Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lance Armstrong and the Prisoner's Dilemma

Bill Brock, the general counsel for the US Anti-Doping Agency or USADA, explained earlier this week at a panel discussion at the University of Texas that Lance Armstrong would have retained five of his Tour de France titles had he agreed to cooperate with USADA.
Bill Bock, USADA general counsel, at a University of Texas discussion Monday night, entitled “The Real Price of Winning at All Costs: A Discussion about Elite Cycling” ... said that of the Americans the anti-doping body approached as part of its investigation, Armstrong was the only one to refuse to work with his agency. The key question USADA asked, Bock said, was if athletes were willing to be truthful to help the sport.

“Lance is the only American rider that refused that request … had he done that? The reason we could go back and seek disqualification of results from 1998 was because of the subversion of the legal system,” said Bock. “If he had been open and honest with us … we wouldn’t have been able to do that.”

Somewhat shockingly, Bock said that if Armstrong had contributed to the USADA investigation, he would have kept five of his seven yellow jerseys. “Yeah, he would have kept five of them,” Bock said. “And most likely would not have been banned for life.”
Sounds like Lance Armstrong needed to brush up on his game theory.


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