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Lance Armstrong and the Science of Drug Testing 482

Posted by Soulskill
from the justice-versus-character-assassination dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "As the media reports that seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong says he will no longer fight doping charges from the US Anti-Doping Agency, which will strip him of his titles and ban him from competitive cycling for life, Tracee Hamilton writes that the Lance Armstrong vs. USADA fight is a tough one in which to take a side, because to believe USADA means suspending belief in the science of drug testing. 'If you take personalities out of the equation, you're left with pee in a cup and blood in a syringe,' writes Hamilton. '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.' Instead Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the USADA, gathered a group of people who swear they saw Armstrong doping. 'If the results can be discarded in favor of testimony, then let's go right to the testimony phase and quit horsing around with blood and urine.' There has been no trial, no due process, but in the minds of many, that testimony outweighs the results of hundreds of drug tests. 'I don't know if Armstrong did the things he's accused of doing, and neither do you,' concludes Hamilton adding that it can't work both ways. 'Either a drug test is the standard, or it isn't.'"
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Lance Armstrong and the Science of Drug Testing

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  • drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kiep (1821612) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:38PM (#41114501)
    are awesome
  • by XanC (644172) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:39PM (#41114511)

    I don't think anyone has ever believed that passing a drug test mean the person was clean for sure. Why do they store samples for X number of years in order to re-test them in the future, with better technology? It's because if it's found out later that somebody was doping, then his results are invalid.

    If we find out some other way besides a drug test that somebody was doping, then his results are invalid.

    • by idontgno (624372) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:44PM (#41114585) Journal

      So, for a sufficiently large value of "X", X liars can trump science?

      I hope this standard never propagates into criminal law.

      • by Godai (104143) * on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:55PM (#41114777)

        He never said "liars", you did. He's just saying that the article is mis-framing the problem. I don't know anybody personally who believes the drug tests for these sporting events can't be beaten. That's not the same thing as saying that "If enough people say something is true, it trumps science", its a recognition that there are other ways to come at a solution,and the fallibility of the science we have. If we had video of Armstrong shooting up some kind of drug, or some kind of personal statement to that effect on tape or on paper, I think we'd all agree that trumped the test, wouldn't we?

        In this, I don't know enough about the people who've testified. Maybe they're not trustworthy, in which case I'd probably agree with you on this one. But you're still completely misstating the OP's point.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:07PM (#41115017)

          >>> If we had video of Armstrong shooting up some kind of drug, or some kind of personal statement to that effect on tape or on paper, I think we'd all agree that trumped the test, wouldn't we?

          No.
          He could be shooting a legal drug that's not banned. And a personal statement does not mean much. To add to my other post (below) I once had a security manager swear he saw me stealing. Turns-out he saw me handing brown packages to the postman. The security dope assumed I was stealing from the company (because that's what it looked like), but in reality the packages had been removed from my house, placed in my car, driven to work, and handed to the postman at 10am.

          They had PS2 games inside them. Completely innocent of any crime but the manager's statement was "I saw him stealing packages from work". LIKEWISE just because a video or person claims to see Mr. Armstrong shooting-up does not prove a crime. We have no idea what he is shooting up. It could just be cancer medicine or insulin or sugar water (all legal per the rules).

          Presume innocence until you can PROVE guilt. A video or statement does not prove anything.

          • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:34PM (#41115521) Homepage Journal

            >>> If we had video of Armstrong shooting up some kind of drug, or some kind of personal statement to that effect on tape or on paper, I think we'd all agree that trumped the test, wouldn't we?

            No.
            He could be shooting a legal drug that's not banned. And a personal statement does not mean much. To add to my other post (below) I once had a security manager swear he saw me stealing. Turns-out he saw me handing brown packages to the postman. The security dope assumed I was stealing from the company (because that's what it looked like), but in reality the packages had been removed from my house, placed in my car, driven to work, and handed to the postman at 10am.

            They had PS2 games inside them. Completely innocent of any crime but the manager's statement was "I saw him stealing packages from work". LIKEWISE just because a video or person claims to see Mr. Armstrong shooting-up does not prove a crime. We have no idea what he is shooting up. It could just be cancer medicine or insulin or sugar water (all legal per the rules).

            Presume innocence until you can PROVE guilt. A video or statement does not prove anything.

            In competition riders could be pulled for testing before or after a stage. Pretty hard to give yourself EPO while riding and all the cameras on you, it has to be injected, not taken as food, drink or from a patch. If tested before a stage a tested rider cannot return to his hotel or disappear into a team bus, but must go to the starting area. Out in the open it's pretty darn har to hide needles, bags of transfusion blood, etc.

            It's a pretty weak whack the USADA is taking at Armstrong and I'm quite surprised he's not going into their den and ripping up the accusations in the faces of his accusers. But USADA having his wins, income, medal, etc, all yanked for all competitions from 1998 on based upon the word of people, but no hard evidence is something I expected Lance could have overturned in court ... probably in a couple more years. Which makes much of this "tired of fighting, not going to fight anymore" understandable.

            As pointed out in various sources, every time he gets one accuser discredited another one pops up in a never ending game of whack-a-mole. He's chosing to ignore USADA, which is probably the only defence he saw at some point. His attorneys served a letter to USADA stating he doesn't accept their findings. Wait to see what the UCI has to say.

            • by Thomas Miconi (85282) on Friday August 24, 2012 @06:20PM (#41116847)

              What are the 3 common points between Jan Ullrich, David Millar, Bjarne Riis and Richard Virenque?

              - All of them wore the Tour de France yellow jersey at some point (Riis and Ullrich won the tour outright, Virenque won the mountains classification several times).

              - All of them eventually admitted to doping.

              - None of them were ever caught by the so-called "drug tests". They were found out through other evidence (drug transport interception, raid on clinic, etc.)

              The simple fact is that the drug tests in the 90s were a joke. They got a bit better in the 2000s, and that's how many of the later crop of dopers were caught (Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, etc.) They're still nowhere near 100%. Extraneous evidence is still a major factor in catching dopers.

              Is Lance Armstrong one of the greatest cyclists of all times ? Yes he is - he won 7 Tours while all his competitors were loaded with drugs too!

              Did he do it without doping? If you believe that, either you don't follow cycling much or you're 12.

