Thursday, October 11, 2012

Armstrong is accused again

Everyone seems to be convinced by a report from a private organization that Lance Armstrong was doping:
Had Mr. Armstrong not refused to confront the evidence against him in a hearing, the witnesses in the case of The United States Anti-Doping Agency v. Lance Armstrong would have testified under oath with a legal duty to testify truthfully or face potential civil and/or criminal consequences. Witness after witness would havebeen called to the stand and witness after witness would have confirmed the following: That Lance Armstrong used the banned drug EPO. That Lance Armstrong used the banned drug Testosterone. That Lance Armstrong provided his teammates the banned drug EPO. ...

Article 3.1 of the Code provides that: “[t]he standard of proof shall be whether the Anti-Doping Organization has established an anti-doping rule violation to the comfortable satisfaction of the hearing panel bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegation which is made.” ...

The World Anti-Doping Code specifies that doping can be proved by “any reliable
means.” This case was initiated by USADA based on evidence other than a positive drug test. ...

Accordingly, in this section USADA discusses some of the evidence of efforts by Armstrong and his entourage to cover up rule violations, suppress the truth, obstruct or subvert the legal process and thereby encourage doping. ... As he and Mr. Simeoni returned to the peloton Mr. Armstrong made a taunting “zip the lips” gesture. Because the event occurred during a stage of the 2004 Tour de France, Mr. Simeoni’s recollection is well corroborated and supported by video footage.

In this section of the Addendum, we address the evidence gathered on the question of whether Lance Armstrong admitted the use of performance enhancing drugs in an Indiana Hospital room in late October, 1996. ... As explained above, it took nearly a decade and some fairly aggressive investigative journalism for the hospital room confession to make it into the public domain. ... Thus, although the hospital room incident occurred many years ago, Armstrong’s far more recent efforts to retaliate against and impugn those who have testified about it is highly relevant. The evidence of Mr. Armstrong’s retaliation is consistent with a recurring pattern of efforts by Mr. Armstrong to suppress the truth and prevent those with evidence against him from coming forward.
I am not sure what to make of this. Sure, there are a bunch of witnesses against Armstrong. But why is this any business of the USADA, any why does anyone care about what some bicyclist might have admitted in 1996?

The report alleges that all of the major cycling competitors were doping. If so, why would it be unfair for Armstrong to do what the others were doing?

I do not see any good coming out of this. The whole process is crazy. The USADA is a mickey mouse court with no sense of jurisdiction, due process, rules of evidence, statute of limitations, standards of proof, jury of peers, etc. I do not see why a sport would rely on anything other than timely positive drug tests.

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