I wrote a blog post a few years about "Did Lance Dope?".
This was back when Floyd Landis had sent a series of e-mails detailing the doping on the U.S. Postal Service team. Even then it seemed obvious the answer was "Yes"... in fact even before Landis said a peep it was pretty clear.
At the time, I rather optimistically said:
This has to be the final straw for anyone who still thinks Lance was clean... although I suspect it won't be
Sadly, my suspicions were right. The Lance Spin Machine worked it's magic, with the usual talking points.
- Never failed a test (neither did Ulrich or Basso!)
- Accuser is a scumbag liar
- Look at all the good work he's done for cancer! (or as I call it, the "look over there, something shiny!" defence)
Now we're at another point in history, with Lance giving up the fight against USADA's drug charges before it really even started.
He had a choice - face the process and see the USADA evidence (which has never been revealed) or accept the ban and hope it never gets out. He accepted the ban, leaving the Lance Spin Machine with those same old talking points... and once again, while I think it should be the final straw, I suspect it won't be.
An innocent man wants to see the evidence he's being accused with. He wants the opportunity to fight it out and address those accusers. He wants to clear his name.
Instead, he's hidden behind a bizarre claim USADA is biased against him and has rigged the process - a claim he made in a court of law, only to have a federal judge say the exact opposite after hearing his arguments:
USADA's arbitration rules follow the guidelines of the American Arbitration Association and are "sufficiently robust."In the end, Lance took his ball and went home, rather than fight. This is a new Lance, one without the will to fight, and one that never would have won the Tour de France in the first place.