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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Case closed: Armstrong doped [ESPN]


The word "alleged" should now be dropped from any description of the way doping permeated and enabled Lance Armstrong's cycling career.
For most of the past 15 years, no discussion or story about Armstrong was complete without that loaded yet qualified term. Doping allegations dogged him, came to naught, were declared specious and dismissed by him. Yet they continued to multiply, rattling behind him like tin cans tied to the bumper of a luxury car.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's release of its "reasoned decision" and staggeringly voluminous supporting documents that resulted in its move to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him from elite competition for life -- charges he opted not to contest -- changes all that, and rewrites Armstrong's sporting epitaph from alleged to proven user of performance-enhancing drugs and techniques.
There is no other logical conclusion. After today, anyone who remains unconvinced simply doesn't want to know.
Lance Armstrong
GabrielL Bouys/AFP/Getty ImagesLance Armstrong walked away from the USADA charges.
At the core of USADA's case are the collective sworn confessions of a generation of American riders who lived and trained and raced with Armstrong. Taken together, they constitute overwhelming evidence that can't be painted as disgruntled fragging by ex-"lieutenants.'' Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis lied about their own doping and tacitly covered for their former teammates for years, which made it difficult for some to believe them when they finally told the truth. Now they no longer stand isolated.

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