            • by quantaman (517394) on Friday August 24, 2012 @06:54PM (#41117389)

              In competition riders could be pulled for testing before or after a stage. Pretty hard to give yourself EPO while riding and all the cameras on you, it has to be injected, not taken as food, drink or from a patch. If tested before a stage a tested rider cannot return to his hotel or disappear into a team bus, but must go to the starting area. Out in the open it's pretty darn har to hide needles, bags of transfusion blood, etc.

              It's a pretty weak whack the USADA is taking at Armstrong and I'm quite surprised he's not going into their den and ripping up the accusations in the faces of his accusers. But USADA having his wins, income, medal, etc, all yanked for all competitions from 1998 on based upon the word of people, but no hard evidence is something I expected Lance could have overturned in court ... probably in a couple more years. Which makes much of this "tired of fighting, not going to fight anymore" understandable.

              As pointed out in various sources, every time he gets one accuser discredited another one pops up in a never ending game of whack-a-mole. He's chosing to ignore USADA, which is probably the only defence he saw at some point. His attorneys served a letter to USADA stating he doesn't accept their findings. Wait to see what the UCI has to say.

              I'm not sure what you're talking about. EPO isn't some temporary stimulant, it's a drug that increases the production of red blood cells, he could take it weeks, or even months before the competition and still get the benefit, I don't think you intended for him to have a personal cameraman 24/7.

              As for no hard evidence, drug tests are only one piece of evidence, and it's well known that they can be fooled. Fortunately the USADA has a ton of circumstantial evidence including a lot of eye witnesses who were associated with Armstrong's team, I think it would be an easy case to make in criminal court.

              As for stripping all of Armstrong's results. Do you know the name of the guys who would have won those tours if Armstrong and those other guys didn't cheat? The guys who were incredibly talented and hard working, but were too ethical to cheat? No? Well neither do I. We'll probably never know who those guys were and even with this action by the USADA Armstrong will still be rich and famous, while these other guys who probably deserved it more, will remain unknown, probably not even knowing that they should have been the real winner.

            • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:57PM (#41118155) Journal

              Which makes much of this "tired of fighting, not going to fight anymore" understandable.

              Actually that is the one part that I cannot understand. His name is going to be dragged through the mud and, assuming he is innocent, his is going to be wrongfully accused and convicted in the court of public opinion. I can understand that he feels the USADA is being unjust and not giving him a fair "trial" but, if that is the case, sue them for defamation in court. Then he and they will both have to compete by the legal standard and not by their own made-up rules and those testifying will be doing so under threat of perjury not whatever penalty the USADA can deal out.

            • I heard on the radio this morning that pretty much every cycling agency/league/whatever is keeping silent or simply withholding judgment pending the release of USADA's information. Usually, when one agency issues a decision like this, the others all pile on. But according to one report, USADA is the least-liked agency in the world in part because its practices are widely seen as unfair.

            • It should also be pointed out that cyclists are typically not very wealthy. The longer this goes on the more people close to Armstrong will be dragged into an unaffordable and life wrecking ordeal. It is one thing to say that Lance can afford to pay for his defense. However, it would be inappropriate for him to fund the defense of other. It is a really bad situation all the way around.

        • by DutchUncle (826473) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:16PM (#41115173)
          Yes, he said liars, and I agree. Birthers wanted a long-form certificate, got one, and decided it must be fake. How many people must have colluded to cheat vs. how many people are claiming that they *think* something is wrong? Isaac Asimov has a character in "The Evitable Conflict" say, in response to accusations that a person is secretly a robot, "Instead of saying "I've never caught him eating or sleeping", you claim "He never eats! He never sleeps!"" (paraphrased).

          Personally I've always figured that something about going through chemotherapy had given Armstrong an advantage - mental certainly, in that anything he went through afterwards couldn't be worse, but physically as well in that he had been stripped down to skin and bone and built himself back up very deliberately. And maybe something about the allowable medical treatment that he continued to need that was supposedly calculated to be fair was miscalculated. I'm suggesting that maybe he was skating just right up to the margins of legality, without quite stepping over it.
        • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Friday August 24, 2012 @06:55PM (#41117403)

          The problem, as I understand it, is that the witnesses had compelling reasons to make their testimonies whether they were true or not. They themselves had been caught through the drug tests and were offered leniency for testifying against Armstrong.

          Faced with threats of perjury, former teammates caved. Tyler Hamilton (who had passed many doping tests before failing one at the end of his career), Floyd Landis and others reportedly testified. They admitted they’d been doping all along. The U.S. attorney ultimately declined to press charges, but USADA took the evidence and issued its own charges. Because the standard in these cases is merely “comfortable satisfaction,” not “beyond reasonable doubt,” there was no reasonable doubt that Armstrong was doomed.

          http://www.wired.com/playbook/2012/08/lance-armstrong-doping-allegations/ [wired.com]

          To me, it doesn't matter if they're telling the truth or not. The fact that the investigative process can compel them to lie makes their testimony worthless. A human witness is hardly a reliable thing. Neither are drug tests, but at least they're objective (whether there's a false positive/negative or not). The method of this investigation is all too similar to McCarthy's witch hunt. I'm not saying Armstrong is innocent, but I think he's owed the assumption until there's concrete evidence. I wouldn't call his accusers liars, but I do recognize their obvious conflict of interests.

          As a sports fan, it saddens me to say this, but advancements in medical science may ruin sports. It's getting harder and harder to figure out where to draw the line between what type of physical enhancements are legitimate and which one's aren't. Which ones should be and shouldn't be. This is probably why I like collegiate sports so much better than professional ones. With college teams, one gets the sense that they're watching actual people.

      • by Macthorpe (960048) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:55PM (#41114781) Journal

        No, that's not what's being said at all.

        What the USADA is saying is that the kind of doping that Lance Armstrong was allegedly going through with (example, blood doping) is very hard to detect, and as such tests at the time and even now have problems picking it up. What they do have is more than a dozen people willing to testify that they saw him do it.

        He already tried to block the decision via the US courts and failed. He still had plenty of options left to fight the charge, including actually turning up to discussions they invited him to and also involving independent bodies like the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but instead of that he's given up and said he can't be bothered. Whether that shows that he's just weary of being persecuted or he realised he can't win, or whether it's a tacit admission of guilt, will probably be debated for years to come.

        As it is, he won't dispute the charge so he's guilty, and it's a sad ending regardless.

        • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:04PM (#41114969)
          The tests were good enough to catch many many many other cyclists. Including the greatest cyclist ever, Edy Merckx back in the 60s.

          Even if you follow their testimony to conclude he cheated...so did literally everybody else. The vast numbers of actual drug test fails speak to that clearly.

          So in the end, he was perhaps better at hiding the cheating, but he was still massively better at actual cycling than any other cyclist at the time who was also very likely cheating as well.
          • by c++0xFF (1758032) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:21PM (#41115267)

            So in the end, he was perhaps better at hiding the cheating, but he was still massively better at actual cycling than any other cyclist at the time who was also very likely cheating as well.

            This.

            If Lance is lying and has been doping his whole career, I don't think that diminishes much from his accomplishments.

            On the other hand, if he's telling the truth, it shows just how incredible he really was.

          • by quantaman (517394)

            The tests were good enough to catch many many many other cyclists. Including the greatest cyclist ever, Edy Merckx back in the 60s.

            Notice how whenever they catch one of these athletes it turns out the doping has been going on for years before? That tells me that catching someone is really hard, harder for someone who has the resources to afford better medical expertise to beat the tests.

            Even if you follow their testimony to conclude he cheated...so did literally everybody else. The vast numbers of actual drug test fails speak to that clearly.

            So in the end, he was perhaps better at hiding the cheating, but he was still massively better at actual cycling than any other cyclist at the time who was also very likely cheating as well.

            How many riders were doping? How good was their doping program, how much did it help them? How much did it help him? Who was the best clean cyclist? We guess is that Armstrong was the best, or one of the best cyclists, with or without drugs. But combini

        • by cc1984_ (1096355) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:06PM (#41115009)

          This page is very informative and, if it is to be believed, implies that there was some scientific basis for calling him out as a cheat

          http://nyvelocity.com/content/interviews/2009/michael-ashenden [nyvelocity.com]

          • by icebike (68054) *

            This page is very informative and, if it is to be believed, implies that there was some scientific basis for calling him out as a cheat

            http://nyvelocity.com/content/interviews/2009/michael-ashenden [nyvelocity.com]

            Not convincing to me.
            The guy is full of waffle words, and backtracking, and third hand info.
            He never had hands on with any of these samples"

            The laboratory, I've checked with the people who did the analysis, and I very carefully went through it with them. They're absolutely 100% sure that these results are valid

            yet the very samples he is talking about showed inconsistent results, not only between A and B samples but within the same (A) sample.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:10PM (#41115071)

          Whether that shows that he's just weary of being persecuted or he realised he can't win, or whether it's a tacit admission of guilt, will probably be debated for years to come.

          Or maybe going what he went through to fight cancer has made him realize that life is too short to worry about the USADA's shit.

          • by firewrought (36952) on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:09PM (#41116027)

            Whether that shows that he's just weary of being persecuted or he realised he can't win, or whether it's a tacit admission of guilt, will probably be debated for years to come.

            Or maybe going what he went through to fight cancer has made him realize that life is too short to worry about the USADA's shit.

            Or maybe we should view Lance as an "heroic cheat" who overcame cancer, built his body/team into a better cheating machine than all the other cheaters in the Tour, beat them "fairly" in this larger pharma/athletics game, and donated tons of money and time to cancer research to benefit all humankind.

            Maybe USADA/WADA are an obsolete organization that--while started with noble intentions--are now just trying to whitewash a field that has moved onto a place that the world isn't quite ready to accept yet.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:11PM (#41115087)

          No, that's not what's being said at all.

          What the USADA is saying is that the kind of doping that Lance Armstrong was allegedly going through with (example, blood doping) is very hard to detect, and as such tests at the time and even now have problems picking it up. What they do have is more than a dozen people willing to testify that they saw him do it.

          He already tried to block the decision via the US courts and failed. He still had plenty of options left to fight the charge, including actually turning up to discussions they invited him to and also involving independent bodies like the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but instead of that he's given up and said he can't be bothered. Whether that shows that he's just weary of being persecuted or he realised he can't win, or whether it's a tacit admission of guilt, will probably be debated for years to come.

          As it is, he won't dispute the charge so he's guilty, and it's a sad ending regardless.

          The way I understand it, USADA can't strip Armstrong of anything.

          UCI would have to do that, and UCI doesn't seem too inclined to do USADA's bidding here [cnn.com]:

          The sport's governing body said Friday it expects USADA to submit documents "to the parties concerned," as the case threatens to wipe a cycling icon almost out of the record books.

          "The UCI recognizes that USADA is reported as saying that it will strip Mr. Armstrong of all results from 1998 onwards in addition to imposing a lifetime ban from participating in any sport which recognizes the World Anti-Doping Code," the Switzerland-based organization said in a statement.

          "As USADA has claimed jurisdiction in the case the UCI expects that it will issue a reasoned decision" explaining the action taken, the UCI said, adding that legal procedures obliged USADA to fulfill this demand in cases "where no hearing occurs."

          In other words, USADA has to put all the evidence it has out, and it has to be a "reasoned decision".

          The question is, what is a "reasoned decision"? A group of cyclists who WERE caught doping testifying they saw Armstrong doping - but only making that testimony when threatened with a lifetime ban if they didn't?

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          >>>He still had plenty of options left to fight the charge, including actually turning up to discussions they invited him to and also involving independent bodies like the Court of Arbitration

          You mean a trumped-up kangaroo court. Like that James Kirk trial in Star Trek 6..... no good can come from such a situation where the person "invited to talk" is systematically framed & words twisted to make him look guilty. Either they have the evidence, or they don't, and in this case they don't. Whic

        • by DarkOx (621550) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:13PM (#41115115) Journal

          I am sorry organization like the USADA and the NCAA are total unmitigated BS for this reason. What you are basically saying is that the USADA had not in 10 years come up with any evidence better than hear say and questionably reliable testimony, and they get to find him guilty unless he decides to go on playing their games as long they wish to do so. Its totally contrary to our basic concept of the presumption of innocence which I really does not apply to such agencies. Still this is in many ways more like a criminal proceeding than other civil matters and I for one think the presumption of innocence is pretty fundamental to justice in general.

          I don't see why they should be allowed to conduct a 10 year persecution, not prosecution, of someone and when that someone finally gets tired of it declare victory. I don't see why they should then be allowed to rewrite history either. The USADA does not want to recognize him as a winner, fine but don't ask me to recognize or respect the judgement of the USADA. Lace IS A WINNER no matter what they want print in their damned books.

