Thanks a lot, USADA: Lance Armstrong faces the loss of his seven Tour de France titles

posted at 1:11 pm on August 24, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

And now for something completely different! Well, maybe not completely different — like the many within our festering federal government, this is yet another instance of an unbridled power-tripping bureaucracy run amok — but as a huge cycling fan, this is one of the few sports-related contributions I can make, and the Erika Johnsen Rage Machine is running on all cylinders.

I am all for trying to keep athletics of all sorts clean and drug-free, if the arbiters of the sport so desire (whether or not there’s actually a lot of wisdom in banning supposed performance enhancers is a whole other rich debate, but I won’t go there). It’s a tough job, being the doping police, and trying to keep an even playing field in a world full of ever more innovative doping techniques is a constant battle. Cycling in particular has a long and infamous history of anti-doping crusades — probably because cycling, more than being about hand-eye coordination or other such skills, often comes down to who can simply suffer the longest and the hardest.

There are various international governing bodies that regularly test the riders and enforce doping policies — and again, I’m okay with it. But a years-long, repeatedly meandering witch hunt against a man that never once tested positive on a drug test while active in the sport, borne of stale allegations from vengeful or scapegoating former fellow riders, after a federal grand jury criminal investigation failed to nail him? That is something by which I absolutely cannot abide.

Lance Armstrong has already been retired from professional cycling for a couple years now, but that hasn’t stopped the fishing expedition against him. There are plenty of Europeans who resent him simply for being a stellar American champion (Heh. ‘Murika.), bitter members of the cycling community with axes to grind, and an anti-doping coalition on a mission to prove some stupid trumped-up point. The guy just hasn’t been able to enjoy his retirement. At some point, I’m sure the relentless inquisition starts to take its toll — and last night, Armstrong announced that he would no longer fight the ongoing case against him.

There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, “Enough is enough.” For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.

I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.

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?

As Armstrong goes on to say, the USADA (largely funded by your tax dollars, by the way! Yippee!) has been nothing but a bully throughout this entire ludicrous affair. They’ve violated their own 8-year limitation with their 17-year-old charges; the Union Cycliste Internationale and USA Cycling have ordered them to quit their investigation; they’ve done a lot of shady deals with vindictive characters; broken their own rules and willfully operated outside of their jurisdiction; and have obviously made Lance Armstrong into an especial target. Nobody in the cycling world receives more scrutiny than a multi-win Tour de France champion, but once the USADA decided to punish him, they just couldn’t let it go.

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Chief Executive Travis Tygart said late Thursday he was still waiting to hear directly from Armstrong but added that the cyclist’s decision not to proceed in an arbitration process will leave Armstrong stripped of all of his Tour titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal and result in a lifetime competition ban. …

Armstrong’s attorneys asked a USADA attorney to turn the matter over to UCI, the international cycling union, but USADA maintains it retains jurisdiction to strip the titles.

Armstrong never tested positive for performance-enhancing use during his decade-plus of Tour races.

I’m not at all sure that the USADA actually has the authority to unilaterally declare that Armstrong is stripped of his titles and banned from pro cycling, but the UCI says they’re going to wait for the detailed case from the USADA before weighing in.

Unforgivable, USADA. Again, I’m all about doping controls, but maybe you guys should think about a cost v. benefit analysis before you absorb everybody’s time and resources with an inquest that’s thin on evidence and ripe with malice. The world of cycling is always looking for ways to bring in a larger American audience to help grow the sport and keep the industry vibrant, and Lance Armstrong has accomplished more for that goal than anyone else — ever.

Armstrong isn’t even one of my personal favorite cyclists, and I don’t actually buy it that he’s quite the squeaky-clean, innocent victim he’s proclaiming himself to be, but I clearly remember watching him on television, struggling up steep summits and whizzing down tricky descents, through the mountains and over the fields, in wind and rain and scorching sun, for three weeks, over seven separate months of July, with nothing but pain and hard-man focus on his face. As far as I’m concerned, he won those Tours. Stripping him of his titles is only going to disenchant potential fans even more and contribute to the stigmas against cycling.

So congratulations, USADA. I hope you’re feeling really great about yourselves and everything you’ve accomplished right now. Really awesome job.


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I’d suggest reading the full story. It’s very damning. I realize it’s the NY Times, but the background, corroborative witnesses and those agreeing to testify present a substantial case of cheating and a continuous effort at cover-up.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/a/lance_armstrong/index.html

rrpjr on August 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

lol…since when did the average HA reader ever bother with any background reading?

callingallcomets on August 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Cult of personality much? You whiners defending someone you don’t even know is as bad as the liberals blind love for Obama.

What an odd thing to write. First of all… “whiners”? Really? There’s no “whining”; there are simply people writing their opinions. Some are defending Armstrong, some are defending the USADA. Some are simply asking questions.

Are those defending the USADA “whining,” too? And, by your standard, if not why not?

Second, unless there are some posters here who are family members of Armstrong, slavish uber-fans of Lance, or even Lance himsel(!), it seems like what is happening on this thread is what pretty much happens on every other HA thread: people giving their yay or nay opinion on a particular issue.

