Saturday, August 25, 2012

Crushing a Hero - What is the USADA, anyway?

I have to weigh in on the Lance Armstrong situation.

Despite whatever they say, Lance still won seven Tour de France races from 1999-2005. Period. And now, seven years later, the revisionists are trying to rewrite history. Nice move.

I don't understand the singly-focused expensive effort to discredit a hero and cancer survivor. And from what I can tell, the evidence, if there is any, is not all that conclusive.

One article notes that: federal judge wrote last week, “USADA’s conduct raises serious questions about whether its real interest in charging Armstrong is to combat doping, or if it is acting according to less noble motives.”

Until yesterday, frankly, I didn't even know that there was a US Anti Doping Agency. I am still not sure where they get their funding--if there is any governmental money involved, then I think we have found a probable way to help alleviate some of the budget deficit. They indicate that they are a non-profit, non-governmental watchdog agency authorized by Congress, so there are few controls on them.

Unless more compelling evidence is released--I believe that the USADA needs to be suspended.

Continuing on in the referenced article I cited earlier, the writer related the magnitude of the odds stacked against the athletes by the USADA and the 

So forget Lance. I have so many problems with USADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) — which is supposed to be where athletes can appeal, only they never, ever win — that it’s hard to know where to begin. American athletes have lost 58 of 60 cases before the CAS. Would you want to go before that court?

Anyone who thinks an athlete has a fair shot in front of CAS should review the Alberto Contador case. Contador was found to have a minuscule, insignificant amount of clenbuterol in his urine during the 2010 Tour de France. After hearing 4,000 pages of testimony and debate, CAS acknowledged that the substance was too small to have been performance-enhancing and that its ingestion was almost certainly unintentional.

Therefore he was guilty. He received a two-year ban.

There has to be a better way. I understand why Lance is dropping his fight--it is not a fair playing field.

So, despite the proclamation by the USADA--Lance still won seven Tour de France races, AND, btw, is still a cancer survivor--I bet they want to strip him of that title next.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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