Yesterday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a 202-page report detailing the doping charges against Lance Armstrong. It’s not pretty. The report includes 26 witnesses, 11 of whom were his teammates. Sources close to Armstrong have come forward admitting that not only did he dope, but he was at the center of the doping world. The New York Times writes:
Their accounts painted an eerie and complete picture of the doping on Armstrong’s teams, squads that dominated the sport of cycling for nearly a decade.
“His goal led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and to require that his teammates would likewise use drugs to support his goals if not their own,” the agency said in its 202-page report.
Here’s the Los Angeles Times on the controversy:
The report was huge and complex. The Wall Street Journal‘s team live blogged their reading of it pulling the parts that shocked them the most. Like this bit, from Tyler Hamilton, a former teammate who testified against Armstrong:
“He said, ‘When you’re on the witness stand, we are going to tear you apart. You are going to look like a idiot.’ Lance continued, ‘I’m going to make your life a living . . . . . . hell.’
“The whole episode took perhaps 10 minutes, and it really shook me up. I believe it was a clear effort to intimidate me and try to discourage me from testifying against Lance.”
Lance maintains that the USADA is out to get him. Last night, as people were finally digesting the whole report, Lance tweeted that he was “hanging with my family, unaffected, and thinking about this.” He then linked to the Elliott Smith song Coming Up Roses.
Armstrong’s legacy is up in the air. Since essentially all the other riders were doping, it might be fair to say that he still was the best. This New York Times graphic shows just how many Tour de France winners have been tainted by doping. But for others, Armstrong is no longer superman. He’s now just another guy who did whatever it took to win.
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