Again, would you want to go before that court?
When are people going to grow sick enough of these astonishing overreaches and abuses to do something about it? As my friend Tommy Craggs has written for Deadspin, WADA and USADA have become “a gang of moralizing cranks . . . and it is beyond me why an organization that wants to ban caffeine again hasn’t yet gotten laughed out of polite conversation.”
More on Lance Armstrong
Disgraced cyclist authorized overtures to USADA about admitting doping, but dialogue currently closed.
COLUMN | Exposure of cyclist’s use of performance enhancers doesn’t diminish him in eyes of his co-author.
The complete USADA document, which includes background, discussion of evidence, scientific evidence and conclusions.
The U.S. anti-doping agency has moved to strip him of his titles, but the long-term impact of the decision on his legacy and foundation remains unclear.
OPINION | Whether Lance Armstrong doped or not, the anti-doping process is broken and should be jettisoned.
USADA has banned cyclist Lance Armstrong for life, stripped him of his Tour de France titles after he dropped his fight against doping charges.
On August 23, 2012 Lance Armstrong released a statement that he will stop fighting allegations that he used banned substances during his stellar career.
Cycling champion Lance Armstrong announced Thursday night that he'll stop fighting the charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong is still proclaiming his innocence.
You can put me down on that side of the argument. You can also put me down on the side of professional basketball player Diana Taurasi, who has called the international drug testing bureaucracy “one of the most unfair processes you can be put through,” and attorney Howard Jacobs, who makes his living going before CAS. He told USA Today, “A lot of times athletes are getting run over in the quest for clean sport.”
How does an agency that is supposed to regulate drug testing strip a guy of seven titles without a single positive drug test? Whether Armstrong is innocent or guilty, that question should give all of us pause. How is it that an American agency can decide to invalidate somebody’s results achieved in Europe, in a sport it doesn’t control? Better question, how is it that an American taxpayer-funded organization can participate in an adjudication system in which you get a two-year ban because “there is no reason to exonerate” you? At what point is such an organization shut down and defunded?
In his decision last week, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks declined to intervene in USADA’s case against Armstrong because to do so would “turn federal judges into referees for a game in which they have no place, and about which they know little.” But in the next breath Sparks expressed an opinion on certain matters he does know about. “The deficiency of USADA’s charging document is of serious constitutional concern,” he wrote. “Indeed, but for two facts, the court might be inclined to find USADA’s charging letter was a violation of due process and to enjoin USADA from proceeding thereunder.” Among other things, he was disturbed by USADA’s “apparent single-minded determination” to go after Armstrong and force him before CAS.
All of which I find far more worrisome than the question of whether he may have transfused his own blood in trying to climb a mountain on a bike. It wasn’t a judge’s job to intervene with USADA. But it most certainly would seem to be the job of Congress. The WADA-USADA system is simply incompatible with the U.S. legal system.
For previous columns by Sally Jenkins, visit washingtonpost.com/