There are no revelations in either Lupica's column or the Daily News' feature except what everyone else woke up to find out this morning. Namely, that the United Sates Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has declared that Armstrong will received lifetime ban from Olympic sports and will have all 7 of his Tour De France titles removed—there are other punishments, but that's the gist of it—following his decision not to challenge the results of the USADA's two-year investigation.
It is not yet certain that the USADA has the power to do any of this. We'll see. But that so many have decided in advance that the agency can do all this—including forcing Armstrong to return his prize money—indicates how many were predisposed to believe in Armstrong's guilt.
I write this not as a journalist, but as a fan, which is to say I only pay attention to cycling a few times a year, and my knowledge of the world of doping in sports, from the chemistry to the politics, is spotty. When a scandal rears its head, I do a crash course in the available facts, calling on experts, when needed, for explanations and analysis. I've been collecting information on the Armstrong controversy for several years now and am finally convinced that I will never know enough of the background to make a decision on my own.
I do, however, have a number of outstanding questions. For instance, I would like to know how everyone can be so positive as to what it meant that four cyclists - four key members of Armstrong's former team—opted out of consideration for the Olympics back in June.
According to Henry Blodget of Business Insider:
One obvious possibility ... is that some or all of these cyclists are among those who have provided evidence against Armstrong and don't want the distraction or bad publicity associated with the arbitration taking place at the same time as the Olympics—especially if they themselves admitted being involved in doping.
Another possibility, presumably, is that they want to be available to defend Armstrong.
Okay, they might have been able to give testimony against Armstrong, they might have been doping themselves, or they might have waned to be available to defend Armstrong. That about runs the gamut, and like so much of the so-called evidence in this matter, I know nothing more after reading it than I did before I read it.
Here's another piece of "evidence." In an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal in July, Floyd Landis, a former Armstrong teammate, claims that Johan Bruyneel, director for the US team during all of Armstrong's Tour de France wins, told him that the team sold some sports equipment to pay for their dope. But that's hearsay; when the Journal asked Bruyneel to respond, he chose not to. Go make a case based on that one.
Here's another one. Armstrong is alleged to have returned at least three tests in the 1990s that were positive for testosterone. In the January 24, 2011 issue of Sports Illustrated, Selena Roberts and David Epstein, in a story titled "The Case against Lance Armstrong," talked to anti-doping scientist Don Catlin, whose lab conducted the tests.