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Rick Reilly: Lance Armstrong has passed every test thrown his way, and that's something to talk about - ESPN


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"I'm used to it," says Armstrong, who denies every charge Landis makes. "This is the 11th straight year somebody has tried something at the start of the race. I'm trained not to care. I'm doing this for the foundation, a foundation that touches millions of people's lives. They don't care about all this. Those people? Those people that understand and volunteer and donate and care about Livestrong? Those people who are in the fights of their lives? They don't care."

Should they?

"That's not for me to say. My record speaks for itself."

That record plays like this: 14 tumors, 40 percent chance to live, survive, make it back, win seven straight Tours, retire, unretire, finish third and now compete at a shocking fifth-place pace after Monday's stage. He's two spots ahead of the man he nearly punched out last year, ex-teammate and two-time winner Alberto Contador -- who's 11 years younger and about 30 controversies lighter.

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I wonder why he retired. He seems born to do this.

That's the thing. He is trying to compete in ironmans; that seems part of the reason the USADA is pressing new (old) charges against him: until the case is resolved, he's banned from competition.

http://espn.go.com/olympics/triathlon/story/_/id/8050665/ironman-france-bars-lance-armstrong-paris-triathlon

http://triathlon.competitor.com/tag/lance-armstrong

I don't know much about the USADA but why are they going after him in particular?

Edited. Who knows where I'll be in 6 years from now -- maybe competing and being tested by the USADA... :)

Lance is a target because he's the guy; similar to how prosecutors will pass over small-medium criminals in exchange for immunity/testimony to bring down a drug lord, kingpin, major executive, etc.

There are probably millions of Americans like me who equate both fighting cancer and riding bikes to one man -- Lance Armstrong. There is no bigger fish in the pond to fry.

I believe they say have more witnesses now.

One also might say its because Armstrong, although retired from competitive cycling, had just recently began competing in triathlons; and already he is (was) considered a favorite to win the world ironman competition. He's an ok swimmer, good runner, and an exceptional cyclist...he used to be on the triathlon circuit when he was 18...

At any rate, the US Attorneys office responsible for both the BALCO investigation and Clemens' perjury trial just recently dropped their charges against Lance; either because they had a weak case or because LA has powerful friends. It's hard to imagine, however, the attorneys office dropping a case because of political influence.

So the question is -- what does the USADA have against him that the US attorneys office didnt, other than circumstantial evidence?

They don't need to prove anything, though; by simply pressing charges they have done what nary a few competitors in sport have been able to do --- force him out of competition.

Also, with cases like Barry bonds and mark McGwire; there is much physical evidence just by looking a the person. There was a huge assumption of guilt; with cycling and running its more challenging because the "doping" involves things like red blood cells and oxygen intake -- things that would make a cyclist be able to endure longer than average but would not be visible to the average person.

Whats clear with these cases Is this: a) confirmation bias b) much of the damage is done to the athletes reputation, irrespective of the outcome of the charges.

Was Kobe Bryant guilty of rape? I can't remember; however when I research it it seems he was acquitted and settled a civil case out of court.

Was Barry Bonds found guilty?

Can't remember; but there have been enough stories in the media that it permanently affects these folks' repudiation whether or not they are ever found guilty.

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