I have thoughts on Lance Armstrong's situation. In short, I don't think he's guilty. One, he's been tested more than any other athlete on the planet! Two, I think there is some jealousy and envy at work here. Three, he simply worked and trained harder than his competitors.
Lance Armstrong has been poked, prodded, sampled, and tested more than ANY other athlete on the planet! He's been tested what, 500 times or thereabouts? If he'd been guilty of any doping or use of performance enhancing drugs (hereafter PEDs), wouldn't he have been caught at least once in all those tests? Especially if those tests are done at random (i.e. he doesn't know where or when they'll be), how can he evade a positive result? How could he always have someone else around to pee in the bottle for him? How could he do so if the tests are observed, like my urinalysis tests were observed while I was in the US Navy? Sorry, but there's a reason Lance Armstrong passed the hundreds of drug tests he's taken over the years: he's not guilty-duh!
Secondly, I think that there's a lot of jealousy and envy at work here. Nowadays, instead of admiring, respecting, and studying successful people, we vilify them; we say that they MUST have cheated to get where they were; they must have stolen from someone; they must have screwed someone over.
It's rather telling that, when Mr. Armstrong was winning his first Tour de France victories, the French were the first to raise the specter of PED use; it was the French who first went after Lance Armstrong. Why wouldn't they? First of all, cycling is not 'our' sport; it's seen as a European sport. Secondly, Armstrong and other Americans are seen as interlopers by the Europeans. Thirdly, from the French perspective, here's a Yankee SOB who not only crashed 'their' party; he made them look bad. Lance Armstrong kicked their asses in THEIR sport! You think that won't incite some jealousy from the socialist minded French? Come on!
Finally, Lance Armstrong succeeded because he flat out worked HARDER than his competitors did; it's as simple as that. I read an article years ago detailing how Armstrong would train in the mountains. He'd find the steepest mountain he could, then he'd climb it three or four times; he'd even do this on cold, rainy days! That's right; even when it was 40-45 degrees F outside (that's 4-7 degrees C), he'd be charging a gnarly mountain three or four times during a training session. On days when his competitors (and indeed most sane people) would be curled up by the fireplace nursing a cup of hot chocolate, Armstrong would be charging the mountains; he'd be out training for the Tour. Is it any wonder Lance Armstrong kicked the tails of his competition? Is it any wonder he laid the groundwork to his seven victories during the mountain stages?
Yesterday, I was listening to the pundits on sports radio. They were saying that, because Lance Armstrong elected to not fight the USADA (US Anti Doping Agency), he is guilty; in effect, the one pundit said that he effectively pleaded no contest; to them, that was a tacit admission of guilt. I don't think so. Mr. Armstrong said that, after all the BS for the better part of a decade, he's had enough. I can understand that.
I remember how, back in the late 1990s, I was falsely accused of stalking, harassment, DV, etc. My psychobitch told so many lies that I could have easily nailed her for false swearing, if not outright perjury. However, I didn't do so for a couple of reasons. One, I had vengeance on my mind. Two, I just wanted to get on with my life. I wanted the nightmares to end; I wanted to have a good night's sleep again. I remember how, when that whole mess was going on, crying out to God; God, please give me my life back! My prayers were answered, so I thought it was best to let things go at that point. Ergo, I can understand Mr. Armstrong's decision to stop fighting; at a certain point, why bother?
Also, the USADA, though non-profit, is a non-governmental organization. It received almost nine million dollars from the US Federal Government. It also almost three and a half million dollars from the US Olympic Committee, to whom it is contracted testing of PEDs. You can view the USADA's 2011 annual report here; go to page 45, and you'll see the aforementioned numbers. Why is that relevant? I'm glad you asked, because I'm about to tell you-ha!
What this means is that, in effect, Lance Armstrong would be taking on the government, which has almost limitless resources. In our adversarial legal system, only the rich can really afford justice, and have the resources to counter those of the government. If he'd beaten this charge, the USADA would have come back with another one. They could have and would have kept coming back, because this is not a criminal matter; since it's a civil matter, the standard of proof isn't as high. IOW, it would be easier for the USADA to win, and harder for an athlete (like Lance Armstrong) to beat the system. That's another reason I can't blame him fro throwing in the towel.
In closing, I don't think Lance Armstrong is guilty. I don't think his decision to not fight the USADA is a tacit admission of guilt, either; after fighting these rumors and charges for over a decade, Lance Armstrong had had enough. The man who fought so hard to beat cancer had had enough; the man who'd fought these doping allegations for years had had enough; the man who'd passed HUNDREDS OF DRUG TESTS had had enough. You're telling me he wouldn't have been caught at least ONCE? Come on! Lance Armstrong will always be King of the Tour de France. Until next time...