The different realities to the Armstrong doping charges
I won’t bother you with another post outlining USADA’s charges against Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, Dr. Michele Ferrari, Pedro Celaya, Luis del Moral, and Pepe Marti. If you read any cycling news site there are several articles about the hot topic. But here are a few things I found interesting.
Armstrong in a recent interview with Men’s Journal said he was done fighting the charges and he’d surrender his Tour de France wins. That sounded like talk from a man who was tired of it all and willing to move on. In fact he said he wouldn’t even bother to change people’s minds about it. However that’s not the case.
Armstrong just last week sent the @UCI_Overlord, one of the publishers/creators of the cycling site Cyclimas.com, a direct message through Twitter,
“dude, you fellas need to get over it. Starting to look pathetic.”
Not exactly the words from a man that is willing to let it go.
And no sooner had the Washington Post released the USADA charges a response was issued from Armstrong stating the same points he has in the past: most tested athlete, motivated by spite, vendetta, etc… Again, this is sounding like a man suiting up to fight the charges.
If these charges are true the weight of this lie on Armstrong must be enormous and I wonder how he keeps it together. My thought is Armstrong, the self-proclaimed most tested athlete in the world, keeps it straight in his mind because he doesn’t believe he cheated. His thinking is, ‘I competed within the parameters of legality and didn’t get caught, so I haven’t cheated.’
We also know now how easy it is to beat the testing. Something as simple as drinking a lot of water to micro-dosing EPO beat the system. Ex-BMC rider Thomas Frei explained how he beat the system by drinking a liter of water.
And let’s be real – he wasn’t the only guy sticking a needle into an appendage. During the late 90s to early 2000s doping was almost an institutionalized method of training.
I was also disappointed by some of the younger professional cyclists, as well as a comments from others, that stated we need to move on and let it go because these are old charges. The Washington Post article, just three paragraphs in, states that USADA has collected blood samples, “fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions” from 2009 and 2010. That’s very recent. I wonder if the people who want to “let it go” are in a state of denial, didn’t really read the article or read it and ignored a fact that ruined their version of their Armstrong reality?
This drama will continue to unfold. It will now go to arbitration (to my knowledge no firm date has been set, just that it will occur before November). No matter how long this process takes it needs to happen and I honestly think that in the long-term the sport will be better for it.