If my memory serves me correct, I think I’ve only written one piece on the case against Lance Armstrong and his alleged use of PED’s. Those who read my blog, and know my stand on the use of illegal performance-enhancing substances (and why I have that stance), are probably wondering why I have not taken up this topic more often.
It was back in 2010 when I first wrote a piece on the government movement toward investigating Lance and I left that piece with the comment that I hoped he was vindicated as sports “heroes” were sure in short supply these days.
Well…for so long there really hasn’t been enough information (evidence) out there that would give strong indication as to whether Lance was guilty or not. Much of it, at least that I found, was haphazard and seemed circumstantial. It really has been a back and forth battle between accusations from one side that he is guilty, and from the opposite, his claims that he has never failed a drug test, inferring his innocence.
However, that may have changed as the USADA stripped Lance of his seven Tour de France titles after Armstrong decides “enough is enough.”
Yet, I am not one to use that decision (Lance’s) as any form of criteria to condemn the man as a user, and thus a loser. This is regardless of the claims from some that his refusal to fight the USADA charges is indication that he is guilty, even though he has claimed for so long his innocence and it is certainly out of character for him.
Still…it just wasn’t enough for me, not even close. So what I did was start to look for more information as to what the USADA just might have on him. Recently, I came across this piece from the Los Angeles Times, USADA explains decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his titles, which had a conglomerate of interesting information regarding the case.
In addition, and even more importantly, I came across an interview of a real expert (not just a reporter’s researched report) here. The expert’s name is Dr. Michael, an exercise physiologist who participated “in the development of an EPO test for the Sydney Olympic Games.” Someone who has a history of being involved in the battle against blood doping and has direct, firsthand knowledge of the testing done on Armstrong back from the 1999 Tour, and the results of the re-test of those samples in 2005.
And let me tell you, this is one good read, albeit a little technical.
In combination, these two pieces give a pretty good picture of the likelihood of what was going on and what evidence (at least some of it) the USADA has on Armstrong.
From my perspective, there is a good deal of solid information in both of these pieces, especially the second. However, there are two, what I believe to be, important aspects that really stood out for me, one in each piece:
- The cited 12 eyewitnesses willing to "testify and provide evidence about their first-hand experience and/or knowledge of the doping activity" with no advantage to them (that I have seen) for doing so.
- Having "87 usable samples" that were re-tested from the 1999 Tour where “13” of them were found to have “positives" and "6”of those positives were Lance Armstrong's.
In anyone’s book, that sure seems like some pretty solid evidence of use. In fact it dovetails right along with the current issue where, years later, better, more reliable tests become available allowing for reevaluation of older samples that were previously thought to have been negative, but now come up positive for illegal PED use.
I am not sure I would be willing to come out and say that the information presented above (evidence that is revealed in the two linked pieces) is absolute in showing Armstrong’s guilt, but…it sure seems damning.
Anyone else have further thoughts on this???