“Cult of personality… for someone you don’t even know”? “Blind love“?! Ummm… okay.

I’m pretty confident that the vast majority of HA members posting on this thread won’t have Lance Armstrong as the last thought in their heads as they rest their heads on their pillows tonight waiting to fall asleep.

Dion on August 24, 2012 at 4:47 PM

I agree with your point about persecution – which this appears to be a case of, but I think the real solution here is to give up on the idea of “clean” athletes.

Even when he was winning his 2nd or 3rd Tour de France, I assumed Armstrong was using performance enhancing drugs. And it did not diminish my respect for his accomplishments.

I have simply always simply assumed that almost all professional athletes use performance enhancing drugs. For instance, nobody will ever convince me that 70% of NFL players are not on steroids. Many of them look like professional bodybuilders – and anyone who knows anything about bodybuilding, knows that nobody gets that big naturally.

And the rumors swirling around cycling seem to indicate that every major cyclist is on PEDs.

Furthermore, the reality is that we want our athletes on these drugs so that we see bigger, stronger and faster athletes compete.

I laughed at the uproar when baseball’s “scandal” occurred. Who was watching and did not know McGuire was on steroids? Anyone who claims they looked at him and did not know he was on steroids is either lying – or truly, truly naive.

Instead of pretending the athletes aren’t using the stuff and catching a few of them here and there, and acting outraged when we do, we should just tell the athletes to go nuts, and use whatever they want. At the end of the day, the athlete still has to have the talent. No amount of PEDs can make your average athlete into a professional caliber athlete. PED’s help with strength, stamina and recuperation. They cannot give agility, hand-eye ordination, etc. They won’t improve your throwing motion, your ability to cut back while running, your ability to catch a ball, or the mechanics of your tennis swing or your golf swing.

I think it is silly for a country where the NFL is king where unnatural looking musclemen are the norm (and I love the NFL), to pretend to be upset about athletes using performance enhancing drugs. If the argument is we want a level playing field – allowing PEDs levels the playing field. Everyone can take them. The choice not to take them is the athlete’s.

Monkeytoe on August 24, 2012 at 4:58 PM

I’d suggest reading the full story. It’s very damning. I realize it’s the NY Times, but the background, corroborative witnesses and those agreeing to testify present a substantial case of cheating and a continuous effort at cover-up.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/a/lance_armstrong/index.html

rrpjr on August 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Actually, I did read it. It says nothing except to conclude that people were ready to testify for the USADA/against Armstrong. Having been the subject of an article or two in my day, we have only the reporter’s selection and interpretation of the facts, not the facts themselves. There are no quotes from credible witnesses, so the question is “what would they say?” The only quote is from Hamilton (apparently based on a 2011 statement) who has admitted to doping and . . . never said anything about Lance until after he’d been disgraced. The closest the article comes is

Hincapie’s word would be especially harmful for Armstrong, considering the two have said they are as close as brothers.

But that reads to me like innuendo and conjecture, not a statement of fact.

And, by the way, since there have been investigations into this activity for years and I would believe that all of these witnesses have made statements, signed certifications, been interviewed, etc. . . . “were they telling the truth then, or are they telling the truth now?” (To put it in the vernacular).

I go back to what I said earlier and will add: At what point do we start pulling people out of the Hall of Fame?

EdmundBurke247 on August 24, 2012 at 5:05 PM

The Euro-Trash that runs international cycling couldn’t stand the fact that an American took 7 TDF wins beating out Eddy Merckx 5.

The_Basseteer on August 24, 2012 at 5:20 PM

No evidence,
never tested positive.
Witch hunt.
rickyricardo on August 24, 2012 at 1:13 PM

The French are behind this.
They hate Lance as much as we hate Obozo.
Rush says they’re coming after his money..
Typicalwhitewoman on August 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Sorry have to disagree with Erika here. Armstrong is as dirty as sin, and I’m glad they finally nailed him!

Besides let’s not forget Lance’s Armstrong is also a far left zealot, and a massive tool bag who left his loving wife and family for Sheryl “one tissue of toilet paper” Crow.

And at the height of the Komen vs Planned Parenthood battle his foundation donated $1 million dollars to Planned Parenthood.

Glad they finally nailed the douche!
Raquel Pinkbullet on August 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

I read the announcement and I was saddened as I agreed with the first quote above. To give up the fight against constant bombardment is the only thing he could do was my thinking after reading that article. Then I read the second quote above about Rush’s view that they are going to come after Armstrong’s money. I had this same thought too but then came the 3rd quote above where he left his wife for Sheryl Crowe??? Not cool. And he gave to Planned Parenthood (private money is better than public gov’t money irght)? And now I’m wondering about the article where he states he wants to keep working with his foundation. What is this foundation doing? Is it based solely on his biking money? If they take that away will his foundation crumble? What is he without his medals and without his money?

He’s a former cyclist with no medals because he gave up the fight. And if that governing agency is liberal, wouldn’t you think they would know his liberal leaning ways? They cover for each other. There must be more going on IMO.

athenadelphi on August 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Lance Armstrong’s Sponsors Say They Stand By Him Despite Doping Accusations.