        • by BMOC (2478408) on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:04PM (#41115971)

          1) Assume Lance cheated
          - How wasn't he caught in the act for so long?
          - How can all the technological innovation that went into his cycling be ignored? The wind-tunnel testing, the water-tank-in-frame, the unique bike designs, those all were serious efforts that AFAIK were unique, why spend that effort if you're already doping?
          - How were others not able to cheat as well as he did?
          - How was he not caught cheating in 2009 when he placed 3rd after not racing for 2 years? Wouldn't he be expected to be a total doper taking a standing that high after being retired for so long?
          - How can the fact that he trained for only 1 race each year, the Tour de France, be ignored as explaining his stellar performance? Most other competition would do more racing per year, Lance focused like a laser beam on the Tour de France. How can this not help explain his insane performances?
          - Lance packed his team with certifiably world-class climbers to set pace for him and run strategy on the large parts of big climbs. Other squads did not. Can't this help explain it?

          2) Assume lance did not cheat
          - Why are so many people out to discredit him? How big of an a-hole must Lance be to have this many people willing to take him down by lying?
          - Why not fight these charges to the last?
          - Why wasn't Lance more open in his Tours? The technology existed during his run to simply put Lance on camera 24-hours-a-day for the world to see he wasn't cheating. Why not do this, especially in 2009 when he took 3rd?
          - How was Lance so good at simply laying the hammer down at the ends of big climbing stages? Is he just a freak of nature? Were his teammates really capable of simply relieving all the stress of keeping in the pack long enough for him to go balls out at the end?
          - Why were later tests on his samples so dodgy? What was the motivation in even testing them?

          • by quantaman (517394) on Friday August 24, 2012 @07:35PM (#41117917)

            1) Assume Lance cheated

            - How wasn't he caught in the act for so long?

            Most of the cheaters have been doping for years when they get caught, why should he be different?

            - How can all the technological innovation that went into his cycling be ignored? The wind-tunnel testing, the water-tank-in-frame, the unique bike designs, those all were serious efforts that AFAIK were unique, why spend that effort if you're already doping?

            Who's ignoring it? Doping doesn't give you a free win, not when your top competition is doping too. Besides, I'm guessing a lot of that wasn't as unique as you suspect (though maybe he had the resources to do more).

            - How were others not able to cheat as well as he did?

            He had some combination of better doping resources, better training, and better natural gifts.

            - How was he not caught cheating in 2009 when he placed 3rd after not racing for 2 years? Wouldn't he be expected to be a total doper taking a standing that high after being retired for so long?

            Well they do have some apparent positive tests from '09 (I don't know the details) but doping is still hard to detect.

            - How can the fact that he trained for only 1 race each year, the Tour de France, be ignored as explaining his stellar performance? Most other competition would do more racing per year, Lance focused like a laser beam on the Tour de France. How can this not help explain his insane performances?

            It can explain some.

            - Lance packed his team with certifiably world-class climbers to set pace for him and run strategy on the large parts of big climbs. Other squads did not. Can't this help explain it?

            2) Assume lance did not cheat

            It helps, but there's still a lot of evidence of doping.

            - Why are so many people out to discredit him? How big of an a-hole must Lance be to have this many people willing to take him down by lying?

            Why do you think they're lying? There's a lot of circumstantial evidence surrounding Armstrong, and someone who's gotten that much success while cheating is a tempting target.

            - Why not fight these charges to the last?

            Because he doesn't have a good defence in court so he'll fight the PR battle instead.

            - Why wasn't Lance more open in his Tours? The technology existed during his run to simply put Lance on camera 24-hours-a-day for the world to see he wasn't cheating. Why not do this, especially in 2009 when he took 3rd?

            Privacy, because he was cheating, because it wouldn't prove he wasn't cheating (you can take drugs weeks or months before and still benefit).

            - How was Lance so good at simply laying the hammer down at the ends of big climbing stages? Is he just a freak of nature? Were his teammates really capable of simply relieving all the stress of keeping in the pack long enough for him to go balls out at the end?

            All of the above (plus doping).

            - Why were later tests on his samples so dodgy? What was the motivation in even testing them?

    • by jaymz666 (34050)

      exactly, cheating is cheating. Whether it can be detected by science or not.

    • by Firehed (942385)

      Sure - but trusting what someone thought they saw over science (very well-tested science, mind you - my understanding is that false positives are far more likely than false negatives, then multiply that by hundreds of tests) isn't necessarily a good approach. It's very common for people to swear up and down that they saw something when reality is something completely different.

      I'm not making a statement either way, but I'm much more inclined to trust highly repeatable data than subjective eyewitnesses. Peop

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Lance is (or was) doping. Every top athlete is doping. Bolt, Phelps; they're dopers too (and I don't mean marijuana). That's just what it takes to be at that level unless you're a genetic freak.

      Good genes and a great training/diet program can only take someone so far. There's a limit to how far the body can go before it starts to break down. Overuse injuries like tendinosis or rhabdomyolysis can and will occur if someone works too hard. And that's just what it takes to achieve that level of near super

      • by michael_cain (66650) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:40PM (#41115597) Journal

        That's hearsay bullshit, and not how justice works.

        Let's be precise. "A says 'I saw Lance shooting up,'" is eyewitness testimony and is admissible. "A says 'B told me that he saw Lance shooting up,'" is hearsay and is not admissible. In a court of law, the prosecutor would probably decline to go with only the eyewitness testimony, unless it included enough to show that said injection was of banned drugs. It seems telling to me that several governments have conducted investigations and none have filed charges. Not that Lance is clean, but that there's insufficient evidence to file criminal charges. The USADA is a civil rather than criminal matter at best, and has a much lower evidenciary standard.

    • Yes but in those cases, they tested for unknown substances or substances for which there was no reliable test years after the fact. In this case, the drug in question is EPO which had a test since 2000. Armstrong's tour victories was 1999 - 2005. The USADA is not saying they went back and tested older samples and found a positive match. They are saying that they believe testimony over all those negative tests.
    • by ackthpt (218170) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:22PM (#41115309) Homepage Journal

      I don't think anyone has ever believed that passing a drug test mean the person was clean for sure. Why do they store samples for X number of years in order to re-test them in the future, with better technology? It's because if it's found out later that somebody was doping, then his results are invalid.

