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Lance Armstrong
Injustice for All
The long pursuit of Lance Armstrong is almost finished. The impossible questions will never end.
ByBill Strickland
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Read the full article, including a summary of the USADA charges, a look at the riders who might inherit the seven jerseys, and three exploits that prove he was a champion regardless of doping—an exclusive from the October issue of Bicycling magazine.

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Like many cycling fans, when I heard in June that the United States Anti-Doping Agency would be charging Lance Armstrong and five of his associates with a list of offenses that includes drug trafficking, use, and administration, from 1998 all the way through 2010, my first thought was, “Here we go again.”

I didn’t wonder if I would finally find out if Armstrong had doped—though I do wonder if there is any cyclist left on earth who doesn’t understand the decision has long been rendered. The judgment of Lance Armstrong was not rendered during the SCA arbitration in 2004, when the guaranteer of a contracted $5 million bonus for winning the Tour sought to prove that because he doped he should forfeit the money, nor did it come during the federal investigation that was closed without charges this past February, nor will it arise from USADA. The trial of Armstrong has been held in public and by the public since he first faced questions about cheating during the 1999 Tour, and at some point between then and now society delivered its maddening outcome: The jury is hung.

[ Honest Lance vs. Lying Lance ]

You believe or you don’t, and anything USADA says or decides will change that for few.

Through nearly two decades of various degrees of intensity and proximity as a fan, chronicler, antagonist, and friend of Armstrong, I granted him at times my full belief and at other times at least the possibility that he had raced clean; in 2011, I became convinced beyond any doubt that he had doped. I said so in this magazine more than a year ago, and detailed why, to much clamor and at least one public hope that I would burn in hell. Inciting nearly as much vitriol from his critics, I also said and still believe he was the greatest Tour de France champion of my era, a skilled bike racer with insane focus and a genetic gift that revealed itself when he was still in his teens, and that ­generations from now he will be revered as one of cycling’s complex but astounding legends.

[ 10 Doping Allegations Against Armstrong ]

The jousting and revelations that have followed seem pointless to me. Who—on either side of Armstrong’s innocence—still needs more proof to ­justify their belief? What misdeed could be nefarious enough to sicken those who still support him? What punishment or fate, short of a tear-drenched confession that Armstrong will never give, could be dire enough to satisfy his persecutors?­ But it wasn’t until USADA announced its intention to charge Armstrong that I fully comprehended just how pointless it all has become—and that, curiously, this utter pointlessness creates a most ­concrete fact: There is no justice to be had.

Some confusing aspects are open to fair debate, such as the idea that his downfall is central to a cleaner sport. Or that he is the subject of a witch hunt not only because he doped, like so many others who did and are left in at least relative peace, but because of his high profile and because he made bitter enemies (“Just so mean,” one of his most fervent critics said to me). Or if the courtroom chaos—which pitted USADA against the UCI and included a judge so dismissive of an Armstrong filing as to sound insulted—is desperation or just another manifestation of Armstrong’s win-at-all-costs nature. (Or both.) But there are, also, simple questions that lead to nowhere but lunacy, that have no legitimate or sane answer.

For instance, there’s this: What would happen to the jerseys?

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Stop writing Strickland (you latest, 'Lance Armstrong's Endgame,' should be, 'Dreams from My 12-Year-Old : A Story of Race Blame') -- it's like you shot Lance Armstrong in the back and now you're waiting to hear what he says with his last gasp. And, you're not hearing what you want to hear so you stoop down and put words in his mouth for all of the rest of us to hear. Forget it Strickland. The rest of us do not have a guilty conscience. Enough of people piling all of their angst, jealousy and puny self-created limitations on the back of the only innocent man they can't bring down to their level. Nothing all of LA's detractors continue to say at this point makes any sense any longer. All of us who follow the race know that you don't win the TdF by winning every race. The race can be won without winning a single race. We also know that in every Tdf LA ever raced in, there were only about 2 or 3 riders at the most that LA was actually racing against for the lowest overall time. Everyone else was irrelevant to the results. All of LA's detractors at are simply revealing something very ominous in their own hearts. This is what their pitiful self-defeating logic boils down to: (i) if no one doped LA would have won; but (ii), we know everyone other than LA doped and didn't win so that means LA doped.
