Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lance Armstrong Relieved Investigation Is Over, But Doping Suspicions Will Never End

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong recently got the best news of his life (okay, second best; getting cured of cancer had to be tops) when Federal prosecutors decided to drop their doping case against him.

Had prosecutors continued the case, it undoubtedly would have cost Armstrong a decent amount of his personal fortune (more than what he has already paid to his lawyers) and possibly greatly damaged his status among cancer survivors.

Armstrong With Jan Ullrich Trailing, As Usual
Detractors of Armstrong have been puzzled as to why the case was closed without a trial, but perhaps federal prosecutors realized how much damage this particular case could do to them.  For one, taxpayers haven't seemed to want the government to use funds to prosecute drug cases against famous American athletes (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens).  Another issue is the fact that they were attempting to prosecute one of America's most beloved athletes.  The only worse prosecuting decision they ever made was that whole Santa Clause case back in the 1940's (okay, maybe that was a movie).

Supporters of Armstrong point to his thousands of drug tests passed without a single fail (backed up by a positive B test and released) as evidence enough that he was clean.  Either that, or Armstrong was by far the best of the cheaters in an era of cheating.  Fellow competitors like Alberto Contador, Jan Ullrich, David Millar, Tyler Hamilton, Ivan Basso, and Floyd Landis (the most famous examples from dozens of cases) have all been caught taking illegal performance-enhancing substances.

Either way, here's hoping that the issue of Armstrong and doping is over in a legal sense.  There will always be whispers and suspicions, but that was going to happen anyway.  At this point Armstrong's enemies would do well to move on.

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