Lance Armstrong-Guilty or Giving Up?
I guess it could be both. Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, a jurisdiction I didn't know they had control over. The USADA's chief executive, Travis Tygart said that Armstrong would also receive a lifetime ban.
The International Cycling Union, which backed Armstrong's legal challenge to USADA authority is yet to be heard from. Armstrong's attorney fired off a 2 page letter to Tygart's office yesterday (Aug.23/12), excerpts of which you can read by clicking here.
Armstrong declined to enter the USADA's arbitration process, a final option for the athlete, saying he was weary of the accusations. He has pointed to the hundreds of drug tests he says he has passed. He said, “There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say “Enough is enough”. For me, that time is now. Over the past 3 years I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.”
Tygart and the USADA took Armstrong's statement as an admission of guilt with Tygart adding, “There's no success in cheating to win.”
USADA evidence included emails written by Floyd Landis, a former teammate stripped of his '06 Tour de France title after a positive drug test, and up to 10 teammates they say were ready to testify against Armstrong about a complex doping system on their team.
Armstrong, who retired last year, sued the USADA in an attempt to block the case. A judge tossed out his law suit Monday and it is Armstrong's refusal to appeal that led to today's news.
The last guy one would think would give up a fight is Lance Armstrong. But can we take this as an admission of guilt? We cannot. There has always been something unsettling about the cycling champ but these are some formidable foes who were singular in their efforts to make an example of him.
When it comes to doping, is cycling clean? Doubtful. Is baseball, football, hockey, the Olympics? Again, doubtful. Even if they are, (and that's a stretch) most of us believe that they are enhancing, and that's the worst. It speaks to the high-risk/high-reward of top level sports.
All we really know is that a lot of high-level people made a gargantuan effort in pursuing this one man and suddenly, he just stopped fighting back. Interesting. LEAVE COMMENTS.
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