      If we find out some other way besides a drug test that somebody was doping, then his results are invalid.

      The great irony here is Lance Armstrong donated funds for the most sophisticated drug testing machines which are used in labs for testing bicycle athletes as well as others. I've spent years reading the science of testing and the amatuer science dopers used to beat the system, many of the biggest cheats were caught with the doping substances and/or equipment. But some have been caught thanks to advances in scients which now establish baselines and profile racers, where certain blood blood hormones decrease over a 3 week race and a spike or leveling off at a higher than expected level will get a rider pulled. Microdosing may provide a tiny (some studies suggest negligible boost) assist, which are hard to measure, particularly if a the substance is consumed during the event and no marker remains at the end.

      Taking the personalities out of it .. Lance was either astoundingly good at managing it or he didn't dope. Putting the personalities into it, you have to ask, what Lance does - what's in it for these people to testify against him, other than being rewarded with reduced or suspended bans? USADA clearly muddied the water and it probably wouldn't hold up in a court of law with out solid evidence.

      I'm of the opinion he's innocent until actually proven guilty, not just on the word of a lot of people who have various reasons to disparage him (word from inside his own teams is he's demanding and a tough gut to get along with.)

      I wouldn't take anything Landis says as fact, after his attempt to blackmail Greg Lemond (by telling what he knew of what Greg suffered as a child.) He's a pretty low creature. The rest I can't really say one way or the other, though Hincapie I might find most believable.

    • by funwithBSD (245349) on Friday August 24, 2012 @06:04PM (#41116683)

      I hope Gregg Lamond does the right thing and turns his in too in support, same with Mercx and Indurain.

      Cycling has never been lower since Tom Simpson died on the side of the road from an overdose.

      The evidence consists of not one hard fact or test.

      This whole thing goes back to a kerfuffle of three International sports groups and a urine test for EPO in 1999 that came positive, then could not be duplicated in later tests.

      The 1999 test was thrown out at the time because of an independent panel set up by the UCI (Cycling Federation) at the demands of the WADA (World Anti-Doping) and the IOC (Olympics) finding a lack of scientific rigor on the part of the French Lab.

      The WADA, the International parent of the US-ADA, threw that panels findings out because it did not like the results.

      The IOC censured the WADA, and WADA is still butt-hurt. They could not touch him, so they sent the USADA after him.

      It is all eye witnesses. Eye witnesses that are getting a break on their own charges, or people who wrote books and made money on the deal.

      He was tested randomly year round. He was tested after every stage win, or top 10 placement. He was tested every day he wore the Yellow in the TDF. He wears freaking makeup on his arms to cover the tracks he has from being stuck so many times.

      Not one positive.

      Not one.

      Armstrong’s secret is that he trained harder and more effectively than anyone else. He and his trainer Chris Carmichael re-wrote the book on training and nutrition.
      This in a time that his primary rival, Jan Ulrich still drank heavy cream to put on fat in the off season and then trained to get rid of it, thinking it turned into muscle!

      They refined the “dancing on the pedals” style of 6 time champion Indurian and perfected it, allowing him to beat the more powerful Ulirch and the superlight weight Marco Pantini in the hills.

  • Lies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amiga3D (567632) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:41PM (#41114545)

    The sworn statements of people caught doping is of virtually no value at all. Once caught they'll swear to any thing you want them to. They are allready proven liars so why even bother with them?

  • Pee in a cup? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865)

    For fuck's sake. You're the Washington Post. Can we not talk like we're five years old? Surely there's some other phrase -- if you think super hard -- than "pee in a cup" that a professional journalist for a big-time publication can use?

    • by mekkab (133181)
      exactly, it's the WaPo, not the Grey Lady. Lower your standards. They let Tracee get away with terrible lapses of judgement, especially around Olympics time when she tries to "blog" humor. Yech.

      /still gets weekend delivery... sigh.
  • Witch hunt? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:44PM (#41114583)

    From what I've read, this has all the hallmarks of a witch hunt from a bunch of out-of-control bureaucrats. I can't blame Armstrong for giving up. He's been through the grinder.

  • As there is ample legal president to support it [wikipedia.org], law trumps in the face of science every time.


    /The tomato is a vegetable.
  • by avandesande (143899) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:48PM (#41114683) Journal
    Suppose after you have been to the bar you are pulled over and pass a breathalyser test and the cop sends you on your way. A week later one of your friends gets busted for dui and testifies that you drank too much the previous week causing the loss of your license.
  • by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:51PM (#41114735) Journal
    Lance has claimed consistently that he has not doped. Every drug test he's ever taken has come back clean.

    Beyond that the people who are testifying against him, were caught doping and were given the deal of "If rat out Lance, you get 6 months, otherwise it's a lifetime suspension."

    I agree with the last sentiment of the article. If we're just going to ignore the science and go with what people have said, why even drug test.

    I say he's innocent until proven guilty in a court of clear cut science. When one of his many numerous samples finally tests positive for a banned substance, then hang him by his own petard.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:03PM (#41114949)

      How about asking the doctor he paid over $400,000 to what he did to earn that payment? The doctor is synonymous with doping and blood transfusions to hide cheats, mainly from the old eastern bloc.

      When 9 (or more) of Armstrong's team and support staff turn against him giving evidence, there's clearly something to what's going on.

      All the evidence is against him. 9 people have given testimony against him. He has a very costly arrangement with the world's most renowned doping doctor cheat. Armstrong isn't fighting this, he's given up knowing he's finally be trapped in a web of evidence.

      • by dadioflex (854298) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:11PM (#41115091)
        You've highlighted the chief problem with detecting sporting cheats. Millions of dollars goes into finding cheats. Billions goes into getting around the tests.
      • by Volante3192 (953645) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:18PM (#41115207)

        So, for over a decade, the most tested athlete in the history of the world (at the very least, he's got to be in the top 10) in one of the dirtiest sports has managed to fool EVERYONE?

        Do you know how hard it would be to keep a conspiracy like that going? And for what purpose?
        Does Occam's Razor really mean nothing these days?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dougmc (70836)

          Does Occam's Razor really mean nothing these days?

          It never meant anything. It's a *rule of thumb* (especially as it's commonly used), not a rule.

          If you're looking at Occam's Razor for advice on what you should investigate first, then that's a good use of it.

