Eat Mor Jonny.
A Republican Congressman from Wisconsin is now threatening Congressional investigation of the US Anti-Doping Agency's "conspiracy" against Armstrong:
The story quotes the USADA as claiming "overwhelming" evidence against Armstrong -- evidence that apparently no one outside the USADA has seen.
It's Sensenbrenner. Too bad...I'd have hoped for a more reasonable, sensible Congressman. The PP ban prevents me from commenting further. Even so, he might well be right.
Lance is giving up. He is not going to fight the USADA any longer.
His entire statement, linked above, is really worth a read. Incredibly powerful and passionate. I don't know whether he was doping or not, but my understanding of what the USADA has done leaves little question in my mind about who the bad guy is here...If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA's process, I could confront
these allegations in a fair setting and - once and for all - put these charges to rest, I
would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided
and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to
support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the
hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around
the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine.
Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end,
USADA will not stand by it?
--Jason "...and it ain't the guy on the bike" Evans
Duke FB 2013 Coastal Division Football Champions
The telling paragraph is the last paragraph of the letter from Lance's lawyers to USADA:
"Finally, you are on notice that if USADA makes any public statement claiming, without jurisdiction, to sanction Mr. Armstrong, or to falsely characterize Mr. Armstrong’s reasons for not requesting an arbitration as anything other than a recognition of UCI jurisdiction and authority, USADA and anyone involved in the making of the statement will be liable."
I also read (in the NY Times, I think) that the Tour has not stripped victories from other dopers "convicted" after the statute of limitations is up, which could indicate that the first 4 victories might never bee stripped (of course, it's at their discretion to strip the titles anyway - NOT USADA's). USADA is truly standing on their McCarthy-like position of "you're either with me all the time, or you're a cheater."
Seriously, it is things like this that make you glad we have Due Process protections here in our court systems.
What a crock this is.
Eat Mor Jonny.
Look, this is a tough one for me. The guy was never caught....and they tested him a ton.
1) Everyone at the time was cheating, and he was still beating them.
2) He has something like 10 former team members who are willing to testify against him. Sure, most of them already were caught cheating, and earlier said he didn't cheat....but still.
3) People say that he's not been given due process...but in a court of law if 10 other teammates took the stand and under oath said, "Yep, I saw him cheat, and he had a great system for avoiding being caught" it would be really, really tough to beat that...even if they all did have an axe to grind with you.
4) By far the most damaging thing to me is actually in his statement. I've read it. Not once does he say, "The fact is, I never doped. Period. Ever. I am 100% innocent and never once cheated at this sport." What he does say is:
a) there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims
b) The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced (by far the most damaging to me)
c) We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules.
That's not declaring innocence, that's saying "I was never caught." Two very different things.
Personally, I believe Lance doped. But I also believe everyone else was doping too, and he beat them. He's still the greatest cyclist in the world (had nobody been cheating, he would have won as well).....but he still cheated.
There's no doubt in my mind that Armstrong cheated. There is just too much smoke, too much circumstantial evidence, and too much violating common sense for him to not have cheated. Things we know:
1. Armstrong competed in an era of cycling that was notorious for doping. It is quite accepted that a HUGE percentage (probably the majority) of racers were not clean in that era. It is hard to believe that a clean racer could so dominate a sport that is so riddled with drug use.
2. Armstrong is a cancer survivor. He won his first tour de france less than 3 years after chemo treatment. It is even harder to believe that a clean racer could recover from stage 3 cancer throughout his body to dominate a sport so riddled with drug use.
3. There have been reports that six of Armstrong's 1999 samples tested positive for EPO in retroactive testing in 2005: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/cycli...-details_x.htm
4. There were "suspicious" results "consistent with EPO use" in 2001: http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cyclin...ory?id=6614413
5. The book L.A. Confidential included quotes from one woman who claims to have disposed of syringes for the Armstrong team and another quote from a teammate who said that he, Armstrong, and several other riders doped.
6. Armstrong was trained throughout his peak by Dr. Michele Ferrari, who has had many doping violations (leading to an eventual ban from cycling).
