Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lance Armstrong BANNED From Triathlon

UPDATED: Read Dan Empfield's (of Slowtwitch) very reasonable opinion on the matter

UPDATED: Read Lance's response to the new USADA charges

In Lance Armstrong's quarter of a century of competing at the highest level of sport, he has battled through his fair share of accusations. How could it be possible that a guy who was on his death bed in 1997 come back to win the world's hardest bike race 7 times in a row less than two years later?

Breaking news from The Washington Post indicates that the United States Anti-Doping Agency has filed new charges against Mr. Armstrong, and effective immediately, he has been banned from the entire sport of triathlon, including Ironman France, which he was scheduled to race in just over a week.

While it's unclear what kind of long-term effect this will have on his ability to race triathlons, but, it would appear that he will likely be barred from competing at the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii in October.

Regardless of your opinion - because that's all any of us has, as none of us has a sample of his blood from years ago to test ourselves - the guy has done some pretty amazing things.

I'm inclined to believe that any and every professional cyclist in the European peloton up to and including 2010 was doping in some capacity. If this includes Lance, so be it. That means he still worked harder than everyone else, committed himself to being the best prepared and cultivating the best team around him to win one race seven times straight. The amount of discipline, dedication, and good fortune is unbelievable.

Lance's case for himself, though, is still pretty solid. He's been competing, scratch that - winning - since he was a kid, and continued through his twenties, thirties, and now, in his early 40s, looks to be a true threat to win the Ironman World Championship.

Is it time we just give the guy a break? Some say no, and they feel that despite his contributions to society, including his oft-criticized Livestrong Foundation, are not enough to exempt him from alleged doping.

I don't think Lance and I would be best friends, but I do have immense respect for him as an athlete and competitor. If Lance wants to win, he will. I say it's time that the government stops wasting their time and tax-paying dollars chasing around one person who may have used performance-enhancing drugs years ago, and find a more productive use of their time.


Dan said...

I don't understand what's changed. There is no new evidence, and its the same testimony from the same people that the Justice Department didn't pursue.

We're never going to know if Armstrong doped or not. I think they just need to give it a rest...

I don't fully understand why he has been barred from competing in triathlons though, he hasn't been convicted of anything.

Ben said...

The USADA is going after Armstrong because he makes them look bad. Nobody took the FBI seriously until they caught Capone - and nobody will take the USADA seriously until they catch the champion of the doper era.

The chemists/doctors will always be ahead of the drug agencies. If we don't allow drug agencies to prosecute people after they are retired then many simply won't get caught.

Johnnie Cochran said...

USADA outlined new allegations against Armstrong, saying it collected blood samples from him in 2009 and 2010 that were “fully consistent with blood ma­nipu­la­tion including EPO use and/or blood transfusions.”

USADA feels these samples will survive scrutiny. I think this is lights out for Lance.

alyssa said...

In the meantime he should race Rev3 Cedar Point so we can all find out what he'd do in an IM....

Andy said...

He should bandit Kona like a boss.

RM said...

I promise I will bandit #KONA2012

Ben said...

Ryan just confused a couple million white kids who think they know something about Africa.