Lance Armstrong era was "the dirtiest ever..."
Most of us took joy in Lance Armstrong's Tour de France victories each year, although his divorcing his wife certainly did not burnish his sheen. But reading parts of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's brief disclosing the massive evidence of Armstrong's cheating just now, I felt sick and decided to post excerpts here with a link to the brief for any readers still wishing to live in delusion.
It is a kindness to honest athletes to expose the dirty ones and Lance Armstrong makes Barry Bonds look like an Eagle Scout.
Armstrong didn't simply dope himself. He required his teammates to dope, also, and to protect his reputation, he viciously smeared anyone who dared to tell the truth. (Note the brief's second addendum documenting Armstrong's smear of Betsy Andreu when she told the truth concerning his confession to doping in an IU Medical Center hospital room way back in October of 1996.)
If you haven't looked at the brief, here are... a couple excerpts:
While this Reasoned Decision summarizes overwhelming evidence of Mr. Armstrong’s doping that would have been presented at the hearing had Mr. Armstrong not refused to challenge the charges against him, it necessarily cannot include all of the evidence that would have been presented at such a hearing. Had there been a hearing even more evidence would have been presented, including, evidence obtained through arbitration panel subpoenas and potentially evidence from government investigations.
Furthermore, at a hearing USADA would have been able to examine on the record and under oath members of Mr. Armstrong’s inner circle and others with knowledge of Armstrong’s doping who refused to come forward or were unwilling to speak with USADA absent a subpoena. Mr. Armstrong’s refusal to participate in a hearing prevented the testimony of many other witnesses from being heard.
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...over the years Mr. Armstrong and his representatives went to great lengths to attack individuals who were willing to confirm the truth of his doping. Hopefully, this objective examination of some of the evidence of Mr. Armstrong’s doping and tactics may rectify some of the harms to reputation brought about by those attacks.
As discussed in this Reasoned Decision, Mr. Armstrong did not act alone. He acted with the help of a small army of enablers, including doping doctors, drug smugglers, and others within and outside the sport and on his team. However, the evidence is also clear that Armstrong had ultimate control over not only his own personal drug use, which was extensive, but also over the doping culture of his team. Final responsibility for decisions to hire and retain a director, doctors and other staff committed to running a team-wide doping program ultimately flowed to him.
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(Armstrong's) goal (to win the Tour year after year) led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates would likewise use drugs to support his goals if not their own.
The evidence is overwhelming that Lance Armstrong did not just use performance enhancing drugs, he supplied them to his teammates. He did not merely go alone to Dr. Michele Ferrari for doping advice, he expected that others would follow. It was not enough that his teammates give maximum effort on the bike, he also required that they adhere to the doping program outlined for them or be replaced. He was not just a part of the doping culture on his team, he enforced and re-enforced it. Armstrong’s use of drugs was extensive, and the doping program on his team, designed in large part to benefit Armstrong, was massive and pervasive.
When Mr. Armstrong refused to confront the evidence against him in a hearing before neutral arbitrators he confirmed the judgment that the era in professional cycling which he dominated as the patron of the peloton was the dirtiest ever.