The Jerseys get Stripped and they go after anyone else who may have doped. You dont start with the smallest case. Now its on to the next tier. The sport I fell in love with got stolen but now there might be a chance of getting some of the rats out of the system. When did finding the truth, cleaning up a sport, become a conspiracy, or witch hunt?
What a crappy article. Now that we know how much of the cycling world Lance unjustly controlled and cheated, there is no doubt Lance also controlled this terrible article wherein the author asks, "what type of justice is done by bringing to light the biggest cheater in cycling's history?" Are you serious Bill? Really, how much did Lance pay you to write this propaganda? Not only was he the biggest cheater ever, but the way he controlled the sport and corrupted so many aspects of the sport is crazy. And what we know today is just the tip of the iceberg. Bill, you are no different than the UCI people who covered up for Lance when he tested positive for EPO long ago. This is not just a doping story. This is a story about internal corruption and extortion and Lance is the central figure in all of it. You think it is a bad thing that, thanks to USADA, we all know that Lance coerced his teammates to dope? You think it is a bad thing that, thanks to USADA, we know that Lance paid the UCI to cover up his positive tests? If Lance didn't pay you to write this garbage, than perhaps he threatened you and intimidated you the way he tried to threaten Levi and Tyler after they told the truth. Perhaps he sent you threatening text messages or showed up at restaurants where you were dining to push you around. If that is the case than I feel sorry for you. Your just another one of Lance's victims.
What a stupid article. Basically, the author takes a bunch of tangential issues and then somehow tries to spin them that there is enough moral relativism at hand to justify Armstrong's behavior. First and foremost, the Armstrong investigation is not, nor ever was solely about Lance. Cycling is a multi-million dollar, international sport and fans, sponsors, TV stations and the IOC have a vested interest in knowing if it is clean and free of corruption. Lance had 5 co-accused. Included among them are Doctors and trainers, still associated with the sport. More notably, between the lines of the report lie serious questions about the UCI. What did they know, when did they know it? Were they complicit, willfully blind or flat out corrupt? How was Armstrong able to dope as recently as 2009, whereas Contador gets pipped for a trace amount of an obscure substance? Are the tests that easy to fool, or are they good tests administered in a poor fashion? Are the dopers of yesterday serving as the coaches of today, teaching a new generation of riders how to dope? These are all good, relevant questions. Questions that impact if sponsors want to pour millions into the sport, television stations want to air it and how the IOC feels cycling fits into the Olympic Pantheon. Furthermore, Armstrong pursued legal action against a variety of parties and attacked the reputation of others. Betsy Andreu has gone on record saying she feels 'vindicated'. SCA sports is thinking of trying to recoup their payment, interest and legal fees. Cyclists who walked away from the sport because of doping are telling their stories - and being heard. I doubt that any one of them would agree that the USADAs investigation has been 'useless.'
Once again Bill, has tried to excuse dishonest and dysfunctional behavior by Armstrong. He and his other Armsrong Apologists remind me of a battered spouse making excuses on why it will never happed again-until the next time. Of course people will alwys have their detractors, but with Armstrong they have always been there and continue to be excused. In this lastest installment of All My Excuses-Armstrong Edition, let's discuss those who were really harmed by his lies, doping and dishonesty: 1. The Fans, those who got interested in cycling from a specator to a competetor and everything in between as a result of Armstrongs sucesses. Those who believe in the sport only to find scandal. Cycling is still a great sport. 2. Yellow Wrist Bands: Yes his foundation did and does good work, but it was built on fraud. The ends do NOT justify the means. 3. Cancer Awareness: see #2 $. Greg Lemond: He dared raise quetions about Armstrong and as result became a pariah in the bicycling community. How he was treated by Trek and Armstrong's "Mafia" was criminal and unetical. Yet the questions he raised turned out to be true. I ask you Bill Strickland-are YOU going to write an article about Greg and apoloise for how he was treated? His wins were clean and never questioned.
