So a whole slew of Lance’s US Postal teammates have come forward and admitted they doped while on the team and that he not only doped, but was instrumental in pressuring/aiding them in doping and that he was involved in witness intimidation to aid the cover up. You can read USADA’s case online here and a summary is here. I’ve heard more than one lawyer who was not involved with the case on either side review the evidence and describe it as devastating. From rider testimony, to financial records, to emails and other documents what stands out to me is that so many different sources of information all say the same thing – there was an uber sophisticated doping program going on at US Postal and that LA was at the heart of it.
I think this whole process has been important and I’m glad USADA had the courage to go after US Postal and Lance. Why is it important? Well everyone in the peleton knew what was going on. As young riders came up the ranks Lance was the undisputed king. It was clear if you wanted to have any chance of rising to that level you had to dope. If you have any doubt about this reasoning just read the doping admissions of Levi, Big George and gang. By destroying the legacy of LA the myth that you can cheat and get away with it is busted. You may not get caught in the race you doped, but one day you will be held accountable and your legacy will be in ruins. That’s a powerful incentive to race clean.
What I think we need to ask next is why the US Federal Prosecutor that investigated the same evidence before USADA took up the case decided to drop the matter without filing any charges. It’s clear that there was overwhelming evidence to support the charges of doping at US Postal. My guess is Lance had friends in high places that were able to shut the investigation down. If that’s true than we ought to appreciate the work that Travis Tygart at USADA has done, because there was probably a whole slew of behind the scenes attacks we have not heard about.