Lance Armstrong – So What’s the Problem?
by chris_sanchez
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August 27, 2012 10:16 AM | 4560 views | 7 7 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Unless you have been under a rock this past weekend, you know about the passing of Neil Armstrong (see my blog for a brief post on that topic) and that Lance Armstrong has been banned from cycling for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after announcing he would no longer fight the USADA’s charges of doping.  In the grand scheme of things, the accomplishments of Lance pale in comparison to those of Neil in my opinion.  Still, there is something about the situation with Lance that is bothering me.

You see, we Americans value fairness.  I have told my children time and time again that fairness ended in the Garden of Eden but that is blog for another time.  In the case against Lance Armstrong though, the cyclist rightly points to his history of drug testing in his sport.  Hundreds of drug tests performed and not once has Lance failed one of those tests.  Not once!  Here is where my problem begins.  You see, the USADA claims to have many witnesses prepared to testify that Lance used performance enhancing drugs, blood transfusions, etc. to fuel his wildly successful cycling career.  When the government says they have witnesses then the case must be iron-clad, right?  (Insert snarky laugh here)

Well, here’s my problem.  You see, if Lance had failed a single drug test this discussion would be very different indeed.  Now suppose Lance had failed a test in a competitive event and produced a dozen witnesses who would testify that Lance at no time used any of the previously mentioned methods (or any other for that matter) during the race and they could fully document that Lance was in their presence the entire time.  Guess what?  It wouldn’t matter!  Why?  Because of the failed drug test that’s why.  Do you see my problem yet?  No?  Let me explain.

USADA has rigged their system allowing them to have it both ways.  Heads you fail a drug test and we’ve got you or tails we have people to testify against you and we get to ignore the test results.  See the double standard?  The bottom-line is this: they can’t have it both ways.  Period.  This is the lack of fairness that I am talking about here and it simply rubs me the wrong way. 

I am not a big fan of cycling though like so many people around the world I have found Lance Armstrong’s story compelling over the years.  Many in the media claim Lance’s refusal to continue to fight the charges constitutes an admission of guilt.  Perhaps their statements have some merit.  Perhaps not. 

I don’t know if Lance Armstrong is guilty of doping but I know unfairness when I see it. If he is guilty of doping, Lance would do well to consider Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  All the good works of his foundation, his illustrious cycling career, and all the rest are for naught without Christ.

About Christopher:

Christopher is a recent graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary of Liberty University where he earned the Master of Religious Education. He also holds MBA Finance and BS Management degrees. A former resident of Powder Springs, Christopher and his family now reside in Woodstock. Having enthusiastically embraced social media in 2007, he blogs regularly at www.chris-sanchez.com and is very active on both Facebook and Twitter.

 

Comments
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me30
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August 30, 2012
@sjposton: "I "believe" he is guilty based on the minimal evidence that is out there and his behavior"...I thought we were innocent until proven guilty? And since when did "believing" anything make it logical? Funny how you are telling someone else to be logical and use critical thinking when I don't see you doing much of either yourself. Just saying...
sjposton
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August 28, 2012
Either he cheated or he didn't. Any other athlete that was confronted with the allegations and the evidence that we know so far would be laughed out of the room if he continued to stonewall and profess his innocence. Only Lance Armstrong and a few other "media made-men" can get away with this kind of smoke screen. "I quit because this thing is giving me a headache” is essential Armstrong’s current position. Make no mistake; this is a well-coordinated and well planned attempt to muddy the waters. I would be surprised if phone calls to certain "journalists" weren’t made and if many of these articles weren’t already in the can waiting for this moment. I don't "know" that he is guilty any more than any of you "know" that he is innocent. That is not the point of this discussion. I "believe" he is guilty based on the minimal evidence that is out there and his behavior. The last thing in the world an innocent man with Lance’s resources would do would be to give up the fight, especially now. This was it! This would have been the "Lance Armstrong is clean Superbowl". If he had gone in there and crushed the USADA case, he was done. Nobody could ever question or touch him again. If I was innocent I would be looking forward to that opportunity. That is the reason why I "believe" (don't know) he is guilty. So why is it specifically that you "believe" that he is innocent? Again, 500 or 1000 test won't detect blood transfusions or HGH, so witness testimony would be the only available evidence. Be careful when throwing around accusations self-righteousness. Most of what I’m hearing from Armstrong apologist is self-righteous indignation and not a lot in the way of logic and critical thinking.
Christopher Sanchez
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August 28, 2012
@sjposton: People lie, memories fade, and soemtimes witnesses are "convinced" to testify a certain way for other reasons. And what of the passed testing? Do those tests not matter? Over 500 tests in his career and we are to believe Armstrong is so good at cheating that he NEVER got caught doing so? Are we to believe that cycling officials are that inept?

As I said, I don't know if Lance cheated or not (and neither do you). What I do know is he never failed a drug test and federal prosecutors declined to bring a criminal indictment after a two year investigation and spending who knows how much of the taxpayers money doing so. Where does it end?
to anonymous
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August 27, 2012
That is world-class trolling. You been doing that for a while, huh? Definitely a pro.
anonymous
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August 27, 2012
lol what a load of rubbish, the only thing i like about lance is he's an atheist
sjposton
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August 27, 2012
Your logic couldn’t be more flawed. The 10 who would testify that he never took anything could not know that because they are not with him every second of the day. When they testify that they saw him use PEDs they are stating their own experience. It really has little to do with Lance. These examples are not analogous in any way. This Lance Armstrong thing has a lot of smart people, especially writers, using outrageously twisted logic.
M. Forcade
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August 27, 2012
Mr. Sanchez, you are 2 for 2. I found both topics relevant and interesting. I will say I was pleasantly surprised by the commentary, as I wrongly assumed based on the Blog title, that the opinions may be from the far right, with too much bias to that extent.

As for the "Lance" Armstrong situation, I am a cycling enthusiast and an avid follower of professional cycling. So I have followed pretty closely this "persecution". Yes, that is my view, and I think an accurate portrayal of the USADAs mission. The Justice dept spent 2 years and plenty of money looking into Mr. Armstrong and came back with the position, that there was not substantial evidence to charge him with any wrongdoing. As you stated, he passed several hundred drug tests, and that really should be the end of it, given the rules of competitive cycling at the time.

International cycling’s governing bodies have stated that they will appeal the USADAs decision pending a review of evidence to be provided by the USADA. So I guess they are not on board?

I listened to an interview given by the CEO of USADA Travis Tygart, the day after Mr. Armstrong decided to end his fight. Mr Tygart stated that his intention was only to level the playing field for the clean athletes of the US and to let kids know they can compete without cheating. He further stated that all due process was available to Mr. Armstrong to answer the charges and that only an insinuation of guilt would be appropriate given his choice to not continue. I find great fault with the second half of that statement. As was so well stated in your post “Heads you fail a drug test and we’ve got you or tails we have people to testify against you and we get to ignore the test results”.

Did Lance Armstrong dope? I would say most likely yes, but there are times, and I wish Mr. Tygart shared my view, that the greater good should be served first. The Livestrong Foundation has raised more than half a billion dollars to aid in cancer research. I can only hope that effort is not hindered by the actions of the USADA. Doper or not, Mr. Armstrong used his notoriety and platform for a greater good, so was it at the cost of his “soul”, I would imagine only he can answer that.



Look forward to your next post. (and btw, yes, I am a daily reader of the MDJ)

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