Schadenfreude on August 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM

lol…since when did the average HA reader ever bother with any background reading?

callingallcomets on August 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM

On the contrary to your statement, one can find some very spirited and well informed debates happening in the comment section of this website.

Even in this thread there has been a lot of discussion back and forth over the facts listed in several articles addressing the history of the accusations against Armstrong.

Nice attack on every member of Hot Air though. If you don’t like the people here, kindly leave and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

ShadowsPawn on August 24, 2012 at 5:33 PM

When he competed in sanctioned cycling events, he agreed to be bound by the USADA process. He can’t just wave his hands now and say the rules don’t apply to him.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Sheesh, you are really something…

He is not competing now, he is retired, and while competing he was not found “guilty” of anything, despite many attempts he was found “clean”…or they would have taken action years ago.

They are going back, trying to find something that was not banned, and is now banned, to try to make it stick.

Reminiscent of a American swimmers medal taken away for an over the counter anti-histamine…after the fact, and after they deemed it in violation.

He was within the rules when he competed, and now they are trying to say something he took, could have been whatever, is not legal now…

That’s like the USDA deciding Tylenol is now a muscle enhancement, so everyone who took Tylenol and ran a race is disqualified and is now a cheater.

I pray to God that you are never chosen for a jury…all they have to do is show a shiny object to you and you will nod for conviction.

Like I once said…I wonder how Obama ever got elected by fooling all these people into believing he was qualified, than I read your posts and my question is answered.

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Like we really need our tax dollars going to this while John Corzine can lose billions of dollars and barely ruffle a feather

Way to rip apart an american hero.

Send these guys careening down the hill on a speed bike and see how well they fare

audiotom on August 24, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Will lance be getting IRS taxes back on his loss in winnings?

audiotom on August 24, 2012 at 6:00 PM

rrpjr on August 24, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Want a list of articles where NYT made false accusations, even lied?

Once a witch hunt begins, everyone grabs a torch…the fact that no proof has come forth from the USDA, if it was so obvious, the tests so conclusive, just report the facts…but they don’t.
Because the “facts” have to be veiled, shielded, “explained” so every one understands…
If he failed the tests, show us the test results…it’s that simple.

You don’t need arbitration, trial, just show us the results of the tests…but they don’t.

Maybe they are run by the same people who trained Harry Reid…many people have told him Mitt has not paid taxes for 10 years…and Harry Reid is the Senate majority leader, one of the most powerful influential people in the world…surely you have to believe him…

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I don’t have to agree with Armstrong’s politics to believe that someone should not stalk you with an axe to grind or a political agenda. The fact is that the USADA was going to pursue enough “teammates” and push them into the corners they needed to get them to make statements they were not willing to make otherwise. They were not going to stop until they had manufactured the evidence they needed to get the result they wanted. They. Will. Not. Stop.

One day it could be you, and not Armstrong. One day, it could be the IRS and not the USADA. That isn’t the America I want to live in.

If I were President, the USADA would cease to get taxpayer dollars until a change in management that understood the concept of ethics and power.

I don’t watch cycling, I don’t even LIKE Armstrong, but this is wrong and we all know it.

goflyers on August 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

He was within the rules when he competed, and now they are trying to say something he took, could have been whatever, is not legal now…

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Sorry, you are just flat out wrong. He’s being accused of taking EPO, steroids, and blood transfusions, and of leading his teammates into also taking them. All were against the rules in 1998 when he started, and are still against the rules today. It has nothing to do with Tylenol or any of the other nonsense you typed out. But, hey, it’s a free country and you are free to be as wrong as you like.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Some reading for those who chose to do it. Is the USADA’s summary of the evidence against Armstrong and the USA team’s doctors and trainers.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/armstrongcharging0613.pdf

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Just went here http://www.store-laf.org/ and bought some of his LiveStrong yellow bracelets. Plan to wear one occasionally. I suggest a purchase might be a way to show support for Lance and donate to his cancer survivor foundation at the same time.

jclittlep on August 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Just went here http://www.store-laf.org/ and bought some of his LiveStrong yellow bracelets. Plan to wear one occasionally. I suggest a purchase might be a way to show support for Lance and donate to his cancer survivor foundation at the same time.

jclittlep on August 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

They will be pleased to pass your donation along to Planned Parenthood!

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:25 PM

I don’t watch cycling, I don’t even LIKE Armstrong, but this is wrong and we all know it.

goflyers on August 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Well said, and bears repeating. That defending this transparent witch hunt requires this level of rhetorical dancing shows how weak it is.

squint on August 24, 2012 at 6:26 PM

But, hey, it’s a free country and you are free to be as wrong as you like.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Great, and being accused and guilty are different for most people…so I will throw out the challenge again…

Care to link the actual report that says he is guilty? Care to link to the tests that show he had taken a banned substance while competing.

Oh, you can’t?…well than let me ask a question that should be fairly easy for you…is he innocent or guilty based on the facts?

The difference is you will probably say “I don’t know, he might be and his actions suggest he is”…and that is exactly the reasoning that Harry Reid is using, see a similarity their? Get it now?

All he has to do is cough up a few hundred thousand dollars and six more months of his life to prove what hasn’t been proven for over a decade…and you are all right with that.

I have been on the receiving end of a witch hunt by the gov. Let me tell you as fairly minor as mine was (minor at the beginning but huge because of their tenacity)…they were relentless and through unbelievable resources at me. In my case I had to fight it or I would have been destroyed, and won…but lost a huge amount of money defending my innocence, and not on iota of remorse from the government of course…I wish the government attack on no one.

Maybe you should take some time and read about this guy, Billy Dale.

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Well said, and bears repeating. That defending this transparent witch hunt requires this level of rhetorical dancing shows how weak it is.

squint on August 24, 2012 at 6:26 PM

The only one doing the rhetorical dancing is Armstrong. He realized that if he pursued it any further then the evidence would become public and he’d have to testify under oath, which he does not want to do because that’s how they caught Marion Jones and Barry Bonds.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Great, and being accused and guilty are different for most people…so I will throw out the challenge again…

Care to link the actual report that says he is guilty? Care to link to the tests that show he had taken a banned substance while competing.

Oh, you can’t?…well than let me ask a question that should be fairly easy for you…is he innocent or guilty based on the facts?

I linked you reading material. If you want to read it, do so. If not, don’t. Armstrong was given a chance to formally respond to the charges via legal proceedings and under oath, but chose not to, which is the equivalent of “no contest” in court.

And yes, having followed this case over 9 years now, he’s guilty as hell.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

^^^^^^
||||||
||||||

…troll, much?

davisbr on August 24, 2012 at 6:43 PM

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:11 PM

So you agree with Harry Reid? Many people have told him Romney didn’t pay taxes.

How about this guy? Jack Murtha when he accused our warrior of murder, you probably loved that guy, he had the same evidence and same “accusers”, people who told him.

Billy Dale was hounded for years, they had “proof”, they had absolute proof, Hillary, the whole staff had proof…who could deny that.

What you have to realize, at some time in your life, that the federal government is not an innocent bystander…and that when a bureaucratic gets a bug up his @ss, he doesn’t stop, whether he is wrong is of no consequence…it doesn’t matter.

When you realize that, you will be a conservative…until then you are a tool for them, and all they have to do is provide “evidence” whatever they want and you will gulp it down.

Goodnight…you won’t understand a thing I wrote, it will pass you by…and people like Billy Dale is of no use to you.

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 6:44 PM

And yes, having followed this case over 9 years now, he’s guilty as hell.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Of course you think that…of course, it was easy for them to convince you…

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Harry Reid
Jack Murtha
Billy Dale
Hillary

What’s next, you want to discuss Julius Caesar or Pablo Picasso? Maybe Britney Spears?

Seems you want to discuss anything except the Armstrong case. Perfect leftist tactic — do anything to distract from the subject at hand.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:49 PM

The only one doing the rhetorical dancing is Armstrong. He realized that if he pursued it any further then the evidence would become public and he’d have to testify under oath, which he does not want to do because that’s how they caught Marion Jones and Barry Bonds.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:35 PM

You seem to have an axe to grind. And, as I don’t really care about Armstrong or bicycling, I’ll go ahead and leave you to your grinding.

squint on August 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Sorry, you are just flat out wrong. He’s being accused of taking EPO, steroids, and blood transfusions, and of leading his teammates into also taking them. All were against the rules in 1998 when he started, and are still against the rules today. It has nothing to do with Tylenol or any of the other nonsense you typed out. But, hey, it’s a free country and you are free to be as wrong as you like.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:08 PM

So, do they have a drug test showing positive for EPO? Steroids? Do they have someone who will swear they gave him or witnessed him having blood transfusions in the periods that would affect one of his TDF wins? Do they have the testimony of one of his teammates and corroboration of a second witness saying he was trying to get them to dope and use transfusions? No? No? No? No?

That’s what I read too. The USADA says they can produce the last thing, but in all the years they’ve been tugging on Lance’s pants, they haven’t managed to come up with a positive test or a single teammate who’ll testify to this, much less corroboration for that testimony.

applebutter on August 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM

lol…since when did the average HA reader ever bother with any background reading?

callingallcomets on August 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM

pffft.

Don’t like here, FOAMOT!

hawkdriver on August 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM

I hope Gregg Lamond does the right thing and turns his in too in support, same with Mercx and Indurain.

Cycling has never been lower since Tom Simpson died on the side of the road.

The evidence consists of not one hard fact or test.

This whole thing goes back to a kurfuffle of three International sports groups and a urine test for EPO in 1999 that came positive, then could not be duplicated in later tests.

The 1999 test was thrown out at the time because of an independent panel set up by the UCI (Cycling Federation) at the demands of the WADA (World Anti-Doping) and the IOC (Olympics) finding a lack of scientific rigor on the part of the French Lab.

The WADA, the International parent of the US-ADA, threw that panels findings out because it did not like the results.

