Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lance Armstrong Banned from Triathlon

Well, not so fast.

OK, unless you've been unconscious for the last 24 hours, you've probably heard the news that Lance Armstrong is now facing doping charges from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Here's the actual 14-page letter from the USADA to Armstrong.

And here's a rundown of the whole thing from ESPN.

So does this mean Lance is banned from Triathlon while the investigation/hearing is going on?

Well, USA Today, and practically every other big news organization say "yes."

See last paragraph from USA Today.

But just a second. What about innocent until proven guilty and all that? Well, this isn't a criminal case and tri organizations like WTC, who owns all the Ironman races, could ban him during the investigation.

Hold on there, says Dan Empfield at Slowtwitch. Empfield thinks Armstrong will probably continue to race as he has been, at least until something more concrete is decided in some sort of official hearing, and/or appeals.

On this one, I'd trust Slowtwitch more than USA Today.

However, CNN says that WTC has already said he can't race in the upcoming Ironman France, so...

Most stories have the same basic info, but here's the take from:

A good Q and A from Bonnie Ford at ESPN.

Another look from Slowtwitch.

Sports Illustrated/CNN.

The Washington Post.

3 Wire Sports and Alan Abrahamson.

And here's a very interesting letter from Armstrong's lawyers before all this hit the news.

My own take on it is this: don't rush to judge either way here. We've seen Armstrong accused before and, believe him or not, he's never been proven to have doped. Let this play out. If the USADA has real evidence, then it will come out in time.

Until then, I'd say this isn't as big a story as people are making it out to be. Go ahead and move on with your lives.

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