Doping debate reaches triathlons, larger public
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Lance Armstrong has been battling charges for several years that his amazing Tour de France titles were at least in part the result of doping, but the long-awaited 200-page summary of the 1,000 page report issued 10 October by Usada, the American agency that banned him from cycling, appears to finally be turning the tide of public opinion against him.
The Guardian in the UK reports, “The 1,000-page report from the US Anti-Doping Agency sets out its case against Armstrong with damning clarity, depicting the former cycling hero, US national icon and cancer-campaigning champion as a bully who coerced his team-mates into using drugs and a cheat who paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for doping programmes.”
The Belfast Telegraph, in another long article about the report, is typical of much of the media reaction, stunned: “The jaw-dropping scale of the doping programme in which Lance Armstrong played a leading role was revealed last night when the US Anti-Doping Agency published the first batch of what will run to 1,000 pages of evidence, including testimony from 11 of Armstrong’s former team-mates.”
The New York Times focuses on Armstrong’s move from cycling to triathlon and assesses the impact of the doping charges on that sport: “[Tim] O’Donnell will be among those competing in the Ironman event on Saturday and said he supported the World Triathlon Corporation’s decision to prohibit Armstrong’s participation. The bottom line for most professional athletes is that the triathlon is a clean sport, and we want to keep it that way,” he said. “The cycling community has a tainted reputation, and at the end of the day, we don’t want to go down that road.”