The liberal fascist Utopia suggested by the Lance Armstrong inquisition is that science be hanged if it does not serve the purposes of the government's prosecutor. Looking for truth obviously doesn't matter to the government in this matter. For them, the ends justify the means. Armstrong is nothing more than collateral damage. What it is all about is a way for dishonorable people to claw their way to power over the backs of others even if it means burning a few witches along the way. This isn't exactly the thriller of our time. LA was already found innocent in a real trial not a show trial. All we have here is the ending where LA says, 'Hell No' to the government's monkey trial. By doing so LA even did a favor to all of the real druggies who where to be paraded once again before the Left's alter of hypocrisy to tell of all their sins against humanity, which the government has already forgiven. In the novel, 'The Trial' imagine for a moment, Franz Kafka beset by feckless government bureaucrats and he is a bit paranoid about what is going on and little known to him he really did commit a crime about about which he is blissfully unaware: someone sprinkled fairy dust on Kafka's Cheerios and that is how he won 7 TdFs. How amazing.
Come on Bill. Armstrong and Co. had a great and awesome run. They helped corporations like TREK, SPECIALIZED,FELT,SHIMANO
All the above statements are good, there are a lot of questions that will still never be answered either. Regardless with the control the USADA supposedly has, I feel they have failed terribly, I'm not sure anything they do can be held or taken as reliable. For Lance he is still one of my biggest hero's and always will be. Not for just being a biker but also a survivor. He will always be the winner of seven Tour's in my eye's. For now and probably forever I will not watch another Tour or support anything that the USADA is involved with. I for one feel this is the biggest witch hunt in history. I hope this helps demote ratings in future events. I know I'm done. Now lets get back to the important things in life like Live, Laugh, Love and Mountain Biking!! Rock On Lance!!
Name one person USADA wrongfully prosecuted in their 12 years of existence? You sound like one of the people who claimed that the French lab workers "framed" Landis "because of jealously" when he tested positive only to later have him admit he was guilty. Same with Tyler Hamilton. The fact is USADA has not wrongfully prosecuted one athlete in its history of existence. Lance skipped the arbitration hearing because he didn't want all the details to become public knowledge and because he knew he couldn't successfully impugn the credibility of 10 eyewitnesses. When Bruyneel has his arbitration hearing, all these details will come out and he will be found guilty. Bruyneel is delusional if he thinks he will be found not guilty.
Not one of us could live the life of a cyclist. They must give their exact schedules to the doping agencies and explain any variance from them. They can be tested anytime anyplace. 500 tests, no doping, case over. Lance made the cycling industry. The TDF and other cycling events have a worldwide following because of Armstrong. That would not make doping ok, but in the absence of physical evidence and given the numerous tests (once a week for 9+ years) it is time for the witch hunters to let it go.
He's a dope cheat. Its not 500 tests - even UCI have confirmed Armstrong was only tested 215 times over his career but the tests are irrelevant, that's why Armstrong keeps going on about them. USADA have asked Armstrong to give them details of the 500 tests he claims but guess what ? no answer. So another lie is perpetuated - the latest charges in the conspiracy are 2009 2010 not to mention he is involved in WADA/USADA regulated triathlons and marathons - so USADA have every right to pull the rug under this guy and the other 5. Secondly you don't need analytical positives; Jones was busted on non-analyticals - so was Basso. Jones went to jail for lying; Basso just took the ban and kept his mouth firmly shut because thats what you do in cycling (and he's still in denial). The avalanche of evidence against Armstrong (Hamilton, Bruyneels arbitration when it happens, Vaughters, etc etc) is going to make some people look pretty stupid in the next 2 months.
