I have followed cycling for many years, and at one point was a pretty good cyclist myself. The family went to Paris in 2005 to watch Lance Armstrong’s last victory ride down the Champs-Élysées (as it turned out it was not his last ride, as he made a comeback but never won the Tour de France again).
On the wall in my office hangs numerous signed photographs by the famed cycling photographer Graham Watson, of cycling legends Miguel Indurain, Sean Kelly, Greg Lemond, Bernard “The Badger” Hinault, Laurent Fignon, and of course, Lance Armstrong, including this photo of his
first second Tour de France Stage win when he was on Team Motorola (fyi, that was pre-cancer Lance, note the more muscular upper body):
Armstrong has been under investigation for doping for as along as I can remember, but never tested positive. Several years ago a number of teammates, including the disgraced Tyler Hamilton (who was caught blood doping), accused Armstrong of doping, which launched a federal criminal investigation.
The investigation now is closed. There will be no prosecution, as reported by WaPo:
The case against Lance Armstrong is closed. His legacy as a seven-time Tour de France champion endures.
Federal prosecutors dropped their investigation of Armstrong on Friday, ending a nearly two-year effort aimed at determining whether the world’s most famous cyclist and his teammates joined in a doping program during his greatest years.
Armstrong steadfastly has denied he doped during his unparalleled career, but the possibility of criminal charges threatened to stain not only his accomplishments, but his cancer charity work as well. Instead, another attempt to prove a star athlete used performance-enhancing drugs has fallen short, despite years of evidence gathering across two continents.
Does the lack of prosecution prove Armstrong didn’t dope? No, but one has to believe that if there were sufficient credible evidence there would have been a prosecution given the high profile of the investigation.
Until further notice, Lance stays on my office wall Hall of Fame.