He won't win this
Los Angeles Times
Lance Armstrong is in a race he is likely to lose.
Although the cyclist has a public point when he describes this case as a "vendetta," that will resonate far less with the stoic arbitrators expected to hear this case, with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency saying it has more than 10 cyclists and others prepared to say they witnessed Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs.
The details of test results and methods might have been lost on a grand jury, but the arbitrators have heard this stuff before.
As they weigh the volume of USADA evidence and witnesses, expect the ruling to be this: Hope you enjoyed the champagne on the Champs-Elysees ride, but please return those titles.
He'll survive it again
If he survived it once, he'll survive it again.
First, these allegations date back more than 16 years. Second, he never has failed a drug test in the past. Third, why didn't the U.S. Justice Department pursue this after its own two-year investigation?
The USADA is a non-governmental agency, posing no criminal charges and only the threat of stripping his Tour de France titles and preventing him from competing. I don't think these charges will hold because they are the same witnesses and charges U.S. prosecutors looked into and dropped earlier this year.
Armstrong will continue to fight these allegations, maintain his innocence and survive it all again.
He's in a tough spot
Lance Armstrong finally seems to have been cornered in a way that will force him and his expensive lawyers to answer with more than denial statements.
If he chooses not to respond to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's notice of a formal doping case against him, it would be tantamount to an admission of guilt. That likely would cost him his seven Tour de France titles (and some sponsors) and could bring legal action against him by the U.S. government.
If he does fight and loses, the fallout will be the same. Even if his lawyers don't succeed in beating the USADA, those who find him a hero likely will continue to do so. Even if he isn't convicted, so to speak, those certain he doped won't have a change of convictions.
Won't move the needle
If by "survive," we mean Armstrong will remain the inspirational and financial cancer crusader, then, yes, he survives.
If we mean he will remain the seven-time Tour de France winner with his competitive reputation unsullied, then probably not. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency isn't in the business of losing cases.
Fairly or unfairly, Armstrong gets tarred by his sport, in which every third cyclist was a pedaling science experiment. Also his defense that he never has failed a jillion drug tests sounds like "I haven't been caught."
Most folks have made up their minds, one way or the other. Another trial isn't likely to move the needle.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times