The IOC censured the WADA, and they are still butt-hurt.

It is all eye witnesses. Eye witnesses that are getting a break on their own charges, or people who wrote books and made money on the deal.

He was tested randomly. He was tested after every stage win, or top 10 placement. He was tested every day he wore the Yellow in the TDF. He wears freaking makeup on his arms to cover the tracks he has from being stuck so many times.

Not one positive.

Not one.

Armstrong’s secret is that he trained harder and more effectively than anyone else. He and his trainer Chris Carmichael re-wrote the book on training and nutrition.
This in a time that his primary rival, Jan Ulrich still drank heavy cream to put on fat in the off season and then trained to get rid of it, thinking it turned into muscle!

They refined the “dancing on the pedals” style of 6 time champion Indurian and perfected it, allowing him to beat the more powerful Ulirch and the superlight weight Marco Pantini in the hills.

But now, just like Obama, people want to point at him and say “You didn’t build that!”

Snowblind on August 24, 2012 at 6:57 PM

So, do they have a drug test showing positive for EPO? Steroids?

They have suspicious blood results from 2009 & 2010. The ICU has more specific results, but they refuse to release them because they have a vested interest in covering for Armstrong. Remember, Marion Jones passed 160 blood tests and also was “clean” until the day she confessed.

Do they have someone who will swear they gave him or witnessed him having blood transfusions in the periods that would affect one of his TDF wins?

Yes.

Do they have the testimony of one of his teammates and corroboration of a second witness saying he was trying to get them to dope and use transfusions?

Not just two. Ten teammates and trainers.
Despite his claim of “years” for this investigation, this one only started after the confessions of Floyd Landis (2010) and Tyler Hamilton (2011), both teammates of Armstrong in the early 2000s. Once they started talking, Armstrong’s other teammates came forward as well to provide testimony against Armstrong and the team doctors.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 7:04 PM

One more government agency that shouldn’t exist.

Armstrong never tested positive during his career.

Vindictive and jealous weasels can’t stand it.

The rules must be bent to break him.

profitsbeard on August 24, 2012 at 7:12 PM

What’s next, you want to discuss Julius Caesar or Pablo Picasso? Maybe Britney Spears?

Seems you want to discuss anything except the Armstrong case. Perfect leftist tactic — do anything to distract from the subject at hand.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:49 PM

You @hole, those were example of government intrusion…you are so stupid you can’t make the connection.
These were cases were representatives, high ranking, well thought of congressman and others made claims and fought to have people ousted and condemned without any real evidence except what they trumped up…and you are too stupid to make the connection.

I can’t be any plainer than to give these examples of government overreaching…but, to you they are Pable Picasso or Britney Spears…sorry, thought I was talking to an adult with some reasoning ability…but you are apparently what, maybe 20 years old, not yet having a real job?

Try some history, before showing us how stupid you are…an your links show nothing, since all of what they state has been hashed over years ago…you don’t understand government, law, and apparenly you confuse Murtha with Britney Spears…good grief, how pathetic of an education have you had?

Gee, I wonder how Obama ever got elected???

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

I hope Gregg Lamond does the right thing and turns his in too in support, same with Mercx and Indurain.

It will never happen.

Big Mig was in the Omerta, so maybe. Perico Delgado and the rest of the Spaniards have already sent words of support.

This is a great day for Greg LeMond, by the way. Officially reinstated as the greatest American rider of all times.

Armstrong’s secret is that he trained harder and more effectively than anyone else. He and his trainer Chris Carmichael re-wrote the book on training and nutrition.
This in a time that his primary rival, Jan Ulrich still drank heavy cream to put on fat in the off season and then trained to get rid of it, thinking it turned into muscle!

They refined the “dancing on the pedals” style of 6 time champion Indurian and perfected it, allowing him to beat the more powerful Ulirch and the superlight weight Marco Pantini in the hills.

Snowblind on August 24, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Yes. The cadence. Nutrition. Unprecedented mental resistance. Cumulative marginal improvements.

Dopers always have that type of excuses.

Armstrong’s secret was Dr. Ferrari and the US Postal doping program.

joana on August 24, 2012 at 8:12 PM

This is weird, I didn’t realize the extent of the personality Cult of Lance. The Obama Messiah BS I understand, as it has deep political underpinnings, but Lance? Is the tarnishing of an athletic hero so hard to bear?

He was and is a great athlete, and like many of his contemporaries, did what it took to win. They all did. He prevailed.

But he did do this thing. This many top-tier, former colleagues do not all turn coat out of spite; the jig is up. Just like the steroid era in the MLB.

JurysOut on August 24, 2012 at 8:15 PM

The most important question: why is the US government involved at all? Why do we have a taxpayer funded anti- doping agency? And why does Congress wastes time dealing with MLB, NFL, and apparently cycling issues at all?

If any league cares about doping let them handle it themselves. I don’t want my tax dollars going to pay for people looking for a reason to be busy.

ptcamn on August 24, 2012 at 8:16 PM

First, wth is there an US Anti-Doping Agency? Flipping through the Constitution, I don’t find any provision for a federal or federally-supported agency that should be involved in sports in any way. Not even where drugs are involved. Odd that.

