Monday, June 25, 2012

Blogging Cycling Fan RIPS US Anti-doping Agency

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Armstrong to USADA: You're long on stale allegations and short on evidence

To any readers who might follow me on the Twitters (@erikajohnsen, hint hint!), I feel the need to issue fair warning and apologize in advance: I am a huge cycling fan, and the Tour de France is just around the corner. Really, I am just absolutely nuts about cycling — it is the one sport I have followed almost religiously year-round since I was a teenager. So, while I usually try to restrict my tweets to at least generally political topics, cycling’s greatest race starts in less than a week, and I just might not be able to contain myself.
I’m no Lance Armstrong devotee myself (although, that’s nothing against him, more just that I always found it irksome when the English cycling coverage often turned into the Tour de Lance instead of focusing on the many great cyclists out there), but the continued inquisition has got to stop. Some people just can’t stand a champion, and Armstrong has been the target of especially high-profile attention ever since his first Tour de France victory — even though he’s never once failed a doping test.
While everybody would love it if the greatest sport in the history of sports (in my humble opinion) were perfectly clean, and of course the responsible organizations need to conduct thorough investigations in order to deter doping — enough already. A lot of people have had it out for Lance Armstrong for years, and maybe he deserves the extra scrutiny, but they’ve failed to incriminate him every single time.
We will forgive Ms. Johnsen for claiming that cycling is the greatest sport in the history of sports and we will cheer her call for this Armstrong witch hut to stop.

She's absolutely right. Some people just can't stand a champion because in their feeble little minds, it's not fair for one person, one team or one conference to be better than everyone else. There is only one way for such excellence to exist--the big dog got to the top by cheating.

In every sport where these allegations are made, investigations are conducted and if there is cheating involved, they are almost always caught. It is inconceivable that Lance Armstrong could ride for that many years, win that many championships, take that many drug tests and pass every single one of them.

Unfortunately for Armstrong, the USADA investigates and prosecutes in a manner quite similar the the NCAA. To wit, if they want to find you guilty, they do. So it is entirely likely that despite years of failing to produce any credible evidence that Armstrong was doping, the USADA will find a reason to strip Armstrong of his Tour de France victories.

All to make it more fair, and to send a message to those who would excel: Go ahead and win. You'll get what's coming to you for daring to be more successful than anyone else in your game.


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