          If you're looking at Occam's Razor to prove that the unlikely/complicated/etc. situation can't be what really happened, you have failed.

    • by An Ominous Coward (13324) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:10PM (#41115079)

      That doesn't appear to be true. While the first test result for any given sample has come back clean, that potentially just means that he's been ahead of the curve on using doping methods that avoid detection. The USADA reports indicate that some of the re-tests on samples have come back as indicating doping. We'll probably find out more as they take their case to the ICU.

      Of course this whole thing from cycling to baseball to the Olympics is ridiculous. With shades of Futurama, it'll be a relief when we can put all these stories behind us after performance enhancing drugs in all sports are mandatory.

  • by Kintanon (65528) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:54PM (#41114771) Homepage Journal

    The USADA doesn't actually have the authority to strip Lance Armstrong of anything. The UCI is the only organization which can strip his titles from him and according to them the USADA hasn't even come close to meeting the burden of proof they require. So this is all just a giant smoke and mirrors act by the USADA. Armstrong has stopped fighting them because their accusations are irrelevant to him.

    • by Vegan Cyclist (1650427) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:45PM (#41115671) Homepage
      Not quite. WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) is standing behind USADA's decision, and they do have much more authority. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is one such body that will be influenced, and any body under the IOC will likely have to play along - and thus i believe the UCI (International Cycling Union).

      Also, USADA's case *is* being continued - next up is Lance's long-time team manager Johan Bruyneel, who will likely make a similar decision (although will be surprising to see him leave the cycling world.) Then, i believe the USADA will provide the IOC and UCI with their findings, and THEN we'll see Lance's titles stripped from him. Given that these bodies all have to play nice, i would be very surprised if the UCI challenged the findings. Yes, it will implicate themselves, but they're pretty much damned either way as i see it..if their real goal is to eliminate doping from cycling, then they'll have to shape up. I think the evidence is pretty strong that there has been corruption, and they won't be able to hide it much longer...

      That's my two cents. =)
  • by PastaAnta (513349) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:58PM (#41114839)

    There has been no trial, no due process,

    By giving up, Lance Armstron has ensured we will never get a trial and never be presented with the facts, evidence and witness testimonies - and the myth(?) of Lance Armstrong as a clean cyclist will live on.

    Why the hell did he do that ?! (To keep the myth alive?)

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:06PM (#41115007)
    There exists no urine test that could detect transfusions. Why take witnesses over tests? Because the tests don't detect all, and the goal is to find cheats. Why lock your doors if you have an alarm? You use both and the most strict wins. Same with tests. I don't know whether he did anything. He's smart enough to know what can and can't be detected. And he may have cheated in an undetectable manner. Or maybe he is so good because he has naturally high platelet counts (most uber athletes got there because of "natural gifts" that the rest of us don't have).

    Who cares, it's all about a sport anyway. If it's such an issue, they should shut down all cycling events until they can detect whatever doping he is accused of.
  • by Sez Zero (586611) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:08PM (#41115043) Journal
    Of all the cyclists and team mates Lance Armstrong has had on all those teams covered by the USADA's letter and "testimony" that it was rampant on each of those cycling teams surely there must dozen several, or even dozens, of other riders similarly being sanctioned?

    Nope, just Armstrong.
    • by dwye (1127395)

      Nope, just Armstrong.

      And the people testifying against him. Of course, by testifying, their suspensions are for months, not life, and their records are left as they were, but that could not possibly affect their testimony.

  • by timothy (36799) Works for Slashdot on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:10PM (#41115069) Homepage Journal

    Says Wikipedia: USADA is "is taxpayer-funded non-profit organization."

    So, just like Congress spending time on baseball persecutions, this is tax money being spent on enforcing the rules in non-essential, voluntary, recreational activities -- even it's not an official government bureaucracy, funding means control, so this is essentially a gov't body.

    Personally, I have no problem with any given organization (for Scrabble, for competitive waiting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op39GUkQhmc [youtube.com], for concrete canoes -- http://concretecanoe.org/ [concretecanoe.org], for particular religious beliefs http://www.lds.org/?lang=eng [lds.org] ...) setting whatever rules they want, so long as the people involved choose to accept it, or choose to challenge it, etc, so long as there's no coercion. If you don't like the big chili competition in Terlingua (as some didn't), you can break off and start *another* big chili competition in Terlingua (and some people did: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terlingua,_Texas [wikipedia.org]). If the govt's going to get involved, it should be a matter of public safety, preventing fraud, etc. .

    By contrast, I'm offended that so much as a single penny of taxpayer money went toward this.

  • USADA is a PITA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:17PM (#41115189)

    USADA is a pain in the ass! For the past 6 years I have been competing in sailing trying to qualify for the Paralympics. For the past 6 years, I had to tell USADA where I was going to be every day. They would randomly show up an any time of any day and if you were not where they could find you within an hour, you got a missed test. They won't try to locate you via phone. A couple missed tests equals a doping violation.

    When they show up, it doesn't what you are doing, you have to stop everything and they supervise you giving your urine sample into a pair of specially designed tamper proof and labeled jars. They have also started taking blood, but I have not had that experience yet.

    When an athlete you have to be paranoid about everything you eat. Many juices and energy drinks contain stimulants that are prohibited. That means no red bull, monster, some of the vitamin waters, some mixed juices, etc. If you have a cold you can't take pseudoephed. Vitamins and dietary supplements are extremely risky because something as trivial as vitamin c could be contaminated with a prohibited substance if it was made in the same factory.

    Anyone that has put up with USADA/WADA for years, not missed tests, and passed all tests is clean and that should be the final word. Fuck these witnesses, USADA, WADA, and leave the man alone.

  • The problem with drugging in sport is that the teams with the most money hire the pharmacists and doctors (like Fuentes [wikipedia.org] and Ferrari [wikipedia.org]) who develop cutting edge drug regimes which are beyond the current limits of drug testing. Drug testing inevitably develops behind the science of doping - testing for some new substance can only be initiated once it becomes known that that substance is being used for doping, and inevitably there is a lag time during which a reliable and safe test is developed.

    Consequently the drug tests cannot be the 'gold standard' for evaluating whether or not someone has doped. Witness testimony is what we rely on in far more serious cases, like murder for example, and it seems perfectly reasonable to assert that if enough credible people are prepared to testify on oath that they personally witnessed Armstrong doping, then he was doping, whatever the drug tests say.

