Is anyone else getting tired of these repetitive investigations of Lance Armstrong by various federal agencies? I, for one, was looking forward to what the seven-time Tour de France champion could do in Ironman Triathlons. Now all that is put on hold by the United States Anti-Doping Agency who are bringing doping charges against Armstrong that stretch back in the 1990's.
In the realm of professional sports worldwide, the sport of cycling is considered to be one of the dirtiest in terms of doping. Over the past decade many cycling stars have been found guilty of doping. This far-ranging list includes Alberto Contador, Jan Ullrich, Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, Alexandre Vinokourov, David Millar, and Iban Mayo. These cyclists were all peers of Armstrong's, and some of them lost their own Tour de France titles because of these findings (Contador, Landis).
There's one major difference, however, between these men and Armstrong. Armstrong has never failed a drug test. Armstrong himself says he has passed more than 500 drug tests (tests that he still has to undergo because of his burgeoning triathlon career). As recently as 2009 Armstrong was competing in the Tour de France (finishing third), facing the same drug tests that everyone else was. He was still passing.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not blindly supporting Armstrong, and no I don't think that he was the only clean guy in a very corrupt sport. It's just that I don't understand why the federal authorities are spending a lot of money and time pursuing these charges (some that are 13-years-old) against Armstrong. In February federal prosecutors from the Justice Department dropped a two-year investigation into the same area. Now the USADA has taken over and they seem intent on pursuing this to its end.
If convicted, Armstrong faces a lifetime ban from any sport that requires drug testing. Already the World Triathlon Corporation has suspending Armstrong pending resolution of these charges. That's unfortunate for many sports fans, as many expected Armstrong to compete in this year's Ironman World Championship on Hawaii. Armstrong, who switched to triathlons in the past few years, had won his last two triathlon events.
Armstrong will no doubt fight these charges vigorously. He's faced countless investigations and lawsuits prior to these charges, but this will probably be his biggest fight yet. Fans will yet again take sides as to whether or not they believe Armstrong's doping innocence. For me, I just want this to be all over.
Julie became a huge fan of Lance Armstrong's in 1999 when he won his first Tour de France. She watched every year that he raced, and since his retirement has yet to watch cycling's most famous race. With the history of doping becoming more clear, she simply doesn't trust anyone who wins anymore.