Thursday, June 14, 2012

The "New" USADA Allegations Against Lance Armstrong

At first glance, it seems to me that the US Anti-Doping Agency has simply picked up the ball that was dropped several months ago by federal investigators after grand jury hearings into a conspiracy by the former US Postal Service Cycling team (see, e.g., here). Here is the letter officially notifying Armstrong and others of the allegations (from ESPN, here):

Armstrong Charges

The only new evidence in the allegations against Lance Armstrong are blood samples extracted in 2009 and 2010 which are said to be "consistent with" use of EPO. Frankly, I'm not sure about the significance of the "consistent with" language. But I can imagine how a good defense attorney might cross-examine a toxicologist about such an assertion. All of the other evidence against Armstrong is based on testimony from teammates, and the effectiveness of their testimony will turn on credibility. I cannot imagine that the attorneys for USADA would be stupid enough to rely very heavily on testimony by Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis, or other convicted dopers with axes to grind (and books to sell). Eyewitness testimony from someone like George Hincapie, on the other hand, could be extremely damaging to Armstrong.

All in all, I think Armstrong has less to fear from this new prosecution than Johann Bruyneel and the doctors. The allegations against them seem to be much more firmly based on physical evidence. Again, this is just my "first glance" take on this latest set of allegations. Stayed tuned for more details, as they emerge.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I actively moderate comments for spam, advertisements, and abusive or offensive language.