Jenkins: Hypocrisy, the USADA and Lance Armstrong
It's been a few days since the USADA announced it was going to strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles. Which of course raises the question: how does a U.S.organization strip an athlete of titles he earned in Europe for an organization that has nothing to do with the USADA?
That is but one question that Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post points out in a terrific opinion piece about the hypocrisy of the USADA and how unjust that organization, the Court of Abritration for Sport (CAS) and the world doping organizations can be.
How does an agency that is supposed to regulate drug testing strip a guy of seven titles without a single positive drug test? Whether Armstrong is innocent or guilty, that question should give all of us pause. How is it that an American agency can decide to invalidate somebody’s results achieved in Europe, in a sport it doesn’t control? Better question, how is it that an American taxpayer-funded organization can participate in an adjudication system in which you get a two-year ban because “there is no reason to exonerate” you? At what point is such an organization shut down and defunded?
The two year ban she mentions involved the 2010 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador. He was stripped of his title after an "insignificant amount of clenbuterol" was found in his urine. An amount the organization readily admitted was ingested unintentionally. Their decision: stripping Contador of his title and a two year ban from racing.
So, before you come to a decision, I would recommend reading Jenkins piece. It may give you pause before deciding if the 7-time Tour de France winner - and barring a positive drug test or any solid evidence, that is what I will always consider Armstrong - is guilty of anything more than falling victim to an organization so set on proving its worth that it would act in a manner a judge even referred to as a “apparent single-minded determination” to bring down Armstrong.
So, what do you think?