Saturday, March 30, 2013

UCI: Run the Gauntlet

Spring!  Nature's regeneration after the long, abysmal winter, the first flowers of the season are emerging from long hibernation.  It is time for the spring classic races, the era of stagnation is over, the sweetheart suspensions are over, it's time to get back on the bike and do some racing!

However, being the eternal pessimist, being deprived from the endless Lance Armstrong spectacle that was supposed to result in cauterizing the metastasizing cancer that infected cycling, and deprived of the happiness of seeing the UCI publicly humiliated with a total confession of complicity in crime, cover up, and hypocritical dissimulation of self righteous rhetoric that was enough to make you puke; deprived of the extermination of bad influences and a total revamping of the system, well who would not feel disappointed?

A good public whipping or hanging sets a deterrent example for others and these forms of barbarity have been in existence since Cain murdered his brother Able.  Oui?  So what deters the UCI executive committee from using similar methods to purge their ranks of undesirables?  There is no use in pretending that these untoward brigands will ever repent or cease, given the opportunity, to resist temptation.  Graft and corruption is wrong, accepting bribes is wrong, moral turpitude is wrong, and invites bad behavior from others similarly inclined.

So why not force these undesirable scoundrels to run the gauntlet?  We could follow the Tsar Russian military example, issue birch switches to the riders, then run the scoundrels through the ranks.  But these tactics though acceptable in an autocratic state are certainly unacceptable in civilized society and would amount to murder, would it not?  But something has to happen because the infection has to be cauterized before the parasite proliferates leaving a wake of corpses.  To do nothing is a positive hazard to public decency.

A good woman who I spoke to was positively offended with the treatment that Lance Armstrong was receiving from USADA and the press.  "They have taken everything from that man already, so why don't they just leave him alone?"  She tried to counter my argument that people love nothing more than a good spectacle of public brutality, with an irrational argument that equated goodness to people.  This is a fallacy, goodness is not an inherent trait in people.  People are inherently evil and they will take advantage of any opportunity of avarice for money or advancement, even if the collateral damage leaves a wake of corpses.  People are callous and jaded, they do not have empathy or compassion toward the welfare of others, or their families.

That is why USADA could not simply leave Lance Armstrong alone, ambition trumped.  The sadistic nature of our natures demands that ritualistic sacrifice prevail over common sense and good taste. Absolute power without restraint gives reign to undignified barbaric rituals like running men through gauntlets.  There is a public appetite for these spectacles, people derive an internal satisfaction at the misfortunes of others, and of inflicting pain on others, especially when there is no fear of adverse consequences to themselves.

These arguments are self-evident, so in conclusion I ask: When will the UCI inflict a flogging and clean house?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Doping in the Rear View Mirror?

The infamous cycling dopers who depended upon the syringe to out compete the other cycling dopers is now passe.  When the hysteria surrounding Lance Armstrong and his arch nemesis Travis Tygart was at the pinnacle of interest, people actually cared, but when Lance Armstrong decided not to cooperate with USADA, people became comatose.  Comatose people quickly forget, time goes by, and criminal intent flourishes into the next crises and people express shock and surprise.  Nothing is more certain when vigilance is asleep at the wheel than criminal opportunism.

Six years of this worthless nonsense, three Tour de France champions deposed, and if the anti-doping charlatans wanted to peruse the issue, perhaps a certain Tour de France one time loser would turn into a two time loser and be banned from the sport for life.  But why expend all of the money on another witch hunt when the money could be expended more constructively chucking out the bums at the UCI?  Why bother to raid the closet of skeletons when everyone would prefer to let sleeping dogs lie?  To remove all blinders would cost an inordinate amount of money and lead to points beyond an infinity of expenditures; maybe two parallel lines do meet somewhere, but who wants to spend the research money to find out?  Better to leave the issue hypothetical since it does not mean certain destruction of our dear sport.

Dope in cycling should have ended forever after the 2006 Tour de France; but it is hard to extinguish the old cognitive paradigm developed during the eighties that it is okay to cheat as long the testing facilities can't keep up and you are never caught.  So they continued to cheat and most were never caught because the methods of cheating surpassed the methods of detection, and the WADA laboratories for all their bluster were forced to endure humiliation with egg smeared all over their faces.  The dopers had the good doctors and WADA had the consultant anti-doping "pioneer" braggarts who starved for lack of funding; no argument there.

Revolting the methods of these cheaters duping the laboratories and the public for all of those years, dirty rotten imbeciles!  But hey, topics in the anti-doping world have shifted from cycling into other sports, like American football, where an avalanche of problems awaits if there is ever a comprehensive testing program instituted.

Even ice fishing demands USADA dope tests.  What: you gonna reel in a fish at a faster pace faster than you can reel in a breakaway?  Better fishermen than cyclists.  Enough is enough.  I've shed enough tears already you callous heartless narcissistic ragamuffins!  Every hero, every cyclist I loved became an infamous example of perfidy, a public laughingstock!  Enough! Henceforth nothing but examples of good conduct and clean riding.  Put USADA and their ilk out of the cycling business forever.  Make Travis Tygart obsolete.

Then I can retire my pen forever with eternal gratitude to the peloton.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lance Armstrong Under Indictment?

After the balloon popped on USADA and the Federal Prosecutors, when in a fleeting moment of sanity, Lance Armstrong listened to someone else for once, instead of the delusional voices in his head, and decided that his idiotic kiss and tell session with Oprah was the golden gateway for a one hundred and twenty five million dollar give away from an endless succession of lawsuits, which even he cannot afford.

