I was never much of an Armstrong fan. The height of my admiration was in 2009 when Armstrong unretired and rode with the new team he was promoting. And while he didnt win, he still finished 3rd.
We like our sports heroes likeable, and Armstrong, like Tiger Woods, was never likeable.
What the USADA is doing bothers me. I've been trying to put my finger on exactly why it does. Here's why.
1. As he says, Armstrong never tested positive for drug use. He was tested under the rules and not caught. Isn't that enough? Doesn't that indicate compliance sufficient to put an end to suspicions?
2. Shouldn't there be a statute of limitations for this kind of thing? Is it like murder with no statute of limitations,, where they can strip someone's medals after ten or twenty years?
3. Isn't the USADA changing the rules? I mean, you go through the hoops and they keep coming back with more hoops? If new drug tests are discovered that require bodily tissues, will athletes be exhumed from the grave? Come on!
4. These charges are said to be based on the testimony of 10 cyclists. Among whom are Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, who at one time were Armstrong teammates. Those two have repeatedly lied in the most flagrant fashion and their credibility on anything is zero to negative. Probably other Armstrong teammates like Frankie Landrieu testified too; Frankie, George Hincapie, Levi and so on are more credible.
5. What is the point of all this? To achieve justice? To set the record straight? Well heck, if a title of 10-12 years ago is taken from Armstrong and awarded to whoever finished second, what confidence do we have that they did not dope or receive transfused blood? What about the other Tour de France champions? What confidence do we have that they raced "clean"? I'll tell you: zero. That person was not subjected to the same prolonged critical examination and second guessing that Armstrong has.
6. The Olympics begin soon. Wonder how many Olympic champions and finalists doped? If the USADA goes after Armstrong to purify the record, shouldn't all winners in every sport for at least the last 50 years be looked at? Should every sports book be rewritten? Or is it best to just let the past alone?
7. Part of this, the USADA would probably say, is because Armstrong continues to compete, in Iron Man competition. (Remember that he began competing as a swimmer when he was a teenager and then did triathlons until concentrating on the bicycle, and that he has done marathons too, all quite competitively even at the age of 40.) Armstrong is probably not doping now. Why end the career of a most remarkable edurance athlete over matters that others have never been brought to task over?
8. Finally, in a sport that is the toughest in the world, where athletes will take anything in order to survive the ordeal competitively, where undoubtedly most dope, where the race is between athletes who do what they must to be competitive and give a good show, why do this?
9. IF YOU watch or read Les Miserables, who do you root for? Do the folks at the USADA pull for the obsessive policeman?http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/othersports/lance-armstrong-faces-fresh-doping-charges-from-usada/2012/06/13/gJQAefnPaV_story.html?wprss&google_editors_picks=true