On Armstrong: being a Trek dealer you would think we are programed to always defend Lance. Not really. Did he dope? Maybe. But back in 1999 doping was quite different than it is today. Either good or bad. Things that are frowned upon today was only a wrist slap then. One would think if he didn't dope he sure could have taken it right to the limit of the definition. He had quite a streak going last decade. He must have doped, right? Everyone who came close to beating him got busted. Won seven tours. Some by a lot. Some by a little.
Just several years ago he launched a second career in bike racing. Older and battered came in third in the tour at a old age. Was he doping then? Nope.
Lance was the most tested man in sports in his era. Bottom line: he never tested positive. You cant prosecute if have no evidence stating your case.
And that's why the US investigators decided not to spend the hours and dollars.
But wait! Now WADA (the world agency) says hey, turn everything over to us, we have the time and money to waste on this. So, this is not over yet. How about concentrating on whats happening now, not 1999. Really, at this point the only people who care are the haters.
And then we have Alberto. Just got his suspension handed down. Really? It took 18 months to tell him he is suspended two years? First off, he never denied finding a minuscule dose of clenbuterol in his blood. He told everyone how that happened. And yes, it is possible. Such a small amount found that no way would he benefit from it. But... rules are rules. His camp calls it a "accident" and I could for sure believe that. The travesty here is the way it was handled. In my estimate, way worse than the actual crime. Not that I would even come close lessening the issue of doping. Dopers still suck.
But here's the important lesson: There are dopers, and there are riders convicted of doping.
Alberto is not a doper. But he did get busted and should be punished.
The real travesty in both these case, and others is, again, the way its handled. Too many agency's, from too many countries with too many agendas.
Different riders get different options. Politics and foreign relations involved. That's just sad.
In fact, just like in Alberto's case, he will now appeal and make the process even longer. And he will fight for his results in the last 18 months because he was told to keep racing. How can one agency tell him to race, and another tell him he's suspended. After the fact.
Bottom line, if your a true fan of cycling, this is not a Lance\Alberto issue. Its way deeper than that. Its not that there are dopers. Its how the dopers are processed.
And its not going to get better. In fact its getting worse.