7. Several of Armstrong's teammates (some with questionable character, some very well respected) have testified that Armstrong (and his teammates) took PEDs.
Given the above, I find it really hard to reasonably believe that Armstrong was clean. While there may or may not be enough to legally convict him, there is certainly enough evidence to go beyond common sense (in my opinion).
That being said, I do disagree with his honors being overturned on the basis of teammates' testimony (which is what appears to be happening unless they have some actual retroactive tests that found evidence). While I'm convinced he cheated, the fact is that he has not officially tested positive. Therefore, it seems inappropriate to strip him of his wins. If he was ahead of the testing system, good for him I guess. Until it is proven that he beat the system, he shouldn't be stripped of his wins.
And further, I still think what he has done is amazing. Even though I'm convinced he cheated, it is absolutely unbelievable that he was able to beat stage III cancer and return to win 7 Tour de France races (regardless of whether he joined so many others in cheating). It's slightly less miraculous to do it with cheating, but still miraculous. And his work in raising funds for cancer research and treatment is completely commendable. Cheating shouldn't change anyone's opinion that his story is miraculous and his work is amazing.
Proven of using performance-enhancing drugs with positive tests, try to cover it up/provide a backstory by setting up a fake website - get suspended 1/3 of a season and have all your and your team's records numbers remain in the books. Check.
No hard proof of doping despite hundreds of drug tests over a decade long-period - stripped of every single title.
Makes sense to me. Obviously, different spots adhere to different standards.
Even if Lance did have a positive test in 1998, I don't see why he should be stripped of every single title. I would think a positive test would lead to a ban of a year or two, not five or more. I don't know what really happened, but it does seem a bit like a witch hunt and lack of due process. Seems like resources could be used more productively. And I agree that doping was probably rampant at the time; Lance never having a positive test and winning all those titles is mighty impressive. Innocent until proven guilty in my mind.
The statement you say is the most damaging: "when I raced". Who cares what he's done after he retired? Where any of the chemicals he ingested while fighting cancer (and not racing) against the rules of the UCI, WADA, USADA? I think you're making more of that statement than you should.
Put me on the side that thinks this is an obsessive vendetta by the USADA that has gone waaaay too far.
What's the point of physical testing when hundreds of tests come out clean, yet some still maintain that doping has gone on?
Is this sport just totally unable to maintain rules and standards in the present time? Stripping victories from more than a decade ago??
The USADA is setting a really dangerous precedent here. They have so far refused to show anyone any physical evidence that Lance doped. All they have is the testimony of other riders, most of whom were caught cheating and are being given light or no penalties in exchange for pointing the finger at Lance. It is like catching a bank robber in the act and then letting him go because he says he saw some other guy robbing a bank a while ago.
So, the USADA is convicting an athlete on nothing but the testimony of rival athletes. I was reading another board and someone said, "so, what happens when Ryan Lochte comes forward in 3 years to say that he saw Michael Phelps doping at the Olympics?" Phelps has a big ego that often rubs rivals the wrong way-- what if some other swimmer with an axe to grind (Tyler Clary doesn't like Phelps) says, "Yeah, I saw it too." Suddenly the USADA would have just as much evidence against Phelps -- all evidence being hearsay -- as they did against Armstrong.
This is a really dangerous road the USADA is going down.
-Jason "amazing how few people seem to be siding with the USADA here... they have really lost the PR battle" Evans
Let's say you strip the Jerseys from Armstrong and give them to the second place rider. This gives you as your champs:
1999 - Alex Zuelle, who was part of the Festina team thrown out of the 1998 Tour de France after team manager Bruno Roussel confessed the existence of "an organized doping system."
2000 - Jan Ullrich, who has been conviced of doping and was banned for a period of time.
2001 - Ullrich again.
2002 -- Joseba Beloki, who was implicated in Operación Puerto and was withdrawn from the Tour de France in 2006.
2003 - Ullrich again.
2004 - Andreas Kloeden -- Freiburg Univerity Clinic alleges he used illegal blood transfusions in a subsequent tour.
2005 - Ivan Basso (2005), who was banned for two years in 2007 for his involvement in Spain's Operation Puerto scandal.
Well done, USADA.
Eat Mor Jonny.