American cyclist Lance Armstrong recently asked an audience to imagine a scenario in which the allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs were true. Several former teammates of Lance Armstrong has claimed to have direct knowledge of his use of the anabolic steroid testosterone, human growth hormone and the blood booster erythropoeitin (EPO). Tyler Hamilton, Floyd Landis and Frankie Andreu have all accused the seven-time Tour de France champion of doping. Teammate George Hincapie also allegedly make similar allegations before a federal grand jury investigating Armstrong.
Armstrong addressed an audience of approximately 500 people during the Aspen Ideas Festival sponsored by the Aspen Institute. Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson introduced Armstrong and stressed that the cyclist has “steadfastly denied” all allegations of steroid and PED use.
Armstrong told the audience that the fact he passed over 500 anti-doping tests should conclusively prove that he never doped. Nonetheless, Amstrong asked attendees to assume that even if all the allegations were true, is it really the role of the government to conduct an international witch-hunt targeting athletes that may have used PEDs?
“I’ve been asked by many people, what could a retired cyclist from Austin, Texas have to do with a federal investigation based in Los Angeles and led by the Federal Food and Drug Administration? Let’s just assume that everything that’s said is true. What’s next? Are we going to start policing cricket or things overseas?” Armstrong wondered. “You laugh because it seems absurd.”
Lance Armstrong is reportedly under investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. The media has reported that a grand jury is considering whether to indict Lance Armstrong on charges that he defrauded the United States government while he worked for the U.S. Postal Service cycling team. Since the U.S. Postal Service is a government agency, federal investigators want to claim that Armstrong defrauded the government by using anabolic steroids and erythropoeitin (EPO).
Photo credit: Millard Baker
Condon, S. (July 29, 2011). Lance talks doping, riding and cancer work in Aspen. Retrieved from http://www.aspentimes.com