Thursday, June 14, 2012
The USADA vs. Lance
If you have any interest in the professional side of cycling I'm sure you've already heard that the USADA (United States Anti Doping Association) has filed formal charges against Lance Armstrong along with several other people within the US Postal/Discovery cycling teams. Including, but not limited too, the Director Sportif Johan Bruyneel. The fact that this has happened shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that's been following the Lance saga for any length of time. Once the doors had been quickly closed on the Federal investigation. The USADA had said that they were going to pick up the case and pursue it on their own.
They sent out this letter to Lance, Johan several other people being charged as well as the authorities within the triathlon world (Lance has been suspended from competition, pending the investigation.). The long and short of it is they are charging all of them with use, encouragement of use and distribution of illegal performance enhancing substances.
Again, for anyone that's been paying attention for a while none of these things are new. And while as always Lance is a polarizing figure. It seems to be a very black and white issue for a lot of people (Lance included.). You're either for him or against him.
But like almost all things its not that simple when you really start to look at it. Let me explain...
So lets say the USADA goes after Lance with guns a blazing and Lance fires back (Like he's already starting to do.) and it ends up in court. Which I'm sure it will. The USADA has never lost a doping case. But neither has Lance. Mr. Teflon hasn't had one thing stick. When everyone else around him that has been accused has fallen. I'm sure the battle will be epic!
But to what avail? What good is that really going to do?
What if they take Lance down and revoke all the tours that are still eligible (I believe the statute of limitations has run out on all but the 2004 and 2005 wins.) to be taken back? Who would they give the win to? You would be hard pressed to find someone there that wasn't straight up busted or heavily implicated in a doping scandal already. I'm sure, and lets be frank, the first couple of guys that are on those lists that are "clean" just never got caught.
I know I sound jaded and I'm sure I am. But when you really look at the numbers what difference would it make? Aside from saving the triathlon world from getting a black eye like us, I can't think of one...
In my mind taking the information from convicted dopers that are cooperating with the authorities, like Floyd and Tyler, and trying to improve the policing of the sport right now would be a far better use of resources and man power.
I think that's probably the most realistic and effective thing that could be done at this point in the game.
If you were to look at the system as a whole I think you'd find problems on every level that would make any wider attempt at cleaning up the sport very difficult. Professional cycling as a whole is an unmitigated mess. There are agencies doing the exact same thing with varying effectiveness. That supposedly have the same authority depending on where the incident occurred or where the athlete is from. You've got various countries (Spain *cough*) that will go to almost any point not to convict their hero's. Come to think of it, America should be tossed into that group too... You've got the UCI who seems to think it's fine to do what ever they want whenever they want. You've the ASO in charge of most of the races that really matter. Trying to control the money and who gets invited to the show with an iron fist. You've got one of the most useless Unions (The cycling union.) in all of professional sport. All these things contribute to the bureaucracy.
So lets look at the past, learn from it, attempt correct the problems and move on.
At least that's my opinion....
Rubber side down,
Posted by Big E at 5:20 PM