Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lance Armstrong: Fraud for the Public Good

Sports Illustrated recently published a whole slew of new allegations against Lance Armstrong.  They're pretty damning.  Among the allegations:  A world renowned antidoping doctor, Donald Catlin, failed to report three urine samples from the mid 1990s, allegedly coming from Armstrong, that were positive for elevated levels of testosterone; Armstrong gained access to and used a discontinued drug called HemAssist (initially intended for trauma victims with extreme blood loss) to boost his blood's oxygen-carrying capacity; Specific accusations and anecdotes from former Armstrong teammates, aides, and confidantes.  Much of the information in the SI story comes from anonymous sources, and most of the accusations come from people spurned by Armstrong. 

There is still no positive test, no smoking gun, but in the end, it may not matter.  Lance Armstrong is approaching a tipping point (if he hasn't reached it already), where the sheer volume of accusations and circumstantial evidence will overwhelm the need for solid proof or a positive test.  We long ago reached that point with a whole generation of baseball stars.  These allegations may not be enough to get Armstrong thrown in jail, but it seems likely that they'll get him indicted by a federal grand jury, and they almost certainly point towards his guilt in the court of public opinion.