Yesterday word surfaced that the USADA (the United States Anti Doping Agency) formally charged Lance Armstrong with a systematic process of doping and with covering up said doping.
You can read the full letter here.
Lance replied with a statement that basically reads “yeah, this is the same old stuff that keeps getting dismissed.”
Largely, Lance is right on that matter. The allegations in the USADA letter all rely on testimony from other riders and staffers who were given immunity to testify. Unless the USADA pulls out some physical evidence not listed in their letter, their entire case is going to be built on the word of other people.
That’s not to say that Lance did or didn’t dope. If the USADA has some physical proof (an email, a text, a photo) it would of course be more damming and they should reveal it. But the charges in the USADA letter against Armstrong (and pretty much everyone who was connected to his teams for nearly fifteen years) are based on what other riders have to say than really not much has changed.
At this point Lance will have to respond to the letter or will be stripped of his Tour titles by default. He’s also banned from competition while the charges are pending.
Stay tuned for more of this saga, it will be interesting even if it’s yet another damming blow to professional cycling in the U.S.…