It’s Not About the Bike Then?

As the latest chapter in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal unfolds today it looks like we could be on the brink of the greatest fall in sporting history; but then the Texan with his seven Tour de France titles, legion of fans, and huge business and charity empire has so much further to fall than most. The release, both publicly and to the sport’s governing body, the UCI, of the United States Anti-Doping Agency findings makes for grim reading. Running to 1000 pages and with a wealth of testimonial and other evidence, including statements from eleven of Armstrong’s former USPS team-mates, accuses him not only of doping but of personally overseeing ‘…the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.’ The agency claims its evidence shows ‘beyond any doubt’ that Armstrong was personally responsible for the culture of drug abuse and cheating that included systematic bullying and grooming of young riders to ‘…pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices.’


Armstrong has continually called the USADA’s actions a ‘witch hunt’, with his lawyer describing the report as a, ‘one-sided hatchet job.’ The only immediate reaction from the 41-year old has come via Twitter on which he posted, ‘What am I doing tonight? Hanging with my family, unaffected, and thinking about this.’


The UCI has 21 days to respond to the USADA evidence and to either accept or challenge the agency’s stripping of the TdF titles and imposed lifetime ban. The full USADA report, along with evidence and testimonials, is available online at  


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