Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lance Armstrong Is Being Crucified

What appears to be a quasi-government agency has put the American hero Lance Armstrong on trial. I suspect I'm not the only taxpayer that is angry at the continuation of our government attacking it's citizens. Armstrong has been an incredible inspiration, an ambassador for America as well as a leader in bringing the issue of cancer and the fight against it to the forefront. On June 13th former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong was formally charged with doping by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, another creation of our Government that has run amuck. With no "due process" and a standard lower then "legal reasonable doubt" the USADA charges and investigation amounts to the crucifixion and destruction of the life and rights of an American citizen using our taxpayer money.

The Wall Street Journal cited a letter in which the agency said blood samples collected in 2009 and 2010 were "fully consistent with blood manipulation including EPO use and/or blood transfusions." In a statement, Armstrong attacked the "discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years." The action could cost Armstrong some or all of his seven Tour de France titles, according to the Journal, he's now banned from competing in triathlons as a result of the charges. The case is no longer just about whether Armstrong used drugs to win the Tour de France, but whether there was a team-wide doping program, an offense that could lead to fraud and conspiracy charges.

Of course two of the accusers, Landis and Hamilton, have credibility issues and have changed their stories. A story by CBS chose to rely on these questionable sources while completely ignored Lance's nearly 500 clean tests and the hundreds of former teammates and competitors who would have spoken about his work ethic and talent. Armstrong and his lawyers claim Hamilton is leveraging his allegations against Armstrong to try to secure a book deal. Hamilton's public remarks put him alongside not only Landis but also George Hincapie as the third trusted teammate to have allegedly spoken to federal authorities looking into the Armstrong case. (See the Reuters release below:)

(Reuters) - Statement released by Lance Armstrong on Wednesday in response to reports he had been contacted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency over doping allegations

           "I have been notified that USADA, an organization largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules, intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned. "These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation. These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity.
            "Although USADA alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy extended over more than 16 years, I am the only athlete it has chosen to charge. USADA's malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play. "I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one. "That USADA ignores this fundamental distinction and charges me instead of the admitted dopers says far more about USADA, its lack of fairness and this vendetta than it does about my guilt or innocence."

I'm dubious and suspicious of any testimony that is sought after with such vigor and where the accuser is given immunity. I must question if the testimony has been coerced or the motivation of the accusers and why these guys continue to try to bring Armstrong down with taxpayer money? What do they feel they have to prove?  Baseball great Roger Clements Roger was recently acquitted on all charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying he used performance-enhancing drugs to extend his pitching career. Like the governments assault on  Martha Stewart this is another example of injustice, she did time and was forced to pay huge fines not for insider trading (something that until recently was legal for politicians in Washington), but for lying. What politician could endure this kind of constant scrutiny?

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