Second, I seem to recall that one of the “doping” complaints is that he took his own blood, stored it, then shot it back in before the race. This would put more oxygen-carrying corpuscles into his bloodstream, making him more efficient. How is this doping? I hardly think you can call it a performance-enhancing drug. But, you know, you just gotta stop it, ’cause … ummm… somebody help me out here?

Third, despite my belief that he probably *has* used PEDs at some point, this truly has been a witch hunt of epic proportions. No one else has ever had this level of scrutiny aimed at them. That alone, makes it un-American, and the guy (Tygart, not Armstrong) should be run out of town on a rail.

GWB on August 24, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Remember, Marion Jones passed 160 blood tests and also was “clean” until the day she confessed.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Actually, from what I recall, she avoided 160 blood tests. (She apparently always had an excuse ready for why she couldn’t do the test right then.) I could be wrong, though.

GWB on August 24, 2012 at 8:46 PM

The most important question: why is the US government involved at all? Why do we have a taxpayer funded anti- doping agency? And why does Congress wastes time dealing with MLB, NFL, and apparently cycling issues at all?

If any league cares about doping let them handle it themselves. I don’t want my tax dollars going to pay for people looking for a reason to be busy.

ptcamn on August 24, 2012 at 8:16 PM

We’re 16 trillion in debt, over spending our budget by over a trillion every year. The USADA looks like an excellent candidate for elimination from next year’s budget-if we actually elect a Republican Senate and have a budget, of course.

talkingpoints on August 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM

What in the hell do we need a gooberment agency for anti -doping? Just another waste of taxpayer money.

natasha333 on August 24, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Joana… He won, so he must be doping. That is what all the losers say.

You have to have proof, not hearsay.

Guys that really use dope, they get caught by the tests eventually.

Every. Single. Time.

Beloki, Basso, Zülle, Ullrich, Kloden. Runners up to the TDF wins by Lance, and they were caught by the tests or raids on the teams that turned up the physical evidence… because they were doping!

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2012/08/24/lance_armstrong_doping_scandal_everyone_was_chating_from_1999_to_2005_.html

Now you, like Slate, want to say that Lance just managed to beat the tests for 10 years of riding the TDF. Because he had special drugs, or some way of masking the drugs in his system, or they were better at hiding the drugs during the raids… or… or…

Or, you can apply logic and say he did not get caught because the simplest answer is he was not doping.

Snowblind on August 24, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Some reading for those who chose to do it. Is the USADA’s summary of the evidence against Armstrong and the USA team’s doctors and trainers.

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/armstrongcharging0613.pdf

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:11 PM

I read it. Here’s what I see throughout:

“use or attempted use”
. . . witnesses are anticipated to testify . . . (my emphasis)
And they want me to believe that much of the Team management was involved, but only Armstrong is guilty enough to be charged.

Really!!??

I guess the USADA never heard of an affidavit. Sworn statements are evidence. Photographs are evidence. Test results are evidence. Saying that an unnamed witness is “expected to testify” is not.

The use of such unsupported claims in a document such as this ought not be accepted as proof of guilt in a civilized society supposedly governed by the rule of law.

I don’t know if Armstrong is guilty or not. The issue here is that nothing has been proven. If we are to continue to be a nation governed by law and not emotion, politics, alliances, or the outcomes we personally want, then we (the average person) ought not accept such unsupported statements from anyone as evidence of guilt.

Tyranny by a non-governmental entity (such as the USADA) is still tyranny. If you doubt me, think of the Homeowner Associations across America that now ban flying the Flag.

EdmundBurke247 on August 24, 2012 at 9:19 PM

right2bright on August 24, 2012 at 7:38 PM

You keep wanting to bring up other cases that have nothing to do with Armstrong. I’m willing to discuss Armstrong’s case in detail and you just want to throw out unrelated cases that have nothing to do with sports or doping. And something about taking Tylenol. Total non-sequiturs. There is no connection between anything you said and whether Lance Armstrong broke the rules by using performance enhancing drugs, despite your delusions to the contrary.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Thanks a lot, USADA: Lance Armstrong faces the loss of his seven Tour de France titles

There are some interesting tidbits to this case. First, the USADA claims to possess samples from 2009 and 2010 that prove he was doping. Second, all the witnesses identified so far have been athletes that have, in fact, been caught doping and claim Armstrong was doing same during his Tour victories. Third, the UCI actually supported Armstrong’s failed legal case. Fourth, the judge in said case expressed doubts about the merits of USADA’s claims. Fifth, federal prosecutors dropped their case earlier this year.

In short, the USADA is using alleged doping samples from 2009 and 2010 coupled with some less than credible witnesses to retroactively strip Armstrong. They are doing so despite the doubts of a judge, the doubts of UCI, and the doubts of federal prosecutors.