If Lance Armstrong would have listened to reason instead of trying to pull another charade to dupe the fools, then much could have been avoided: a resumption of the Federal investigation into the alleged use of U.S. Postal Service money to acquire performance enhancing drugs, for example.  That is bad news for Lance Armstrong because using drugs to enhance performance is a civil offense, so the USADA in spite of all of the bluster for admissions under oath are hamstrung and impotent no matter how much media attention Travis Tygart demands, under the auspicious rational of "protecting the sport."

But when the Justice Department gets involved, allegedly accusing Lance Armstrong of crossing the line into criminal behavior then the scales tip against the defendant and in favor of the government.  The problem for the government is to convince a jury that Lance Armstrong used government money to acquire dope and not money from his own personal fortune, which until recently he had in abundance.  That task will be impossible to prove without a convincing paper trail, that does not exist.  If a convincing paper trail did exist then the government would not have suspended the original grand jury investigation and would have returned an indictment.

I used to be absolutely convinced that no jury in the land, outside of a kangaroo arbitration panel, would have convicted Lance Armstrong of using performance enhancing drugs considering the sickening lack of honesty of the "scumbag informants" USADA wished to parade onto the witness stand; and due to the fact that USADA lacked a conclusive test result.  However, this conclusion is obsolete after the "confession."  Now most jurors would punish Lance Armstrong out of spite with comfortable satisfaction, jeering against such a sanctimonious scoundrel who had enough chutzpah to mislead the public.  An unforgivable crime that demands "satisfaction" or in old world parlance, a duel.  You can't win a duel with a vindictive jury that is intent on destruction of lying cheaters who confess to crimes in attempt to elicit sympathy and forgiveness.  Nope.  Now it is time to punish the bully by being a bigger bully.

Listen Lance Armstrong, when accused of a crime deny everything.  It is not your job to provide the state with evidence, it is the government's job to provide the evidence against you.  You do not have to prove anything, the state must prove the case against you.  The Fifth Amendment to the constitution protects you from self incrimination [if this protection still exists in America], you cannot be compelled to testify against yourself.  They can't lock you away in some dungeon and water board you.  This is supposed to be a civilized country and not a third rate banana republic that convenes some third rate inquisitorial tribunal.  You should have let the process play out without leaving the people who will determine your fate insisting that you played them for fools by attempting to manipulate their sensibilities with faux hallow compassion to protect your financial status and future competitive advantages.

Your suffering will be of long endurance and well deserved.       

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lance Armstrong to USADA: No Dice

When one lives in a privy, one becomes accustomed to the smell of shit!
Alexander Puskin

The long expected self immolation of Lance Armstrong did not materialize after all.  The New York Times reporter Juliet Macur has reported that Lance Armstrong did not meet the deadline to report to USADA in order to clarify his career doping history under oath.  Tim Herman, one of Lance Armstrong lawyers, did state that Lance Armstrong might be willing to testify to an international tribunal since ninety five percent of the doping problems and legal jurisdiction lie outside of the domain of USADA.

“We remain hopeful that an international effort will be mounted, and we will do everything we can to facilitate that result,” Herman said in the statement. “In the meantime, for several reasons, Lance will not participate in Usada’s efforts to selectively conduct American prosecutions that only demonize selected individuals while failing to address the 95 percent of the sport over which Usada has no jurisdiction.”

An International Tribunal?

The Europeans are not concerned with resurrection of old skeletons, and inquisitions are old hat.  If Lance Armstrong had something important to speak of that falls under the existing statutes of limitations, [do statutes of limitations still exist outside of the jurisdiction of USADA?] say knowledge of doping on the 2009 Astana team, then this information might be valuable enough for Armstrong to leverage an immunity deal and an amnesty.  Otherwise, Armstrong has nothing of value except for obsolete information on how to defeat doping tests, information that could be better gleaned from Michele Farrari.  However, there is still the prospect of Lance Armstrong exposing the UCI as a corrupt organization that can be purchased with bribery to cover-up positive drug tests.  And there is also the possibility that WADA could also be exposed as a corrupt organization susceptible to conspiracy.  Lance Armstrong might have other valuable information available for the tribunal, but old hat statements about antiquated doping do not fit the bill.

USADA: Sweeten the Pot

Apparently, although USADA baited the rat trap with a temping morsel, the rat got cold feet at the last moment and rejected the morsel as not temping enough. A reduction of a lifetime ban from athletic sport to eight years is no incentive, since both punishments equate to a lifetime ban for Lance Armstrong.  Armstrong is forty two years old, he would be fifty when allowed to compete again in a triathlon.  Who would worry about competing against a geriatric stale joke?  But, perhaps Lance Armstrong's refusal to testify under oath is intended to leverage a sweeter deal, since USADA has a history of offering sweetheart deals of reduced suspensions to informants.  Indeed, it seems incredible to note that after encouraging serial dopers with long histories of drug abuse to finger Lance Armstrong with bribes of amnesty and immunity, that USADA would seem so intransigent with respect to Lance Armstrong fingering dopers, doctors, and their confederates.  However, it is impossible to deny that USADA is salivating at the prospect of baiting the most notorious doper in the history of cycling into hanging himself.

Warm Up the Privy!

Lance old friend.  You will be lucky if you have one red cent left after these people get through with you.  You would have been better served if you would have followed counsel's advice and kept your mouth shut.  Your stupid Oprah admission to use of performance enhancing drugs, although laudable, will end up with you losing the manor house, the outbuildings, and your new residence of abode will be the privy!  But don't worry, your offended nostrils will become acclimated to the stench over time.  Like Alexander Puskin, you won't be able to runaway from Tsar Nicholas I and the censorship. USADA will dog your steps every inch of the way and in the end you will become dependent upon people whom you thoroughly loath.  The most galling prospect of all will be paying Floyd Landis money, your willing dolt.  Forget an amnesty, you are dealing with self serving people who will never accede to your demands.  Resign, your career is over.