    There's circumstantial evidence, too. One thing which had me convinced Armstrong was doping back as early as 2004 were his rages - he was aggressive and prone to anger far outside the normal range of human behaviour. But since then we've seen so many of his team mates and ex-team mates implicated - Tyler Hamilton [wikipedia.org], Floyd Landis [wikipedia.org] and several others have been convicted, while George Hincapie [wikipedia.org] agreed to give evidence against Armstrong in return for not being prosecuted. It simply isn't credible that everyone on the team was doping except the strongest, fastest man in the team.

    There's some good news in all this. This years leading riders were about 4% down on power output - Lance Armstrong in 2005 was outputting 6.8 watts per kilogram [nytimes.com], whereas Bradley Wiggins, this year's winner, was capable of just 6.57 [cyclingweekly.co.uk]. Of course, the fact that power is down - across the whole peloton, not just the leaders - doesn't prove that today's riders are not doping, but clearly something has changed, and dope is one thing that may have changed.

    Of course you can argue, and some people have, that if you can't reliably test for dope then the sensible thing to do is to allow all athletes to take whatever drugs they want, because if they're all doping then that's fair. But many of these drugs are dangerous - there were a rash of deaths from heart attacks of very young cyclists [guardian.co.uk] in Holland and Belgium in the early 2000s associated with apparent use of EPO, for example - and many athletes are young and under great pressure to succeed. We do have to clean up cycling (and other sports, too, of course, but I'm no expert on other sports) or else we will see a lot more kids with great potential killed to no purpose. I believe that we are succeeding.

  • by Milharis (2523940) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:26PM (#41115379)

    On television tonight, they showed a picture about the 2000 Tour de France (IIRC) with the first ten cyclists.
    All of them (if we count Armstong) had been tested positive to one thing or another, so the title would go to the eleventh guy. He's not positive because he probably hasn't been tested as much.
    Add to that that if I were to take the same drugs they did, I'd still not be able to compete with them (without doping) by a huge margin.

    So regardless of whether he took drugs or not, he still arguably was the best at that time.

  • by guidryp (702488) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:32PM (#41115471)

    The Lance rats that we know of were all caught by failing drug tests.

    They then claimed they saw Lance cheat (which benefits them by selling their stories, getting lighter sentences) or even that he told them how to do it and encouraged them.

    Now the confusing part is if they were so intimate with details of Lances cheating, how come he was so much better at it, that despite being tested more than any of them, he was never caught by a drug test like they were.

    Either way this is sad story. Either Lance cheated, or a bunch of known cheaters were pulled together by a power tripping bureaucrat on a witch hunt.
    Sucks either way.

    What next, are they having a similar witch hunt for Indurain and his 5 wins. Similar allegations swirled around him.

  • Infinite Regress (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sixoseven (73926) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:38PM (#41115567) Homepage

    The statute of limitations on sport should be the season. If you cannot determine by the end of the season who is the legitimate champion of the season, then don't give an award. If you cannot determine, by the end of a game, if all the rules of the game were followed, then declare the competition null and void. You cannot have a referee that has infinite time to make a judgment, this is the very opposite of what qualifies a competent judge.

    I am convinced that Armstrong is being unfairly persecuted, and furthermore that every sport that has doping rules should ensure that they are immediately enforceable. If Armstrong or anyone else outsmarted the USADA, then too bad. My bias is that this agency is doing to its sport what boxing governing bodies did to theirs which is to draw into profound relief its inability to hold the respect and admiration of its chartered participants. Any certification that is not consistently and immediately verifiable loses its credibility.

    My guess is that there is some squirrelly language in the contract that allows what is essentially no statute of limitations on allegations and does other stuff that wouldn't stand in a court of law.

  • by daemonenwind (178848) on Friday August 24, 2012 @04:49PM (#41115741)

    First, most cyclists ride in several races during the year. By the time they get to the Tour de France, they've already ridden in the Giro and have had only a few weeks to rest ahead of the Tour. And, they may have ridden in some events in between.

    Lance rides the Tour de France. That's it. So he's fresh in a way the rest of the field isn't, and probably financially can't afford to be.

    Second, Lance Armstrong is a notorious trainer. You don't have to look far to find stories of how Lance pushed his teammates to train when they thought they didn't have to, or to find Lance training when others were taking time off for little things like Christmas morning.

    Third, and maybe most importantly, Lance Armstrong is an arrogant asshole. No, really. He taunts other riders to try to keep up - and they can't. He rubs in every victory, calls out every weakness, and talks trash mercilessly. On top of all that, he's rich from endorsements and gets to be the face of Cycling, for the huge achievement of riding in just one damn race per year.

    There are plenty of guys who'd stick it to Lance just because they can.

    To put this all in Slashdot terms, let's say you were pretty good at Starcraft. You can beat everyone in your school without too much trouble.
    Then, one day, you get to play Starcraft against a professional from Korea. Of course, he rips you up like kleenex and just laughs at you. So you find a hack to start out with extra resources and units so you can teach him a lesson. The Korean still dominates you. So, since you're cheating and you know you're good, he's got to be hacking. He just has to be. Right?

    So you get someone to watch the computer screen over his shoulder. You monitor network traffic. You upgrade your computer for an extra few FPS. But nothing says he's doing anything fishy. Still, you stick by calling him a hacker - there's just no way he could beat you so easily without cheating too, right?

    Right?

    • First, most cyclists ride in several races during the year. By the time they get to the Tour de France, they've already ridden in the Giro and have had only a few weeks to rest ahead of the Tour. And, they may have ridden in some events in between.Lance rides the Tour de France. That's it. So he's fresh in a way the rest of the field isn't, and probably financially can't afford to be.

      Plenty of riders do not ride the Giro and do ride the Tour. Lance is not unusual in riding only one or the other grand tours. In fact only a minority of riders ride both the Tour and Giro and most of the ones that do aren't racing to win but merely to train. Racing is an extremely effective form of training and most of the peleton races to get into shape.

      Second, Lance Armstrong is a notorious trainer. You don't have to look far to find stories of how Lance pushed his teammates to train when they thought they didn't have to, or to find Lance training when others were taking time off for little things like Christmas morning.