How typically postmodern and post-normally scientific of you to say empirical evidence doesn't matter. It should just as eye-witness accounts are critical. Its one thing to claim LA doped, its another to actually see him hooked up to a drip.
The Lancehunt is over and now the liberal fascists will have to ride someone else's back like a fat blood-sucking tick for a free lunch and to bring meaning to their miserable and envious existence. “I wasn’t a figurehead. Every day I was on the factory floor. I traveled to all the trade shows in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. You need just as much drive to be a good businessman as you do to excel as an athlete. The difference is that the athlete knows how good he’s doing at the end of the day by looking at his results. The businessman doesn’t know until the end of the year when he looks at his balance sheet… I earned more than other riders, but even in my best year I never grossed more than about $300,000. With a wife and two children to support, I didn’t have enough money for me to do nothing. So I started my business. I began it on March 28, 1980, and sold it on October 22, 2008.” ~Eddy Merckx (See, Regarding Eddy Merckx by John Brant: We were determined to solve the inevitable, essentially unknowable mystery of what made this quiet, unassuming son of a shopkeeper into the greatest cyclist of all time. So we just asked him)
The evidence snowball is getting bigger and no doubt will steamroll Armstrong to the dustbin of history. That much is guaranteed. But Armstrong apologists declaiming the process and exasperating why NOW...? Cheating will always matter - it matters NOW because in the current Vuelta 2012 of the top 3 likely podium finishers , 2 are convicted dope cheats. The 3rd is already attracting attention in cycling forums as to his performance... It matters NOW because this isn't about one man - its a conspiracy - 6 people were charged - not just Armstrong. Its cheating on an industrial scale. We have already had this with Puerto. It matters NOW because a couple of days ago a leading British cycling commentator spouted the same crap coming from the Armstrong PR camp and accused USADA of - wait for it - "a witch hunt" (oh how original). I don't want my cycling commentators taking sides in doping affairs - I want them to roundly condemn doping and cheating in all its forms. It matters NOW because the very body supposed to manage this sport - is equivocating at Olympic Gold medal level. The UCI after their appallingly inept "jurisdiction" performance when the charging letter came out, have now indicated they will sanction Armstrong IF NECESSARY (my caps). It matters NOW because doping is still poisoning cycling, so I for one am glad that USADA have a CEO who is going after the big fish as this is the only way to shake the foundations of this corrupt sport. There are signs of progress however, the Eurosport commentator called someone a dope cheat the other day.. thats a first.
Why would a dozen people testify that he cheated, while no one who would have firsthand knowledge is standing up for Armstrong's innocence?  Not one, single teammate will say "we raced clean." Why would Armstrong pay an Italian hematologist nearly half a million bucks for "coaching?" Why would Armstrong make a $100,000 dollar donation, and another $25,000 donation to the group that was testing him, while the testing was happening?  No other athlete in history has done that. Why would Armstrong quit just before arbitration begins and be stripped of everything, rather than letting the public see everything in the hearing, and expose it to the world as unfair?  Do you know Armstrong could choose for the hearings to be public?  If he did, it would likely be on tv. Everyone within pro cycling, as well as every serious fan of pro cycling, knows the open secret that Lance Armstrong, as well as every other champion from his era, doped.  That's because we have read more than just Lance's PR statements, and seen more than just a sports highlight on the news. If you value the truth, take just a few minutes To read Joe Lindsay's article "Lance Armstrong's Endgame" from Bicycling magazine (it's easily found on google).  Lindsay has reported on Lance for 20 years, and was a friend and lifelong fan of Armstrong until he could no longer ignore what he was seeing. It's easy to see how the general public and casual fans of cycling believe Lance is innocent.  Lance is the master of PR, and over the years has created the perfect image for himself with it.  Don't be fooled, though.  Take a few minutes to form your own opinion, rather than blindly believing Armstrong's years of PR statements because he seems like a good guy.
