The enduring saga of “Did He or Didn’t He” took another twist Sunday night as Tyler Hamilton discussed his recent grand jury testimony on 60 Minutes. Hamilton, the choir-boy-turned-admitted-doper is yet another who’s come forth with accusations that Lance doped during his reign as king of Le Tour. Hamilton dug into the past, detailing his, Lance’s, Postal Service’s, & other teams’ use of EPO, growth hormone, testosterone, & a host of other illegal substances.
You can read the full reports at any of the cycling news websites (Velonews, CyclingNews, EuroSport) and it seems like every blog has at least a few posts on the topic. You can read Tyler Hamilton’s full confession letter is HERE.
My wife and I had a short debate not on whether or not Lance doped but what the consequences would be, both for the person on one hand and the athlete on the other. Impossible to know, of course. Without a doubt, if he did, it would be one of the biggest cover-ups in the history of sport. The shockwaves would be incalculable.
But at the same time, here’s a guy that’s also raised millions for cancer research and helped untold thousands of suffering people. If he did it, would that in itself, the lying and cheating, make him an evil person? Many people think so. IMHO, judgement on the person and judgement on the athlete could be separated. At least that’s where I am right now.
It’s a complicated drama that’s continuing to unfold and we all have our opinions mostly based on second and third hand information via the media. It’s a big if…but if he’s somehow found guilty of doping, I don’t think that negates all of the good that he’s done in the world. At the same time, he wouldn’t have the same platform for raising money for research had he not won 7 Tours, right? Ugh, so many shades of gray. What’s your opinion?
For now, the science of testing and testing protocols are on Lance’s side. He claims to have been tested 500 times in 20 years, without a doubt the most tested athlete in human history. And he’s never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. I lean towards trusting the science that’s in place…but then there’s the Marion Jones story…
At this point, it’s really hard to tell who’s story to believe. Here’s a short list of characters in this unfolding drama that are either lying or telling the truth:
- Tyler Hamilton
- The UCI
- Michelle Ferrari
- Chris Carmichael
- Viatcheslav Ekimov
- Johan Bruyneel
- Floyd Landis
- George Hincapie (based on reports of his grand jury testimony)
- Various pro riders and team doctors/physios/soigneurs from 1999-2010 from US Postal Service, Discovery Channel, Astana, & Radio Shack
Complicated? Absolutely. What’s your opinion so far?
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