back from the McCafe. Been hanging out there since really early this morning because, as Oprah’s American audience learned yesterday in a McDonald’s-sponsored segment, that’s what we Aussies do. All the time.

Just like Kakadu, without the crocodiles. Photo: Bob Barker

Lucky she reminded me about these “hip hangouts” really. There I was, about to buy a rack of spring lamb for dinner, and a beautiful fresh tray of Bowen mangoes for the fruit bowl, when bing! I remembered that in fact, what I actually craved, on a deeply-ingrained cultural level, was in fact that most Australian of treats, the American Choc Brownie Slice ™.

Or I don’t know, maybe some Cookies and Cream Cheesecake washed down with a caramel latte frappe, a beverage which demonstrates beyond question our love of a classic, untainted, good quality cup of real coffee.

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  • Kathine Grant says:

    09:42am | 11/12/10

    You know this could have been an interesting comment if only you had left out the personal and spiteful bits. Read more »

  • Mike says:

    03:44am | 08/12/10

    I dunno Antony. The Caramel Latte Frappes are pretty bloody amazing! Read more »


Dearest Oprah, can we start by saying: ohmygod ohmygod ohmyGOD.

Janice, Margie and June from accounts

We can’t thank you enough for getting us out of the little marketing pickle we have found ourselves in ever since the Lara Bingle Where-the-Bloody-Hell-Are-You business (yes, what were we thinking?). For your enjoyment we have enclosed some photos from inside our marketing department from the moment we heard the news that you have decided to shoot your first ever overseas show in Sydney. As you can see, there was quite the excitement.

A few more pictures follow. We will of course have a full itinerary ready by the time you arrive but now that we’re locked in there are a few preliminary things you might want to think about that we’ve listed below.

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  • Uh Huh says:

    08:30am | 16/09/10

    Do nothing. When the exchange rate favours them instead of us, they’ll come. Meanwhile, we save money. Read more »

  • Sean Williams says:

    04:03am | 16/09/10

    Come on Aussies, admit it, you’re all secretly bursting with pride over this - even those who claim to be against it. Never underestimate the power of the collective Australian orgasm whenever the world (especially America) pays it the slightest bit attention (even if sometimes they’re confusing it with Austria).… Read more »


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