My understanding is that the UCI rules have a statue of limitations going back 8 years which means that they could take away his titles from 2005 through 2012 but not prior to that. Also, testimony that relates to activities more than 8 years old should be excluded. Any comments on that?
Yes, the rules have always stated that in cases of conspiracy, or cases in which the activity instill ongoing, the statute of limitations can be extended.
2009 Lance comes back . Older , 4 years out of competition /at TDF level/ . Goes up Mt. Ventoux chasing 2 top riders . Contador and A.Schleck one of them possibly doped up /that we don't know/ it doesn't matter . Close to the top air is so thin that there is nothing growing /trees , vegitation etc./ . Lance follows them and only at the very end he drops 5 secs behind the two . I believe that the rider fighting for the last podium spot was Wiggins . Lance finishes the tour in 3rd . "Old" guy finishing behind two hottest riders !!!! He'd have to be insane to be on dope !!!! Natural , oh yeah . He'll be my hero , 7 times tour winner forever no matter what this circus /called ivestigation/ causes . I'll buy enything and everything with his name on it
All of the other riders that macked-down boost did so to make up for those things that everyone knows Lance Armstrong really did do, unapologetically and determinedly and in full view of anyone who wanted to know about it. Everyone knows no one did what Lance did. The Lancehunt is just another manifestation of self-aggrandizing liberal fascistas in government who believe no one that succeeds really deserves it. Half the country feels that way; and, it gets their goat that Lance reminds them of their own self-defeating attitudes by getting out and just doing it.
That Armstrong was singled out this way and subjected to scrutiny that no other cyclist even has been is not fair, and the end does not justify the means. If they could not catch him through normal surveillance, well, too bad; it caught others, so it must have worked. If Armstrong shared drugs with Landis and Hamilton, why then did they not get the benefit of his expertise in avoiding detection? He may well have doped, and some people may have seen him. But the stories of Lance having such a cavalier attitude toward it are so out of character for Armstrong that they make me doubt the whole rendition. The risk of infection alone. A refrigerator full of blood products in the kitchen - temperature control, access to contamination by competitors? Asking a masseuse for make up to cover needle marks? Lance, the control freak that he is, being so nonchalant about his health, his performance, his career? Tell me something I can believe. Stories so inconsistent with Lance's personality and the lack of positive objective tests are simply not enough to convict.
If, according to you, Lance was not guilty and the exculpatory evidence was so much in his favor, then why did he decide to skip the arbitration hearing? Also, 6 of Lance's urine samples from the '99 Tour tested positive for EPO and USADA says his '09 and '10 samples are consistent with doping.
Ok I read this story, to which freedom of speech and freedom of the press are valid! There are stories of great men and women who IMHO are legends (aside the doping allegations and such) to this sport and hobby from around the world. Now as many are tired of hearing about how the USADA are repeatedly going after Lance Armstrong (does double jeopardy apply?) I as a tax payer am tired of seeing my tax dollars wasted on a decade long ago event, that is more of some old people who couldn't even participate in a tour even if they doped!! Do they still ride other then the occasional 5 minute ride down the street on a nice Sunday? Just maybe, if there were a Congressional Investigation Committee to look into USADA possible "misappropriation of funding" or "judicial rules and eithics" practices there would be some VERY INTERESTING things arise out that! I'm sure the money they are spending on this would be a little more helpful in other places like healthcare maybe? Write your congress person if you agree, tell me to be quiet if you don't, but seems to me for a committee to be "beating a dead horse" at our expense is a little expensive in times of economic hardship!!! Now if Lance Armstrong did dope (don't know wasn't there) then it is wrong, wrong for anyone to cheat!
