In a not so shocking revelation, another of Lance Armstrong's former teammates has accused him of doping. Armstrong's epic seven year domination of the world's most famous cycling race, the three-week long Tour de France, has made him a continuing target for such accusations for over a decade now. While the new accusations are interesting, I find myself asking a few questions of my own.
First, is anybody surprised? I am an avid cyclist, and I used to follow professional cycling religiously. Until a few years ago. At some point, the doping scandals got to be bigger (and more frequent) news than the race results. I was pretty sad when it got to the point that I couldn't give the whole scene any credibility anymore, but you have to ask yourself one important question. If Lance kicked the crap out of all comers for seven years in a row, and nearly all of his competitors from that time have been busted for doping, where does that leave Lance? Better than anybody else without question, but better at cycling, or better at doping and then hiding it?
Second, does anybody really care? I don't. Don't get me wrong here - I care about doping. It's wrong, and it shouldn't be done. But since his teammates paint the picture that everybody was doping, then in a way that actually levels the playing field, and Lance still deserved to win. Even if he did dope, which of the other dopers are you going to pass his trophies down to if you take them away? Focusing on the past in this way is not really helpful to anybody. Let's just learn from the past and move on, somehow improving the system so that maybe someday cycling can have some credibility again.
No matter what your thoughts are on the matter, you have to feel for Lance. Proving innocence in a case like this is impossible. The best that Armstrong can do is continue to stick to his guns and point to the hundreds of negative anti-doping tests performed during his career. He'll never be able to definitively clear his name, no matter how many tests he took or how many trials he wins.