Lance Armstrong stands unmasked as the worst kind of cheat and liar
Reign as the king of bicycle racing was built on drugs and intimidation
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, October 11, 2012, 4:10 AM
Lance Armstrong (right) with teammate George Hincapie during the 2005 Tour de France, one of seven Armstrong won thanks to illegal performance-enhancing drugs.
Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace has been widely described as the tragedy of an athlete who succumbed to the temptation of doping to enhance performance out of competitive zeal.
Now, though, the all-American boy is unmasked as a species far worse than the Olympians and baseball players who have boosted speed and strength via chemistry.
He is a fraud to the jazzed-up marrow of his bones. He is a bald-faced liar to the public and under oath to investigators. And he is a thug who attempted to conceal his systemic cheating with threats and intimidation.
So says the United States Anti-Doping Agency in a remarkably exhaustive report of its investigation into charges that Armstrong climbed to unprecedented stardom atop a bicycle with the aid of banned substances.
The document conclusively nails Armstrong with overwhelming sworn testimony, email correspondence, bank records and analyses of his blood samples.
It all but begs federal law enforcement authorities to refocus their attention on Armstrong after unexplainedly closing a probe — if only to consider indicting him for perjury.
Such scrutiny is well warranted.
The evidence also mandates that Armstrong’s top sponsors, companies like Nike and Anheuser-Busch, must cut him loose to uphold corporate responsibility. He is a fake who abused the public trust. Is that what they stand for?
Armstrong’s doping was no hit-and-miss proposition. It started in 1999 and went on for a decade. Under his command, it was highly organized and entailed surreptitious deliveries of prohibited substances, elaborate ruses to avoid blood tests and insistence that teammates participate.
Eleven of those former colleagues testified to Armstrong’s actions, including nine who had direct knowledge of his doping.
As the report concluded, Armstrong’s achievements, as well as those of the USPS/Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team that he led, “were accomplished through a massive team doping scheme, more extensive than any previously revealed in sports history.”
With full evidentiary support, the Anti-Doping Agency said of Armstrong:
“It was not enough that his teammates give maximum effort on the bike, he also required that they adhere to the doping program outlined for them or be replaced. He was not just a part of the doping culture on his team, he enforced and reenforced it. Armstrong’s use of drugs was extensive, and the doping program on his team, designed in large part to benefit Armstrong, was massive and pervasive.”
His protestations of innocence stand revealed as the lying bleats of the most determined, sophisticated and brazen sports cheat in memory.