But for all that surety, we've never really known. And so the debate turned into a long war, with each side convinced of its own superiority but unable to prove it. And as with all things Armstrong, your beliefs about him came to dominate your beliefs about more than just one man and how he became such an incredible bike racer. It was a suspicion that all bike racers dope, or it applied not just to the man but his foundation, which surely was either a paragon of philanthropic rectitude or a slush fund devoted mostly to burnishing the image of Lance Inc. As Bill Gifford discovered recently, the truth is somewhere in between.As with all things Lance
there is a mixture of hate and hagiography written into every piece as
we assess his legacy within the sport. Among fans there are those who
look past any alleged transgressions and to his work on the cancer
front. Then there are those who see a separation of the two as
impossible. Within the mainstream media, bound by a certain set of
standards, the story largely rests on a single concept, proof.
Anyway, here is some of the best commentary from around the cycling world. Enjoy, or not.
Charles Pelkey: Red Kite Prayer
close to the investigation say that the decision came as a surprise to
many of them, too. The case was being handled by Assistant U.S.
Attorneys Doug Miller and Mark Williams, with the help of FDA Criminal
Division investigator Jeff Novitzky. The U.S. Attorney's office did not
indicate who decided to end the investigation, whether it was based on a
lack of evidence, whether there were strategic problems with pursuing
an indictment or whether pressure came to bear from outside the Central
District. Indeed, the Assistant U.S. Attorneys, Novitzky and other
investigators were informed of the decision only about 30 minutes before
the press release was issued. Somehow, I think we're going to hear a
bit more about what went into this decision. I remain curious.
Neil Browne: Browne Eye Media
also find it interesting that Armstrong has been deafeningly silent
about the conclusion of the case on Twitter Ã¢â¬â his social media platform
of choice when he wants to gloat about something. Did his team of
lawyers get a hold of him and confiscate his iPhone to prevent him from
saying something damaging?
A.J. Perez: Fox Sports USA
Armstrong might want to send a thank-you card to Barry Bonds and Roger
Clemens after the US Attorney's Office in Los Angeles announced Friday
it had dropped its investigation of the seven-time Tour de France winner
Ã¢â¬â ending a nearly two-year effort to determine if Armstrong and his
teammates participated in doping. For all the millions spent
investigating Bonds and Clemens, all the Feds have to show for it is a
one-month house arrest sentence against Bonds for obstruction, a
mistrial for Clemens and a nation that has become blasÃ© on the topic of
drugs in sports.
Anthony Tan: VeloNews
the reasons for their decision to shelve the investigation Ã¢â¬â read the
statement: "The United States Attorney determined that a public
announcement concerning the closing of the investigation was warranted
by numerous reports about the investigation in media outlets around the
world." In other words, the federal probe was ostensibly closed, not
because there was no evidence, or too much taxpayers' money had been
wasted, or Novitzky, as Armstrong's defense team repeatedly claimed, had
an axe to grind, but due to the number of leaks to the press.
Bonnie D. Ford: ESPN
of all three investigations focused on the government's financial
outlay in tough economic times and questioned law enforcement
priorities. There is little doubt that if Armstrong had been indicted
and gone to trial, federal authorities would have faced a years-long,
extremely costly battle against a stacked legal team and a defendant who
retains a devoted constituency despite years of persistent questions
about his character. Is it possible that this prospect affected
Birotte's decision, or was it made for purely evidentiary reasons? There
is also sure to be widespread speculation about whether political
pressure came to bear, either because of the dynamics of an election
year or Armstrong's many acquaintances on both sides of the aisle.
Wade Wallace: Cycling Tips
suppose for me it's a bit like when I was a kid and the slow
realisation that Santa Claus wasn't true. My parents didn't need to pull
me aside and tell me. Over the years I put 2+2 together, figured it out
something wasn't right, kept my mouth shut to my younger sister, and
know that the truth doesn't hurt anyone. If you've been a cyclist and a
fan for a long time you'll be able to put 2+2 together as well. I have a
lot to thank Lance Armstrong for. He inspired my obsession in road
racing which has given me a tremendous amount of joy. He helped bring
road racing to the level of popularity we enjoy to this day. He has done
a lot for cancer, even though it's debatable if the money is put to
good use. I don't lose any sleep over what I think the truth is. It is
what it is, and we're not going to turn back time if anything is
While I have an opinion of my own regarding the continuing story of Lance Armstrong it's sometimes best to put that aside and listen to what other media commentators are saying.