A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


August 27, 2012

The Lance Armstrong Controversy: What's Really Behind It?

     I know that this topic does not affect national security, or threaten our liberties, per se; but I feel that underneath this story, lies a sinister intent.  Maybe that's why the decision by Lance Armstrong to quit the fight has captured my attention.  I've never been particularly interested in cycling, or caught up in the fervor of the Tour de France, the highlight of all cycling events.  Like many, I was aware of his story; his battle against life-threatening testicular cancer, and his singular drive to beat those odds and provide hope for cancer victims worldwide.  And also, like many, I could celebrate his incredible winning streak; seeming to defy all challengers and the fatigue that comes with encroaching age.
     Allegations of doping began in 1999 with his first win of the Tour de France, and they didn't stop throughout his unprecedented run of seven victories.  From this unbiased onlooker, it is hard to know what the truth is.  On the one hand, you have the testimony of fellow U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis, himself stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title, after a confession of doping.  Landis has suggested that there was a complex system of doping on the team, and included Armstrong among that group.  On the other hand, Armstrong has passed hundreds of drug tests, and was not convicted after a two-year federal criminal investigation into doping charges.  At the center of Lance's decision to stop the arbitration process is an organization called the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, who has announced that they will strip him of his seven Tour de France titles, and issued a lifetime ban against the cyclist's participation in the sport.
     From my understanding, USADA refused to let the doping charges drop after the federal investigation went nowhere.  According to an article on The Blaze, "The federal probe was closed in February, but USADA announced in June it had evidence Armstrong used banned substances and methods – and encouraged their use by teammates. The agency also said it had blood tests from 2009 and 2010 that were “fully consistent” with blood doping."
     So, I have a couple of questions..... First, just who is the USADA?  According to my research, USADA is recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States.  According to Wikipedia, it is a non-profit organization and is not a government entity.  However,  the agency is mostly funded ($9 million) by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), with its remaining budget generated from contracts for anti-doping services with sport organizations, most notably the United States Olympic Committee.  Maybe I'm just a little confused, but how does USADA, which is funded by a formal cabinet level component (ONDCP) of the President of the United States have any jurisdiction over the Tour de France?
     And in essence, since the US Anti-Doping Agency is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and is under the auspices of the "Drug Czar", we the taxpayers have been paying for this somewhat murky investigation.  The National Drug Control Budget, proposed by our current Administration, is asking for $340 million in funding, and the hiring of 98 full-time employees at salaries of over $105,000/year.  With all the drug problems we have crossing our southern border, is Lance Armstrong where our taxpayer dollars should be going?
     For his part, Armstrong says he is tired of fighting the never-ending allegations and refuses to become part of, in his words, "the witch hunt."  According to a CNN article, Armstrong has said in court documents that he has never had "a single positive test" in the 500 to 600 drug tests he's taken in his more than two decades in cycling.
    "From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation."
     So what is really going on?  I am not here to pronounce guilt or innocence on Lance Armstrong.  I haven't seen or heard all the evidence.  To some he is a hero; a champion of the underdog and a warrior for all cancer victims.  There can be no disputing all the good his Foundation has done for others.
     Then there are those who will never believe that he accomplished all those titles without performance-enhancing drugs.  I'm not sure we will ever know who is telling the truth.  That is the job for someone more qualified than myself.  But here is what I do know:  Once again, it appears to me that a government agency has used its' unqualified and unlawful power to overstretch its' authority.  And that's a dangerous precedent.  If the USADA can take down the top athlete in a sport, without proving their case in court, then where does the tyranny stop?  And the worst part about it?  We're not only watching this intimidation and "guilty until proven innocent" campaign; we're paying for it.  Will the abuse of tax-payer dollars never end?

Job 10: 15-16       "If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion and again display your awesome power against me.  You bring new witnesses against me and increase your anger toward me; your forces come against me wave upon wave."

   

4 comments:

  1. Just another example of a government agency going beyond their delegated powers. I can't say I blame Lance for letting the fight go. No one can take away his motivation for success .... not even the government!

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  2. My own personal feeling is that this is just a witch hunt. They need to find Lance Armstrong guilty in order to justify the money that's been spent.
    I find it hard to believe that a man who fought cancer and won would put something harmful into his body. It just dose not make sense to me.

    JM

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  3. If you didn't cheat, and you have tons of money, you'd spend it to clear your name. If you did cheat, you might well give up before being outed. This trial was a waste of time and money.

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  4. This and the millions of dollars that congress wasted to investigate steroids in baseball is just another example of how out of control and out of touch this government is. The country is teetering at the edge of a cliff and we are wasting money on this why?

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