      Everybody in the pro peleton trains hard. Lance is nothing unusual in this regard. Lance is not such an unusual physical specimen by the standards of

  • by dtjohnson (102237) on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:06PM (#41116005)

    Perhaps Armstrong never did fail a 'drug test' but that does not address what he was doing. The USADA says he was doing blood doping which is basically injecting your own red blood cells back into your body to increase the oxygen carrying capacity of your blood. If you have skilled medical professionals helping you with this, as Armstrong allegedly did, it can be undetectable. The USADA also says Armstrong was using the drug EPO but avoided its detection by using smaller amounts administered intravenously, rather than ingested, so that it did not appear in urine samples. The USADA also says that Armstrong was using testosterone injections. Since testosterone is a naturally-occurring hormone, it is expected to be present in the body. The bottom line is that if you have a sleazy medical team that knows how to beat the tests helping you beat those tests, then to say 'I never failed a test' is...disingenous. Armstrong was busted cold because all of those people helping him were forced to turn against him...and he knew it. That's why he stopped fighting the USADA. If he had not, there would have been hearings and they would have been public and the testimony would have destroyed whatever tiny shred of credibility and respect that Armstrong has remaining to him. Finally, Armstrong DID fail a drug test. According to the USADA website: "Additionally, scientific data showed Mr. Armstrong’s use of blood manipulation including EPO or blood transfusions during Mr. Armstrong’s comeback to cycling in the 2009 Tour de France." By 2009, they had finally figured out what Armstrong was doing and what to test for and they had the deadwood on Armstrong. Armstrong was busted...cold.

    • You can absolutely detect blood transfusions. You can notice that the blood cells are different ages by more than the normal amount, and you can see that the density of them (per unit of blood) is way out of whack. If you inject soon enough that that doesn't work, you haven't done yourself any good anyway since you don't produce many new blood cells.

      AFAIK you can't ingest EPO, it has to be injected. And either way, it'd come out the kidneys. There are tests for recombinant (non-natural) EPO, and he's passed them.

      He's down a testicle, and he has approval for testosterone injections to bring him back to baseline.

      This seems like a big hatchet-job against him. I don't care much one way or the other for him, but if they're going to negate years of wins and accomplishment because of the word of some people who've been bribed to testify, with reduced-length bans, then drug testing is a waste of time. Which is the point of the article.

  • My thoughts on this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by steveha (103154) on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:20PM (#41116165) Homepage

    Some people claim that all the top cyclists were doping, and if Lance won the Tour de France at all, he must have been doping as well.

    That's possible, but if anyone could have won the tour without cheating, it was Lance Armstrong. He had all the legal advantages he could have: his team always had a bunch of the world's top cyclists, riding for him; his team always had enough money that they could just ride whatever training rides they thought would best help Lance win (many teams have to win races during the season to get the prize money; Lance's team had plenty of money and didn't need to do that). Manufacturers gave him their best new technology to use. Heck, he would go ride the toughest mountain climbs multiple times, trying different angles through the turns and seeing what numbers he got on his power meter. In short, he had every legal edge.

    On the other hand, the Tour de France is possibly the toughest athletic competition in the world, without hyperbole. How many competitions take 21 days to complete, with the athletes working hard for hours and only two rest days? And all that in the July heat in France? My bike mechanic says that he believes all the top riders are cheating, just because with that level of effort, the cheating would give an edge that non-cheaters couldn't touch.

    Also, I'm deeply suspicious of the anti-cheating lab work. When Floyd Landis was accused of doping with synthetic testosterone, all sorts of details came out: the lab knew which sample was his, the lab engaged in shoddy lab work [blogspot.com] and flawed chain-of-custody procedures [blogspot.com], and (worst of all, in my opinion) the same lab tested both the "A" and "B" samples. (Never mind whether a French lab is "out to get" an American athlete... it would be highly embarrassing if the "B" result was negative after all the hoopla over the "A" result. I would have much rather seen that B sample sent to a different lab in Switzerland or something.)

    I'm also troubled by the question of fairness. There is an old saying, "military justice bears the same relationship to justice that military music bears to music." The anti-doping system is stacked against the athlete; once an athlete is accused, bad things happen to the athlete, and there is no hope. Even in the case of Floyd Landis, where a bunch of people worked to help him and submitted all sorts of testimony that (IMHO) invalidated all the evidence against him, he was still found guilty and stripped of his Tour win. (Later he confessed, so maybe he was guilty after all... but I still am not convinced that the evidence used against him should have been used.)

    The USADA proceedings are not legal proceedings in a courtroom environment, and the protections that the accused receive in a courtroom are not there. The head of USADA gets to act as prosecutor, judge, and gets to hand-pick the jury: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/sports/other-sports/usada-s-travis-tygart-plays-prosecutor-jury-and-judge-lance-armstrong-case [opposingviews.com]

    Now for one moment assume that Lance Armstrong is completely innocent. What possible recourse does he have within the USADA system? How can you prove a negative? He was the most-tested man in all of sports and he never failed a test... USADA doesn't care. The witnesses against him have something to gain from denouncing him... USADA doesn't care. How can he prove that he wasn't doping 17 years ago? He doesn't have a witness who was with him 24/7 and can say he never doped. He doesn't have lab results of his own, and if he did he wouldn't be allowed to present them. So if he participates, all he can do is stand there and say "it's not true".

    Some people think that Lance Armstrong is implicitly admitting guilt by not contesting this ruling. But his public statement explicitly says he n

  • by jonfr (888673) on Friday August 24, 2012 @05:31PM (#41116291) Homepage

    It is a fact that people do lie. So in fact, if nothing else. The testimonies in question are dubious if not just plain out lie if they are not supported by any real data. In this case they do not seems to be here.

    It is my opinion that Travis Tygart needs to be investigated for corruption, illegal activity as a CEO of USADA. He also should be suspended at this moment.

    This has also happened before. Strangely enough. The circumstances are similar as they where in the case of Lance Armstrong. Wiki has an small article on it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Landis [wikipedia.org]

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:19PM (#41118351)
    Its the same standard puritans have used for 400 years. Lance is a witch! We saw him do magic nd cast evil spells that made him fly on that abroomstick he calls a bicycle. Drug tests never found any results because he bewitched the testers with frog blood and bat urine.
  • by jon3k (691256) on Friday August 24, 2012 @08:40PM (#41118555)
    People can lie, (hundreds of) tests cannot. It's really that simple.

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