Make It Up As You Go
After over 500 blood tests we now find Lance Armstrong once again presumed guilty. We previously wrote about the tests that Lance apparently passed over the years and how it is quite possible to fail the preliminary test but be innocent and have that demonstrated by virtue of passing the confirmatory test. For the details, check our previous blog post on “cheating or genes”. But after successfully battling press reports and an investigation that could have led to a trial, Lance now finds himself being stopped in his tracks by a board with arbitrary and virtually unchecked powers. Several years back I believe it was the same organization that felt an American, Zach Lund, who was taking Propecia for hereditary male pattern baldness was innocent of doping, but none the less could not get him unbanned in international competition and from the winter olympics in Turin. Although if he had taken Minoxidil he would have been in the clear. Now we find the opposite occurring. Lance passed the tests years ago. No traces of testosterone were found, so now a different tack is on the line.
Tales of EPO, blood doping or just bad rumors and bad mouthing are being applied as the test to declare him guilty without a trial or a hearing and end all competition. Why should it take 2 – 3 years to pronounce a test to suggest using banned substances and banned techniques (auto-transfusion). What would it be like to receive A’s on organic chemistry examinations and then decide 3 to 10 years later that you now should receive failing grades on those tests.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) has decided that a vast conspiracy hid Lance’s cheating. I’m not sure how one fights a vindictive organization that is determined to declare you guilty when a jury couldn’t even be empaneled. I’m at a loss to think that it would be rational for Lance to cheat as late as 2009 and 2010 knowing how much scrutiny he would be under and also being aware of the advances made in detecting EPO. Lance didn’t just have easy urine tests as athletes in other sports do, he had blood tests which reveal much more. But I’d still expect that much more to have been revealed years ago not so long after the fact.
The AP reported his attorney, Robert Luskin as writing “”As you well know … he successfully passed every test administered to him during that period, as he has passed every test that was ever administered”
Here the sense of fairness has just been extinguished.