It has always been a no-brainer to me that Lance Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs. The world of cycling is dominated by PEDs and has been for a long time. The idea that a guy who heroically recovered from cancer of the everything came back and completely dominated fields full of guys who cheated while not cheating himself is unreasonable. In 2009, I wrote this:
With the rampant use of performance enhancing drugs in the world of cycling, it is starting to take an extraordinary act of intellectual dishonesty to believe that Armstrong has been clean his entire career. So while I have a lot of respect for Armstrong as a man and an athlete, I’m not willing to keep my head buried in the sand. My opinion is that Lance Armstrong has benefited from illegal performance enhancing drugs in the past, and may very well be using whatever he can in this latest comeback attempt.
My feelings remain the same, and as of yesterday, it appears those feelings may be validated.
The seven-time Tour de France winner who in February saw a two-year federal investigation into his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs dropped without charges being filed, is back in the spotlight of doping suspicions.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has accused Armstrong and five former members of his support staff — three doctors, a trainer and a team manager — of engaging in a massive doping conspiracy from 1998 to 2011. Armstrong, 40, who retired from cycling last year, could see his Tour titles get stripped as a result.
USADA‘s letter to Armstrong dated June 12 includes previously unpublicized allegations against him, saying blood samples taken in 2009 and 2010 were “consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions.”
Armstrong denies the charges and he always will. He has pointed to some type of conspiracy that wants his legacyt tarnished. But in the U.S., Armstrong is beloved. He is truly a great person.
Sadly, in the end, Armstrong’s legacy won’t be that of a great cycling champion or tireless philanthropist. He will be known as the guy who cheated and then spent the rest of his life lying about it.
Crossposted at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles