Lance Armstrong never failed a drug test. He was tested in each of thirteen Tour de France races, two Olympics and every other competition with mandatory testing. He was tested at events where competitors were randomly or deliberately selected to give blood or urine. He was tested during training. He passed every test, or he would have been removed from competition or the winner's podium.
As Tracee Hamilton said in the Washington Post on 8/25/12, "Drug tests don't lie, people do." If Armstrong failed a blood or urine test and a hundred people swore that the athlete had not ingested, injected or otherwise imbibed a performance enhancing substance in the weeks leading up to a race, would the organizers and the United States Anti-Doping Agency value that testimony over positive test results? No way! So why would testimony (by people who in many cases were stripped of titles due to positive drug tests, or given limited suspensions in exchange for testifying against Armstrong) be regarded more highly than the science which USADA considers otherwise unimpeachable? If a minuscule, possibly accidentally ingested and non-performance enhancing level can destroy an athlete's career (See Contador), regardless of "eye-witness" statements, shouldn't the science be reliable enough to stand up to the assertions of people with a vested interest in seeing a cycling icon taken down?
After rumors of doping arose, a federal criminal investigation was opened in 2010. After two years of investigation, prosecutors dropped the case - it can only be assumed due to lack of evidence. If the federal government can't make a win-able case for doping, why is USADA willing to ignore its own infallible drug tests to strip a retired athlete of his titles and ban him from competition?
There is no evidence that proves Lance Armstrong doped at any time during his career. The ICU ran its own extensive investigation and dropped it because of lack of evidence. If a U.S. government-supported organization can't rely on its own drug tests to determine whether an athlete took performance enhancing drugs, its rulings on guilt or innocence shouldn't override ICU's minimum requirements for action. ICU should stand up to USADA's ongoing bullying of fellow signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code.
The Armstrong report should be viewed as a suggestion, as USADA does NOT have jurisdiction over titles awarded by other organizations. To allow USADA to dictate punishing Lance Armstrong without solid proof of wrongdoing is opening the door to a stream of politically motivated witch hunts henceforth.
Richelle Fatheree started this petition with a single signature, and now has 180 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.