I hate this sort of stuff…
Why can’t someone just frickin’ figure out if Lance Armstrong has been using performance-enhancing drugs?
I mean, how many times can we have this conversation?
The Washington Post reports on the latest development:
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency brought formal doping charges against former cyclist Lance Armstrong in an action that could cost him his seven Tour de France titles, according to a letter sent to Armstrong and several others Tuesday.
As a result of the charges, Armstrong has been immediately banned from competition in triathlons, a sport he took up after his retirement from cycling in 2011.
In February, an investigation into Armstrong’s use of performance-enhancing drugs was concluded without bringing charges.
Despite the fact that Armstrong claims 25 years of competing (with no spikes or major changes in performance), as well as over 500 drug tests that have come out clean, there are still questions.
The USADA wrote a letter on June 12 that alleges a massive conspiracy to cover up Armstrong’s doping.
…three doctors including Italian physician Michele Ferrari, one trainer and team manager Johan Bruyneel— engaged in a massive doping conspiracy from 1998 to 2011, and that “the witnesses to the conduct described in this letter include more than ten (10) cyclists . . .”
The USADA also cites a Swiss doctor, Martial Saugy, found evidence of doping in a 2001 blood test. But the story isn’t so simple. The Post elaborates:
Saugy told The Post last year that Armstrong’s sample was merely “suspicious,” a designation that meant it could not be called positive. Further analysis with modern methods might bring clarity, Saugy said, but the sample no longer exists.
“We did not do the additional analysis. It will never be sufficient to say, in fact, it was positive,” Saugy said in an interview with The Post. “I will never go in front of a court with that type of thing.”
The question is this: At some point does the pursuit of Armstrong become harassment?
Or does athletic dominance like this simply not happen naturally?
Could a conspiracy of this size and duration (including 500 drug tests) possibly exist?
Why does Lance Armstrong matter so much to us?
For me, it seems we want to believe in the dream: That a man could survive cancer—that spread to his lungs and brain, of all places—and go on to become a hero. We want to believe that there are superheroes among us.
Of course, we also know that Armstrong isn’t perfect in his private life. He’s divorced from the mother of his children. He was engaged to Sheryl Crow and they broke up… He now has two other children from his current relationship.
But all of that seems somewhat par for the course for a celebrity, and certainly doesn’t qualify his as “bad” man…
What do you think?
AP Photo/ Reed Saxon