Lance Armstrong is back in the news. It seems some people just won't give up trying to prove he used illegal substances during his cycling career, particularly on the Tour de France, even though he hasn't competed in it for several years.
The latest to come forward was Tyler Hamilton, a former teammate of Armstrong's. On a "60 Minutes" segment, Hamilton said Armstrong, the team managers, trainers, other cyclists, and even he, Hamilton, were involved in all this. Everybody did it. If that's true, did it make it right? Probably not, but I have some questions.
First, the TV viewer doesn't get to see the entire interview when a 60 Minutes correspondent sits down with their "guest". This is all edited, and we only wind up seeing what the producers want us to see. This can be a very handy tool if they're trying to make a point, but doesn't necessarily speak well of unbiased journalism.
Second, one has to wonder about Hamilton's motive(s). Consider -- this is a guy that trained his whole life to become an elite cyclist. And what did he find when he got near the top? Being in a position where his job was to help somebody else (Armstrong) win and enjoy all the glory, while he was barely mentioned. Could the "green-eyed monster" be playing a part in this?
Third, evidently Hamilton was compelled to testify before a federal grand jury in Los Angeles, hence his "revelations". That in itself raises a question. Last time I looked, the Tour de France was pretty much in, well, France. What business is it of prosecutors in LA as to what may or may not have happened on the other side of the world? Of course the FBI, as they are prone to do, are sticking their noses into it. They want blood and/or urine samples from some French laboratory that were taken from Armstrong approximately a decade ago. You'd think they would have better things to pursue. Sorry to repeat myself, but again, the last time I looked the "F" in FBI stood for "federal", not international. They have no more jurisdiction in France than the French federal cops would have in LA. They can ask for a favor, but they can't demand anything. If I'm in charge of such a company, where names and results are supposed to be confined to a very select few, and otherwise remain confidential, I tell the fibbies they're in the wrong country, and can go take a hike back across the "pond".
Hamilton mentioned the wide use of EPO. I have no idea what that is. There's been talk about human growth hormone, testosterone, and a lot of other substances ending in "one". If you're not a pharmacist, I doubt you have a clue either what they all are.
Then there's the alleged blood transfusions. This is having your own blood taken out, and put back in at a later date. In America, we call that getting ready for a major surgery. In the cycling world, they call it doping.
But I guess it could be worse. Putting blood back in is one thing. I'm sure glad no allegations have been made about the same thing happening with urine samples. A reverse catheter? That sounds like it could be painful.
At that, where does it all end? Prosecutors and cops are spending millions of tax-payer dollars trying to prove a point that most of us could care less about.
Does the name Barry Bonds sound familiar?