I my 61 plus years, I can't name a single athlete in any sport who was stripped of their winnings without actual physical evidence ever presented PUBLICLY. Tygart said it best - this was a case of "wining at all costs" - unfortunately, it appears he wasn't looking in the mirror when he said it. I'm certain I kind find Judas testimony to crucify anyone on any allegation but until I see the evidence, like the international community has demanded, you are just spouting off an opinion without any more than your suspicions. Publish the evidence USADA - after all, you are a Congressional created entity so surely you must know under the freedom of information act, someone is going to get the information. If all you have is testimony you bought then your statements and the statements of Mr. Strickland are worthless tripe.
The UCI rules gave Armstrong the right to make his doping hearing PUBLIC but Armstrong refused to go to trial because he knew he would be found guilty. To then claim it was USADA that somehow breached this public presentment of the facts is a colossal misrepresentation of how the WADA Code works. Also, USADA doesn't owe anything to the public. Lance agreed to abide by the WADA Code when he took out a license. USADA's only obligation was to give Lance the opportunity to challenge the evidence and the guy quit because he didn't want the public to learn about all the details of his doping fraud.
He's a dope cheat - and you don't need analytical positives to ban. All the athletes know this - they sign on for it when they compete in WADA/USADA controlled sports. The evidence is still coming in and I wouldn't assume there AREN'T analytical positives in the evidence....
After USADA is done prosecuting a couple more people involved in the case. In the meantime, why do you dismiss sworn testimony as something less than evidence? Rape, murder, war crimes, etc., have all been tied and prosecuted with nothing more than eyewitness testimony, resulting in convictions. Eyewitness testimony IS EVIDENCE in our legal system. Besides that, just because you haven't been convinced of Armstrong's guilt, doesn't mean he is innocent. Everyone within pro cycling has known this open secret for years: Lance is a doper, just like very other champion from his era. For crying out loud, he paid half a million dollars (documented) to a hematologist for "coaching."
This was worse than the infamous Soviet show trials. It was a kangaroo court behind closed doors by an American bureaucracy with no product other than to impune and besmirch the accomplishments of a true legend. If Armstrong was so dirty, how did the wizards of smart not detect this at the time? There were certainly other teams and individual riders who were routinely caught and punished. As a dentist, I know America has the best healthcare technology in the world but I don't believe Armstrong's Drs. would be clever enough to cheat with impunity. Funny how the French tesed Lance more than any other rider and it was "le negative". Then they retest him and it's "le positive"? The French need to concentrate on the fact they haven't won their own event since 1985 and quit whining about those who have.
From the idiots at Bicycling Magazine "We asked two experts—forensic psychologist Ken Manges, and Paul Ekman, a renowned researcher on lying and liars—to help us understand what sort of internal machinations and motivations might be at work in either possibility". Didn’t they ask a couple of “experts" back 2 centuries ago in Salem???? Lance passed ALL tests , the rest is heresay……… you bastards have ALL made(and continue to lick is ball) alot of money off of Lance. alot of your 401k's you owe to Lance. he has enemies ...so what we all do. there is zero proof and instead of defending him you exploit him yet again. USADA has their lawyers payed, Lance would have to waste millions in lawyers.
Much has been said about Lance, but he has never been described as foolish or stupid. As an individual who overcame enormous odds and beat a cancer that had spread to his brain it is inconceivable he would indulge in doping and risk a potential recurrence. Lance was subjected to the same type of testing that many of his accusers failed and at the same time.He supposedly told them how to evade detection. It apparently did not work for them. They failed the tests. He did not. In would be pure madness to return to the sport three years after he retired when he had nothing else to prove and risk everything he had achieved.All of their testing failed.The sanctimonous and arrogant posture of USADA and Travis Tygart essentially acknowledged that their testing is in ineffectual and worthless. In place they resorted to the tainted tetimony of Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis and claimed to have other who were prepared to testified but only leaked names that continued to participate in the Tour, which only underscores the unfairness of this process. If it is to protect clean riders why were they allowed to continue? This is a terribly flawed and miscarriage of justice.Even the Judge who refused to issue an injunction had questions regarding USADA's motivations. This process is so terribly flawed, that the The Tour and UCI should leave the jerseys and wins intact and declare thsi matter closed.