A quick look at the Lance Armstrong impasse

Cyclingnews has a solid overview, complete with some exclusive information, of the Lance Armstrong case, along with links to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s charges and Armstrong’s response.

One item Cyclingnews raises through an anonymous source — the charges are not based on testimony from the grand jury investigation that ended with no charges being filed.

Most of the USADA charges are based on testimony from as-yet-unnamed witnesses who were involved with Armstrong’s team. The Armstrong response aggressively asks for the names, last known addresses and contact information of these witnesses — perhaps not the best PR strategy when the USADA complaint already describes “the use of fear, intimidation and coercion to attempt to enforce a code of silence (or omerta)” among Armstrong’s cycling teams.

The Armstrong response is more effective in questioning two specific items in USADA’s charges — a 2001 EPO test in Switzerland (which, by itself, would fall outside a statute of limitations, anyway) and data from 2009 and 2010. Armstrong took a bunch of tests in those years and posted the results. It’ll be curious to see if USADA sees something in those results that Armstrong and company did not.

Pundits are going to be tempted to jump to conclusions before this case plays out. That’s not a good idea. This one’s going to be complicated.

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