Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lance Armstrong and USADA's 'Reasoned Decision"

I have just started reading the magnum opus that is the USADA's "Reasoned Decision" justifying its actions against Lance Armstrong. You can find it here in PDF and here with supporting information. I will post up some thoughts before long. Here is a nice NYT overview of the report.

In light of the report, the comments by Armstrong in the video above as part of a lawsuit over his possible violation of a contract by cheating, are a bit chilling and raise the specter of possible perjury.

Here is an excerpt from a statement by George Hincapie, Armstrong's longest-serving team mate, on why he came forward:
Because of my love for the sport, the contributions I feel I have made to it, and the amount the sport of cycling has given to me over the years, it is extremely difficult today to acknowledge that during a part of my career I used banned substances. Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them. I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans.

Quietly, and in the way I know best, I have been trying to rectify that decision. I have competed clean and have not used any performance enhancing drugs or processes for the past six years. Since 2006, I have been working hard within the sport of cycling to rid it of banned substances. During this time, I continued to successfully compete at the highest level of cycling while mentoring young professional riders on the right choices to make to ensure that the culture of cycling had changed.

About two years ago, I was approached by US Federal investigators, and more recently by USADA, and asked to tell of my personal experience in these matters. I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood that I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew. So that is what I did.
Lance Armstrong's lawyer released a statement in advance of the report's release:
"[T]he alleged 'reasoned decision' from USADA will be a one-sided hatchet job - a taxpayer-funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat-induced stories ...

USADA has continued its government-funded witch hunt of only Mr. Armstrong, a retired cyclist, in violation of its own rules and due process, in spite of USADA's lack of jurisdiction, in blatant violation of the statute of limitations."
It is ironic to see Armstrong complaining about a violation of due process when he gave up his right to contest the charges via the USADA arbitration process.

The New York Times has an overwhelming amount of additional information and commentary for those wanting to dig in. Much more to come on this, no doubt.


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