Lance Armstrong and Livestrong Will Prevail
Lance Armstrong raised the white flag last week. On August 23, 2012 Lance Armstrong released a statement that he will stop fighting allegations that he used banned substances during his stellar career. After Armstrong’s announcement, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it would ban the cyclist for life and recommend he be stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles.
But why? It always seemed like a witch hunt by the US Anti-Doping Agency, which is a quasi-public, tax payer funded group started by the US Olympic committee a few years back. The USADA has been relentless in its pursuit of Armstrong…even after he passed over 500 tests of blood and urine.
If you take personalities out of the equation, you’re left with pee in a cup and blood in a syringe. Armstrong never failed a drug test. He was tested in competition, out of competition. He was tested at the Olympics, at the Tour de France, at dozens if not hundreds of other events. And he never failed a test.
So the USADA gathered a group of people who swear they saw Armstrong doping. There has been no trial, no due process, but in the minds of many, that testimony outweighs the results of hundreds of drug tests.
People lie. Blood and urine usually don’t. And if they do, they don’t lie 500 times. People do. Some lie that many times in a week. But okay. Let’s assume these people really are witnesses, let’s assume they’re telling the truth, and then let’s assume that their testimony is the new standard, outweighing all drug test results.
If that’s the case, the USADA has just gave us reason to shut down their funding. If testing is not needed, the USADA is not needed. Heck, a couple of private investigators ought to be able to round-up enough testimony to put any “suspected” athlete out of the game.
Armstrong, by giving up his fight with the USADA, may have exposed the USADA’s ulterior motives which may ultimately result in a moral victory for Armstrong.
Clearly, striping Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour titles is harsh. But something tells me that the man whose chances of surviving cancer were in the single digits will survive whatever the next few weeks bring. Having raised over $500 million for cancer research via his foundation and Livestrong says more about the man than the USADA’s apparent zealousness for smearing his name. Armstrong, the man and the brand, will survive.