I’m not at all sure that the USADA actually has the authority to unilaterally declare that Armstrong is stripped of his titles and banned from pro cycling

Agreed. That is up to the UCI. It will be interesting to see how the other shoe drops.

rukiddingme on August 24, 2012 at 10:41 PM

The arbitration was to be a kangaroo court, no disclosure of the witnesses or any physical evidence to his legal team and the arbiters selected by the USADA. Unfortunately, it is not a court of law, even in the US. No depositions, no disclosure of documents or physical evidence.

Armstrong filed suit in court making the same claims you do and the court flatly rejected all of them, saying that Armstrong completely misrepresented the arbitration process in his filing.

Armstrong had previously signed an agreement when he raced saying that any such case would go to binding arbitration. Maybe he shouldn’t have signed that?

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 10:51 PM

econd, all the witnesses identified so far have been athletes that have, in fact, been caught doping and claim Armstrong was doing same during his Tour victories.

Several of the identified witnesses have never been even accused of doping let alone caught.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Several of the identified witnesses have never been even accused of doping let alone caught.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 10:52 PM

The only identified witnesses I am aware of are Landis and Hamilton.

If you have a link that identifies others, I’d be much obliged.

rukiddingme on August 24, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Sorry, you are just flat out wrong. He’s being accused of taking EPO, steroids, and blood transfusions, and of leading his teammates into also taking them. All were against the rules in 1998 when he started, and are still against the rules today. It has nothing to do with Tylenol or any of the other nonsense you typed out. But, hey, it’s a free country and you are free to be as wrong as you like.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 6:08 PM
Some things are just plain funny, and this is one of them
” He’s being accused of taking EPO, steroids, and blood transfusions,”
He is? “being accused of”? and what did the tests show? If the tests did not show it then he didn’t do it. If they did show it, why wasn’t he disqualified at the time?

I don’t think it is illegal to be accused of something. If you are stopped under suspicion of driving under influence, they give you a test. They did this to Armstrong, he passed the test. End of mystery. But as you said, hey, it’s a free country, you may continue to be wrong without any penalty.

Redteam on August 25, 2012 at 12:22 AM

AngusMc? Question for you. Do you believe in ‘innocent until proven guilty? Well, as you well know, there is absolutely no evidence that Armstrong violated any rule. He submitted to every required test and passed 100% of them. No test ever showed he violated any substance rule. At least find something to argue on, right now you have zip.

Redteam on August 25, 2012 at 12:27 AM

Finally this drug cheat is being seen for what he truly is – a cheat.

bileduct on August 25, 2012 at 1:29 AM

I suggest a purchase might be a way to show support for Lance and donate to his cancer survivor foundation at the same time.

jclittlep on August 24, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Nope. As much as I think Lance was railroaded, he’s a liberal, and a dollar given to him is apt to go to Planned Parenthood.

unclesmrgol on August 25, 2012 at 1:44 AM

He passed all the drug tests yet found guilty of using drugs so why use the testing at all? Sounds like the same mentality used on Sara Palin. Lets look at the other side of the coin. We have a President that was not tested at all by Congress, oh but that’s a different story.

mixplix on August 25, 2012 at 2:39 AM

He passed all the drug tests yet found guilty of using drugs so why use the testing at all?

mixplix on August 25, 2012 at 2:39 AM

True. Another analogy would be a witch trial. Tie weights to him and bind his arms and legs, then throw him in the water. If he floats, he was doping. If he drowns, he’s a champion.

Zooid on August 25, 2012 at 3:55 AM

tax money and government resources have no business being used in any manner in professional sports. they need to police themselves. period.

mittens on August 25, 2012 at 7:10 AM

Several of the identified witnesses have never been even accused of doping let alone caught.

AngusMc on August 24, 2012 at 10:52 PM

What identified witnesses? The document you link has NO identified witnesses. You must be a neophyte when it comes to how the legal system works. The statements in that document are simply claims of the prosecution. They carry no weight. They are meaningless in deciding guilt or innocence. That Tygart has them printed out doesn’t make them true.

I personally concur with Armstrong’s decision. It’s pointless to waste time and money for a hearing in a Kangaroo Court run by fascist bureaucrats.

Tygart is a vindictive SOB pursuing glory and power. You’re a fool to be encouraging his poisonous obsession.

rcl on August 25, 2012 at 7:42 AM

lol…since when did the average HA reader ever bother with any background reading?

callingallcomets on August 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Since when has Congress read their own bills, let alone the Constitution?

racquetballer on August 25, 2012 at 8:05 AM

MUGGED

That’s how I feel every time Ann Coulter pops up just so I can start to browse HotAir.

MUGGED

LSUtigers on August 25, 2012 at 8:11 AM

Does this really matter?

He rides a bike. A bike! LOL

Our problems won’t be solved by someone in spandex.

LSUtigers on August 25, 2012 at 8:21 AM

When I was reading this hit-piece, I was thinking about Shirley Sherrod. Is this political? Well, the truth will surface in time. Who knows, just maybe Armstrong was on the verge of endorsing Romney.

jjnco73 on August 25, 2012 at 9:37 AM

The statute of limitations has run out on this accusation, even if it’s true and provable at some point in the future. Nobody should have to fight accusations his whole life when proof can’t be provided in a timely manner by his accusers.

