Comments about ‘Letter: Lance Armstrong is innocent against doping charges’

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Published: Thursday, Aug. 30 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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custer
Boise, ID

Why doesn't Armstrong fight the charges? Because all the mountain of evidence that has been found against him would be made public. This evidence includes testimony from more than 10 eye witnesses, who were former associates of Armstrong. If you're innocent of misconduct charges, you don't standby and do nothing. Armstrong is pulling the classic Bill Clinton defense: Deny everything, tear-down your accusers, and hide behind an army of lawyers and knee-jerk suporters.

ECR
Burke, VA

Custer - Look at the history of athletes fighting organizations just like USADA. Last weekend Sally Jenkins wrote in the Washington Post about the Court of Appeals for Sport and their case against Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador. "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." Huh? "He received a two-year ban. CAS’s rationale? “There is no reason to exonerate the athlete so the ban is two years,” one member of the panel said."

Does that sound like a fair deal to you? Lance Armstrong has been battling USADA for years over his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. He has over 500 drug tests that prove his innocence. USADA has the testimony, which no one else has heard, of 10 people. 10 people vs. 500 drug tests. Which one is more capable of lying or being manipulated by an unfair panel? Just ask yourself that question.

Esquire
Springville, UT

@ Custer, you clearly don't understand the complexities of this situation and the serious defects of the USADA process, so jumping to your conclusions is wrong-headed. Even the UCI doesn't like it. I suspect that this matter is still far from being over. A rush to judgment is foolish.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

This left-leaning letter is pure nonsense. Anyone who has paid any attention to this story at all knows that Armstrong is guilty.

Overwhelming amounts of evidence have been presented over the past 10 years. Armstrong has decided not to challenge the evidence because he knows he cannot refute it. He knows that challenge would be futile and it would only attract more attention to the overwhelming evidence of his guilt.

The left takes every opportunity to promote excuses and to shirk blame. That is exactly the case here.

ECR
Burke, VA

JCS _ So, according to you, "the left" promotes a system where a person is innocent until proven guilty...and that's a bad thing? How, on earth, is this a left/right issue? As stated in the letter, the USADA has no authority to strip Armstrong of his titles and they have not followed their own rules of relying on the drug tests administered to determine guilt or innocence. How can you find anything right about that? There is nothing political about this issue. It's a matter of right and wrong. It's a matter of an out-of-control organization trying to grab the spotlight from an athlete that has overcome insurmountble odds and been an inspiration to many. What kind of organization works so hard, using such dishonest tactics, to destroy that inspriation? What kind of citizens openly support that process by writing in a public forum?

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

"Left leaning"? You people are weird.

custer
Boise, ID

As a marathon runner, I used to be a great admirer of Lance Armstrong, even after the drug charges began coming forward several years ago. But then I started reading some of the information, starting with the Sports Illustrated in-depth report: "The Case Against Lance Armstrong" in Jan 2011. The evidence against him is overwhelming. Armstrong doesn't come-off as a white as the driven snow innocent victim. From all I have read, Armstrong appears to be a charlatan who used performance inhancing drugs and doping methods for many years. He knew all the tricks of the trade with regard to drug tests. There is also eyewitness testimony of him avoiding government testers when they made visits to his property in Texas. It goes on and on.

If Armstrong is innocent, all he has to do is come forward and refute the specific charges against him. Simple as that and end of discussion.

Esquire
Springville, UT

custer, I personally would not be surprised if Armstrong did in fact cheat. My thing is, so did all the other top riders and thus there was a level playing field. The fact remains, he was not caught, and here we are up to 13 years later. There was a process in place, and he survived it. Changing the rules down the road, relying on coerced testimony, lack of due process, etc., does not make it a fair process, and that is why the UCI is dubious of USADA. Cycling has come a long way in enforcement, and I know of no other sport that enforces like this one. Time to move on. This witch hunt serves no purpose, it is speculative, and the standards of evidence and burden of proof are so low as to make it unfair.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Custer, I think you're absolutely right.

I hope everyone commenting in this forum read Doug Robinson's column in Wednesday's Deseret News. Among other things, he debunked the "never failed a drug test" argument.

UT Brit
London, England

@Esquire

Right so we shouldnt have stripped the other riders of their titles after they were caught doping or is it only Armstrong who should be allowed to keep them? Using the "well everyone else cheats" is not a valid reason. Everyone responds to doping differently so its not a level playing field. In the tour de france you can pretty much guarantee that at least one rider was clean, that is enough for Armstrong to lose his titles.

For anyone who does actually think he is clean lets consider the following:

- Armstong consistently beat riders who have been caught and admitted to doping.
- Armstrong's doctor at the time now has a lifetime ban from the sport because he helped riders dope.
- Armstrong made a $100,000 payment to the tour operators as a report of a failed drug test was going to come out.
- 10 riders,including team mates and riders who Armstrong considered to be close as brothers are willing to testify against him.

Tests can be overcome which has been proven over and over again. You have to be a bit delusional to think Armstrong was clean. The above is just scraping the surface.

ECR
Burke, VA

Steve = I did not read Doug Robinson's article until you suggested it and I'm not anymore convinced now than before I read it.

He tried to liken Armstrong's case to Barry Bonds noting that neither of them had failed a drug test. But that just isn't true. Justice Department lawyers found evidence of Bonds failing a drug test in 2000, almost three years before MLB had a testing program. Barry Bonds did fail a drug test.

Robinson seems to indict Armstrong because Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post called him a good man. That doesn't seem like damaging evidence to me.

And finally Robinson said, "Cut through all the baloney and gamesmanship and the only issue is whether he took PEDs. The evidence is overwhelming that he did." And then like USDAD and many others he proceeded to produce nothing. He didn't even mention a partial piece of evidence that is supposed to be overwhelming.

At no time did he even attempt to refute the claim that Armstrong never failed a drug test. And he wondered why, if Armstrong was innocent, would his former teammates now be speaking out against him. Egos? Jealousy?

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