But unless they can actually provide positive samples from Armstrong, I don't think there's any legitimate justification for stripping him of his titles. And that's coming from someone who is absolutely convinced that he did cheat.
But your scenario above isn't really an indictment of the idea of punishing Armstrong if he's guilty of cheating; it's an illustration of the fact so many prominent riders were implicated in cheating. Further evidence supporting the idea (if Armstrong can be proven to have cheated) that there should be no winner.
Wow, Yahoo Sports columnist Les Carpenter just rips Lance a new on in this column.
My response to Carpenter is that Lance knew the process was unfair. He knew it was rigged against him. He had already made his best arguments to USADA and they had laughed in his face. Why bother to go through with their Kangaroo Court charade if he knew how it would end up? By going through with it, doesn't he give it extra legitimacy?He could have continued to fight past Thursday. He could have gone through a hearing, and his accusers would have lined up before him. It's hard to believe the man who played everything to the end wouldn't take this chance, too. If he knocked away the federal government, why couldn't he have found a way to win again?
Yet what if something more sinister loomed? What if the men USADA says it had ready to testify against him had worse things to say than they saw Armstrong doping? What does that say about a legacy? Ultimately, we won’t know because they will never speak. But the problem with believing in Armstrong going forward is that his giving up on Thursday leaves the question: How tarnishing is what's left unsaid?
-Jason "I wonder if some politician is going to start going after the USADA... Lance is beloved and has powerful friends" Evans
Can someone explain what authority the usada has to alter the results of a bike race in France? Can Lance circumvent this decision by, say, gaining another country's citizenship somehow? Sorry if this has been explained in every news article out there or whatever.
You must spread some comments around before flaming the Moderators again.
From the statements by Lance and his lawyers, they think he comes under the jurisdiction of UCI and talking to USADA would put him in violation with UCI. My understanding of the process is that after the UCI determines there is a doping offense, usually through testing of both the A and B samples, then they send the case to the appropriate country's ADA (USADA in Lance's case) for determination of the punishment. USADA is attempting to determine the "guilt" in this case.
IMO, he didn't fail any tests and, as others have stated, if you have testing in place, you should have to live by it. Money should be spent on having the best testing possible instead of going after someone years later based on unknown evidence - none of which includes a positive test.
Here's the "dope" -- ha-ha -- from the About USADA on the web site:
'The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is the national anti-doping organization for the Olympic movement in the United States. The U.S. Congress recognized USADA as "the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sport in the United States."'
It is not a government agency. The "recognition" by the Congress is a joint resolution not binding on any outside parties. Its power stems, I guess, from the fact that other organizations -- the IOC, for example -- are likely to recognize its results.
If I understand the situation -- legal eagles, SOS -- the USADA offered him some form of binding arbitration to avoid being public roasted with its accusations. If he had accepted binding arbitration, then he would be in a situation with discovery, testimony, sworn statements, etc. Armstrong thought it was a one-sided situation and that it was best to duck it entirely. "He chose to be a martyr," said one cycling official approvingly.
The USADA issued the following statement: "USADA announced today that Lance Armstrong has chosen not to move forward with the independent arbitration process and as a result has received a lifetime period of ineligibility and disqualification of all competitive results from August 1, 1998 through the present, as the result of his anti-doping rule violations stemming from his involvement in the United States Postal Service (USPS) Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy (USPS Conspiracy)."
I am not sure where the "disqualification" authority comes from. It would seem to require independent actions of other entities.
Anyway, stay tuned.
From my perspective, I think that Lance is setting up USADA. USADA claims to strip Lance of his Tour de France titles. The UCI/TdF people come back and say they are not stripping him of his titles. Lance then sends a letter to USADA telling them that further comments on stripping of titles will result in some legal action. USADA is then forced to deal with the UCI is they want to continue the process. Lance gets what he wants.
Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post weighs in. The money quote:
How does an agency that is supposed to regulate drug testing strip a guy of seven titles without a single positive drug test? Whether Armstrong is innocent or guilty, that question should give all of us pause. How is it that an American agency can decide to invalidate somebody’s results achieved in Europe, in a sport it doesn’t control? Better question, how is it that an American taxpayer-funded organization can participate in an adjudication system in which you get a two-year ban because “there is no reason to exonerate” you? At what point is such an organization shut down and defunded?
The last line of that Sally Jenkins quote is the money shot.
I truly think the USADA has stepped into it on this one. Lance has friends in high places and is a beloved athlete. Most of us think he probably cheated but we still think the USADA is acting insane and unfairly. Someone in congress is going to take notice of all this. The USADA gets their money from congress. When the guys who give you your funding are mad, that's a bad thing.
USADA could haev gone on being what it was and attracting little notice. That won't happen any longer. I think there is a far better chance that the leaders of this effort are out of a job in a year than there is that Lance Armstrong is stripped of his Tour titles by the UIC.
-Jason "I would love to see a public opinion poll on this topic... but the national pollsters are a little bogged down in politics" Evans
Mike Wise has a pretty compelling column in today's Washington Post on the Armstrong story:
With Sally Jenkins being so close to Armstrong and such a staunch defender, it must be interesting times in the Post's Sports section staff meetings...
Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”
The question about Sally: How does she do it? The Pat Summitt disclosure of early-onset Alzheimer's. Joe Paterno's last interview. Lance Armstrong's co-author (times two).
I know being Dan Jenkins daughter helps, but still....
'Ah, Dan Jenkins: Semitough, Life Its Own Self, Dead Solid Perfect, Baja Oklahoma... '
Lance takes second in a mountain biking race:
I found this amusing for this quote from the winner:
He's 16 years old.“I couldn’t be more psyched,” Swirbul said. “I wanted to race against him my whole life and finally got the opportunity, so it worked out perfectly. It’s been a dream of mine.”
Worth a read. He salutes Lance for all he has done for cancer victims -- giving them hope and raising hundreds of millions of dollars.
'Yes, the United States Anti-Doping Agency -- riding roughshod on slippery rules and sketchy standards -- declared Armstrong guilty of doping. Then last Friday, Armstrong stopped fighting them. "Enough is enough," he wrote. It might as well have been a firing squad. It was that one-sided."'
Reilly claims Armstrong has already spent $5 million on his defense and saw no end in sight and no likelihood of success from an arbitration panel selected by USADA.
It might be a little late to suggest this, but isn't the title of this thread wrong?
Lance hasn't stopped fighting "anti-doping allegations."
He's stopped fighting the inept and corrupt USADA.
On second thought, I'm not sure he's stopped fighting them. He's just refused to continue to participate in their corrupt process.
They then went on to call Armstrong "an evil genius".The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says it will release Wednesday more than 1,000 pages of evidence detailing the involvement of cyclist Lance Armstrong in what the agency calls "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."
Paging Dr Horrible!