What can you say about the revelation Lace Armstrong will not fight the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) charges he cheated his entire professional career, via Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s)? The issue of “Did he, or didn’t he” is no longer of any importance, however, the fallout from here on will be massive. And, all it took was one man with a goal, an obsession, actually – Travis T. Tygart.
And, he did it with no apparent, solid facts. Innuendo was enough to kill Pro Cycling as we know it.
If the focal point of Lance’s downfall were unsubstantiated “Eye-Witness” reports and back room mutterings, then the implications of legal precedent go far beyond the bounds of cranks, cassette’s and carbon tubulars. Pick a sport. Pick a star. All is now open to boundless attacks and an eerie shadow of doubt. “We want blood!”
Any activity where there are winners and losers is now open to interpretations based purely on the “Facts” of the losers. Some claim the noose was tightening and Armstrong folded under the ever increasing pressure. Quite logically, when you are absolved of charge, after charge, after charge, yet organizations with no limits on litigation, questionable jurisdiction, no care for Due Process, and never-ending public attacks until a forced “Confession” is extracted, well, what would any one of us do?
This also opens up some facts about the current world we live in. In previous generations, if you got beat, you got beat. One accepted the win as a win and a loss as a loss. There were no hurts feelings or the need for support groups, therapy, or hugs to soothe the exploited also-rans. “The winner must have cheated! They beat the system, somehow! My feelings are hurt! Everyone deserves a trophy, or I will cry all the way to the authorities.”
Where the proverbial chips fall from here is anyone’s guess. Lance was THE icon of the sport, and now he has been tarnished (as well as his foundation and sponsors). One thing is for sure – The financial ramifications to cycling from dwindling sponsorship support will be HUGE!
Yes, nothing good will come from the public execution of Lance Armstrong. The damage to cycling, the organizers, the sponsors, the manufacturers, and the fans is going to be almost impossible to repair.
I wonder if Tygart really, truly gives a damn about cycling? Torquemada would be proud.