New Doping Allegations Against Lance Armstrong
The letter says Armstrong used blood transfusions from 2000 to 2005. It also alleges he used cortisone without medical authorization, and got plasma and saline transfusions.
Actions were also opened against the Team Director, two Team Doctors, a consulting doctor and a team trainer. The only rider named is Lance Armstrong.
In addition to testimony of fellow riders, the Agency says it has a urine sample showing EPO use taken in 2001 during the Tour de Switzerland. It says it has a witness who will say Armstrong told him/her it was covered up.[More...]
There'e one allegation from 2009-2010 but it sounds forensically weak -- a urine sample that "is consistent with" blood manipulations including EPO use and/or blood transfusions."
For drama, the letter contains an allegation that all of those named enforced a code of silence (Omerta) by instilling fear in others.
Armstrong is represented by Washington D.C. criminal defense lawyer Robert Luskin -- Luskin also represented Karl Rove in the Valerie Plame leak and coverup investigation. Rove was not charged.
Luskin calls the allegations "a vendetta." Armstrong's publicist issued a statement from Armstrong saying the action is an attempt to "dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years."
"I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one.".
"That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence. Any fair consideration of these allegations has and will continue to vindicate me."
Armstrong was scheduled to compete in Ironman France in Nice on June 24. The action letter says the Triathalon agency has been sent a copy of the letter. The agency has now said he cannot compete because he is under an active investigation.
Are these the same old charges that have been floating around for years, that were the subject of the Los Angeles grand jury investigation that the Government dropped? Sure seems like it. It also sounds like the USDA is using the same cast of players.
Update: I don't know the first thing about the sport of cycling or any other sport, performance enhancing substances or Lance Armstrong. Since I don't follow sports, I'm not a fan of his or any athlete. My only bias is that of protecting the rights of those accused of wrongdoing. That said, I remembered tonight after writing this post that I had done some research on the case about a year ago. Here's some of what stood out to me then and stands out to me now:
And that one of the Sports Illustrated reporters who wrote particularly critical articles about Lance Armstrong, Selena Roberts, has a very controversial reporting history. (She left SI in February.) It seems she doesn't care much for fact-checking. For example, in this widely publicized slanted SI Article she and her co-author wrote that Armstrong was reportedly using some kind of experimental wonder drug called HemAssist that wasn't on the market. AP sports reporter John Leiceister did the legwork on the experimental drug that she should have done, tracking down the drug's makers, and did a creditable job of debunking that claim. What Leiceister did that Roberts apparently didn't: Fact-check.
Roberts, you may recall, before moving to S.I., was a New York Times reporter who continually backed the accuser and DA Mike Nifong and castigated the players in the Duke LaCrosse case (at the the beginning of the case and even after it imploded , ending disastrously for the false accuser and since-disbarred DA Mike Nifong. Of all the horrid reporting on that case, Roberts' writings have been singled out as the most atrocious." Nor has she ever apologized.
Do I know whether Lance Armstrong ever used banned performance enhancing substances? Of course I don't. That's not the point. The point is that whether it's Lance Armstrong, the Duke LaCrosse players or George Zimmerman, the American media pushes guilt because it sells.
Add to the Armstrong mix an obsessive investigator like Jeff Novitsky, who apparently believes he's the modern-day Elliot Ness and who, despite traveling the globe and dedicating years to bringing down Armstrong, couldn't even come up with enough ham for an Indictment, and a bunch of cooperators who first denied allegations regarding their own and Armstrong's use of performance enhancing substances, and then, when their necks were about to go on the chopping block, changed their tunes, sang for their supper and implicated Armstrong in exchange for sweetheart deals in their own cases, and the result is that the most basic and bedrock principles of our system of justice gets turned upside down: People either presume the allegations against Armstrong are true or expect him to prove they are not.
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