Saturday, August 25, 2012

Government Overreach, Cycling Edition

Armstrong training ride, Rocky Mountains, Colorado.
The USADA, an unaccountable government bureaucracy, has declared cyclist Lance Armstrong a doper. They do so without ever having held a hearing, without a positive drug screen to point to, with nothing, really, then what they claim would be the testimony of other cyclists, if such cyclists had to testify.

Here in the United States we have this quaint tradition of innocence presumed until proven guilty. Now not everyone the state fails to prove guilty is innocent, but our tradition is that the onus is on the state, acting on behalf of the people, to prove their allegations before taking action.

The question of whether or not cancer survivor and elite distance athlete Lance Armstrong has used performance enhancing substances is not new to the world. People, usually French press, French fans and the occasional French magistrate, have been alleging there must be some reason this rider has been so strong, and in their wistful, whimsical way dismiss the tremendous natural ability he possessed, which was magnified by his burning desire to succeed and willingness to put himself through a tremendous amount of physical pain, and to do it over and over again. If you are French, it is easier to simply allege he took unfair advantage. Thus, they have pressed and pushed to protect their national sport from interlopers from across the sea. To that end, Mr. Armstrong has been scrutinized more intensely then any other rider. Over 500 tests were taken. Urine tests. Blood tests. Tests after stage wins. Random tests throughout the race season. Random tests through the off season. Random tests through the preseason training period. Throughout it all he has obliged the governing bodies of cycling, making himself available and producing sample after sample, all of which were tested, and through the twenty years he was competing they consistently showed no evidence of illegal drug use.

No matter.
''Any time we have overwhelming proof of doping, our mandate is to initiate the case through the process and see it to conclusion as was done in this case,'' said USADA chief executive Travis Tygart.
What a bonehead.


  1. Absolutely a scandal--US idiots trying to appease European idiots. If they had one positive drug test over all the years he competed, they would have DQ'd him in a heartbeat. What they have is some hearsay tendered by two people that were getting squeezed for their own suspected violations. Heavy stuff!

    I say let someone take an also-ran on the tour and engineer them into a seven-time consecutive champion. In a sport where individual and group cheating is a feature, not a bug (like using your tire pump as a weapon and organized blocking and sabotage)increasing your red cell count (what they suspect) is hardly worth talking about. Especially when almost everyone in the top ten has been linked to doing the same thing.

    Screw everyone here just thinkin he must be guilty because somebody made an accusation. Some people get off on heroes being shown to have feet of clay. And some just have seen it so many times before they don't even bother to give anyone even a second of the benefit of a doubt now. Shame.

    Travis Tygart iis a petty little tyrant making a name for himself at the expense of Armstrong.
    He should be emptying trash cans at a fast food place. Seven consecutive times, each race 2300 miles over 23 days--two stages up mountains, his last win after cancer (and three surgeries, two on his brain, and four separate bouts of chemo.) Amazing. I shouldn't have to mention that he still has cancer. That's how it works.
    I'd stop fighting a rigged game too. Not worth it, emotionally or financially.

  2. Absolutely. Well said. Tygart... I have nothing but scorn and utter contempt for him, the little twerp.