An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


You can thank my wife for coining that term.

In the last 2 days, it's been all over the news and triathlon boards.

USADA sent a letter to Lance Armstrong, alleging that there is new evidence to re-open the doping charges against him. The WTC (World Triathlon Corporation, owners of the Ironman brand -- a "brand" that used to be a race, but that's another soap-box) reacted by sanctioning him from competing in any WTC event (which includes Ironman France in 9 days), which on the surface is according to their rules.

There's a lot of talking, speculation, and hoopla around this, and it's becoming a bit of a circus. But I see some problems...

(1) Lance has passed all the drug tests. Why is there any further discussion?

(2) The Department of Justice withdrew their case against Lance two years ago, stating that they didn't have the evidence to convict.

(3) Many statements have been made that the USADA and WTC are corporations, and thus don't abide by the rules of "innocent until proven guilty" and "prohibition of double jeopardy" (being tried twice for the same crimes).

Many have termed this entire case as a witch hunt. And I agree. Even if Lance DID dope in winning 7 Tours de France, what does that have to do with his participation in triathlon, the sport from which he is now being sanctioned? In addition, the WTC rules state that no professional may compete who is under an active investigation. But the USADA letter is NOT an open investigation.

I do find it troubling that two corporations, one of which receives a SIGNIFICANT amount of money from a US Government grant (our taxes at work), are deemed to be completely acceptable to work outside the US Constitution. Those phrases "innocent until proven guilty" and "no double jeopardy" aren't just nice platitudes -- they're part of the law upon which this country was built. How is it that we can allow this?

Lance is a physical freak of nature. The highest VO2max ever recorded. Beating the world's best triathletes at the age of 16. Becoming the youngest-ever World Cycling Champion at 21 years old. Overcoming cancer to become the best Tour cyclist ever (and it can be said that the cancer and treatment was key to his upper-body weight loss that allowed his rise to mountain-climbing prowess).

Oh, but yeah, those victories were because he doped. You think he was doping at the age of 16 as a high-school athlete in an obscure sport while he and his mom were scraping by? He proved his mettle at a young age, and it is my belief that he continued that physical climb to become the best.

But regardless of my belief, even if he did dope as a cyclist, he passed a random WTC blood test as recently as a few weeks ago. It has no bearing on his participation as a professional triathlete.

It's time for the witch hunt to end.


Unknown said...

Nicely put!I agree 100%.

Unknown said...

Nicely put! I agree 100%!