If he used something the rules didn’t cover, then change the rules for later races. Retroactive prohibitions are never a good idea, it poisons the integrity of justice.

If they find proof later put an asterisk in the record books, change the rules and testing procedures for later races, and move on. The institutions should bear the cost of their own incompetence, not the individuals they have jurisdiction over. Otherwise at some point the institution becomes more of a hindrance to the activity than an aid. USADA is well past that point.

Socratease on August 24, 2012 at 2:24 PM

I agree. Go by the rules set down. Even if he is found to have cheated too long after the fact, this is a waste of time & $$.
And these people close to him coming out so long after the fact?
Well they should have spoken up earlier.
I don’t care if he’s guilty or not.
This is ridiculous.
If the statute of limitations already set down previously has expired for most of these possible offenses, then it needs to be left alone.

Badger40 on August 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Does this really matter?

He rides a bike. A bike! LOL

Our problems won’t be solved by someone in spandex.

LSUtigers on August 25, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Stuff like this does when the organization doing the investigations is partially tax payer funded.

Badger40 on August 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I don’t like the ‘he said, she said’ alleged testimony of other bikers. Bottom line – Armstrong was tested over and over again with absolutely no drugs shown in his system. Whether you like the man or not, there is not a shred of medical testing to reflect he was using drugs. I also believe this is a witchhunt. Armstrong won his medals – with help from his teammates. The USADA should be ashamed.

johnsons3 on August 25, 2012 at 10:51 AM

1. I don’t believe Armstrong is completely innocent

2. I don’t believe that Armstrong is/was the only one “doping”
-There would not be daily blood tests for cyclists if the wasn’t real concern

So if Armstrong’s title’s get stripped are they going to award it to the guy in second place? who is just as guilty or innocent as Armstrong

With the standards that the dopey agency is making up as they go along, er, trying to enforce I think that Gen George Smith Patton, Jr was the last man to win the tour with out a shadow of PED abuse.

dutch love on August 25, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Does this really matter?

He rides a bike. A bike! LOL

Our problems won’t be solved by someone in spandex.

LSUtigers

I agree with you, IF your point is that why are tax dollars being wasted on something that will not correct this country’s course.

However, if you’re dissing cycling I suggest you try make it down to the end of the block at my pace. Alternatively, I suggest you try to ride 75 to 100 miles in your floppy cutoffs and OP tank top.

8thAirForce on August 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

And I suggest you try to haul in as many yellowfin as I can in a 3-5 hour span.

Wearing spandex and creating traffic hazards isn’t as popular in “Sportsman’s Paridise” as it may be wherever you are at.

In the grand scheme of things, men wearing spandex while riding bikes is not that valuable to our society.

LSUtigers on August 25, 2012 at 3:31 PM

*paradise

LSUtigers on August 25, 2012 at 3:36 PM

@ AngusMc

Since you vigorously argue for guilt by accusation, but did not respond to my refutation of your last offer of evidence, here’s the judges actually take on matter per the Washington Post – “In his decision last week, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks declined to intervene in USADA’s case against Armstrong because to do so would “turn federal judges into referees for a game in which they have no place, and about which they know little.” But in the next breath Sparks expressed an opinion on certain matters he does know about. “The deficiency of USADA’s charging document is of serious constitutional concern.” (my emphasis)

Guess an objective judge doesn’t think much about the USADA’s position.

EdmundBurke247 on August 25, 2012 at 4:14 PM

The left actually hate people that are batter than others. They seem to think that if there was no cheating everyone would have exactly the same results so to them winning is proof of cheating. This also explains their election strategies.

Slowburn on August 25, 2012 at 11:53 PM

oops
batter = better

Slowburn on August 26, 2012 at 6:49 AM

I believe Mr. Armstrong.
He has been tested over and over again, and NOT one test has come back postitive.
What another govt joke of a program…

mmcnamer1 on August 26, 2012 at 9:50 AM

We’re 16 trillion in debt, over spending our budget by over a trillion every year. The USADA looks like an excellent candidate for elimination from next year’s budget-if we actually elect a Republican Senate and have a budget, of course.

talkingpoints on August 24, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Government drug testing of athletes: Necessary function to keep a level playing field in competitive sports

Government drug testing of welfare recipients: Invasive, First Amendment violation.

BobMbx on August 26, 2012 at 5:08 PM

From his first TDF victory the French press were sneaking in his trash cans looking for evidence, After he won #1 the noise from the French got much louder. Yet with all of the innuendos and testing Lance never got caught. Before they developed a test for EPO the UCI was banning riders if their blood counts were too high. Thats how they got Marco Pantani. Yet Lance’s blood counts never were in violation and he was never so much as warned. If his blood counts were high and not too high the French would have splashed it all over page one. I can understand his frustration.

iam7545r on August 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM

I’m curious if you’re going to do a follow-up piece to this now that the USADA has released all of its evidence. It certainly looks bad for Armstrong and I know it must be painful for you as a big fan of the sport.

Spacen on October 17, 2012 at 4:59 PM

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