Doping accusations are unwelcome
Re “Allegations Trail Armstrong Into Another Stage,” July 9
How is it that the winning cyclist of the last seven Tour de France events, which means that he was also the most tested, never once gave a confirmed positive result? The hard evidence of tests beats innuendo, affidavits and hearsay every time. What about the other tests that confirm Lance Armstrong happens to be genetically gifted with an extraordinary oxygen-transfer capacity, which explains much of the physical aspect of his success? How come no one is reporting that? Because tearing down the hero sells to those who cannot believe what is possible if we truly put our hearts and minds to the task.
GARY M. KEENE
All the accusations are not only ruining cycling but sports in general. Allegations of secret meetings, even testimony of overhearing conversations, do not provide definitive proof. Tests do. Cyclists like Armstrong are the most tested athletes on the planet. The International Cycling Union can knock on an athlete’s door any time day or night and demand blood and urine samples for testing. Samples are kept for years just in case future tests are better than the ones they currently have. All professional sports should have the same standards and demands for testing.
For now, Armstrong is clean. And until he tests otherwise, he remains clean. Stop accusing the likes of Armstrong and baseball’s Barry Bonds, and just test them.
The provocative topic of ethics in sports has occupied many newspaper columns all over the globe. The Times has exemplified this with several stories covering performance-enhancing drugs and athletes. An interesting concept that has not been posed is who should take the rap for pressuring sport participants to excel beyond what is naturally possible. Is it fair to judge the likes of Armstrong, Bonds and runner Marion Jones without taking an introspective look at the public and the commercial sponsors that demand bigger, faster, stronger?
The front-page story about doping allegations against Armstrong is a disgrace. Labeled as a special “Times Investigation,” the article turns out to be nothing more than a collection of unsubstantiated accusations and stale hearsay. Its timing during the 2006 Tour de France adds to the questionable sensationalism. In spite of the most intensive media scrutiny and drug testing in tour history, Armstrong never failed a drug test. End of story.
Board of Directors, International
Bicycle Transportation Institute