One of the greatest sports icons in history was brought down and disgraced by the United States anti doping agency. The long fight between Lance Armstrong and the USADA about doping has been going on for more than 10 years. Armstrong finally gave up the fight, he said he’s had enough and quit fighting. Armstrong said he quit because there was no way he was going to get a fair hearing the way the case was going. Does this mean he is guilty?
On August 21, district judge Sam Sparks ruled that the court did not have jurisdiction in the case and said that "the appearance of a conflict on the part of both organizations creates doubt the charges against Armstrong would receive fair consideration in either forum." But that doesn't mean federal courts should intervene, these matters should be resolved internally, by the parties most affected." Sparks also said, "If these bodies wish to damage the image of their sport through bitter infighting, they will have to do so without the involvement of the United States courts,"
What are the allegations against Armstrong? The USADA has charged Armstrong with using, possessing, trafficking, and getting others to use performance enhancing drugs, along with covering up his own doping.
What physical evidence is there? Armstrong has taken between 500 and 600 blood, urine and other body fluid tests over the past 20 years, many of them random, and has never tested positive for any banned substances or blood doping. Some of the allegations are over 17 years old, even though the USADA itself has an 8 year limit on investigating alleged infractions. In February the Justice department, who had called witnesses before a federal grand jury, dropped the investigation saying they did not have enough evidence to file charges against Armstrong.
What evidence does the USADA have? The International Cycling Union which has fought the USADA the whole time on the charges say that they have jurisdiction in this issue. The USADA says they have jurisdiction and that they have 10 former teammates that said that Lance did participate in blood doping.
What is blood doping? Blood doping is defined by the WADA as removing 2 units of blood from the athlete a couple of weeks before the competition and freezing if, then thawing it just before the competition and putting it back into the athlete. What this does is increase your red blood cells by allowing your body to replace an amount of your blood in the time that the blood is out of your body, then when the blood is put back into your body, it kind of supercharges your blood.
What happens now? The USADA wants to strip the 7 wins from his record and all his other accomplishments in cycling. They don’t have any power to do anything now, they need to convince the Amaury Sport Organization, that runs the Tour De France that they should make the records say that Lance Armstrong never existed. Until they hear the case from the USADA, Lance still has his wins.
What is Lance going to do now? When Lance was asked why he quit fighting the allegations he said “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.”
2 days after he gave up fighting the charges, he rode in a mountain bike race in Aspen Co. where Armstrong finished 2nd. After the race when asked about the case, he said, “Nobody needs to cry for me; I’m going to be great,” “I have five great kids and a wonderful lady in my life. My foundation is unaffected by all the noise out there.” It appears that he is going to take his focus off fighting the USADA and focus on his foundation that has raise over $500,000 to fight cancer.
I have always been impressed with the accomplishments of Lance Armstrong's cycling. Then getting and beating testicular cancer and starting a foundation that is researching and helping people fight cancer. It does seem that there are parts of this case that we will likely never know, and that there are as Armstrong says, people who are determined to get him. I think the most important question in this case is, what is the point of having all the drug and doping testing, if you pass all the tests, and they still keep coming after you saying you are cheating?