Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lance: The Facts

When news broke yesterday that the USADA was set to file new charges against Lance Armstrong and a host of others for doping-related offenses, the media spin led everyone to believe that the USADA in some way had the power to ban LA from the sport of triathlon. This obviously is not correct, as they really don't have that kind of power. So who is imposing the ban?

That would be the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), owners of the Ironman brand and its affiliated events. The WTC had signed a deal with Lance to race in 6 of its events. As of today, he's raced in 5 Ironman 70.3 events, winning the Florida 70.3 and finishing second in Panama (his first) and Hawaii. Lance was slated to race Ironman France next weekend and it was generally accepted he would compete in the Ironman World Championships in Kona in October. So infatuated with Lance was Ironman that their website included a tab for "Lance Armstrong." All eyes were fixed on Lance, his training, his races, and he had, in a few short months, brought more visibility to the sport than all the athletes of the last decade combined.

But as soon as the news of the doping charges was announced, quickly took down their "Lance" tab, and it's their rules - not the USADA's - that are keeping Lance from competing. According to the WTC, any athlete who is under investigation for doping is ineligible to compete in WTC events.

In other words, Lance could compete in other triathlons - just not ones owned by WTC.

No word yet on whether the USADA will proceed with their case. They have merely sent notice to Lance, his team manager Johan Bruyneel, controversial doc Michele Ferrari, and a few others to let them know that they feel they have enough evidence to move forward with their case. You can read the full USADA letter here.

Lance has received mixed reactions from the professional triathlete community. Many feel he's a disruption and not an ambassador for the sport, and that his intentions are self-serving. Others have welcomed the challenge to take on and beat one of the best athletes of all time. Their reactions to this news have also been mixed, but there are a few supporters who just want to see Lance race, and question the WTC's "guilty until proven innocent" stance. 


Dart said...

In my humble opinion, it's a pile of horse shit what is happening to Lance. I want to see him race, and so does everybody else. I wish those sucking off his nipples for a job would lay the F off & let him live his life & compete like the true athlete he is and is yet becoming.

RM said...

So does this guy. And a lot of other people, including USA Triathlon, which says he is not banned from their races.

In other news, WTC was supposed to hold a press conference at 11am today to address the subject but backed out of it.

RM said...

But wait! There's more!

Lance may not be totally banned even by WTC just yet...

RM said...

This guy seems pretty angry

Dart said...

I blame the French. The French hate Lance. Lance is not invisible... not yet at least. Whatever. He'll live & keep fighting.