The first five thoughts on the Lance case can be found here. These are the second five:
- If there is new evidence in the form of doping test or biological passport data, the witness statements could also be substantiated and become a lot stronger. If you wonder why no action would have been taken on such evidence before, the answer may be less conspiracy and more to do with the simple math of #2. It’s one thing to take on Bertogliati or even Contador, but quite another to take on Lance, a German soccer player or an NFL quarterback.
- Most of the focus is on Lance, but the people who should probably really be worried are Bruyneel and especially the doctors. After all, if the ten witness statements include not only “I saw Lance and doctor X do …” (which could be easily discarded) but also “doctor X and I did …”, well, then doctor X is probably screwed. Same with Bruyneel, if it comes out that riders were pressured to “follow this regime or you won’t ride”. However, we don’t know officially if such statements even exist.
- What to make of these ten witnesses? If they’re telling the truth about what happened and the extent of the program, they have been witness to one of the biggest sporting frauds in history. Yet only some of them spoke out before the federal prosecutors came knocking, the rest were content to let it be (or even participate). That doesn’t make them liars or bad people necessarily (doesn’t make them honest either), but at the very least it would show how messed up your world view can become when you live in a bubble.
- The legal setting is one thing, the court of public opinion quite another. It seems the pro- and anti-Lance camps are pretty dug in, and I don’t think too many people will change their opinion either way. It would take a truly shocking event (such as Lance’s big buddy Hincapie testifying against him or Paul Kimmage coming out saying Lance was always clean) to make a dent into those positions, otherwise any legal outcome will be seen as vindication by one group and a cover-up/framing by the other.
- Right now, the only certainty is that the conspiracy theorists – for once – are right. Maybe there it’s a conspiracy of prosecutors, USADA and the French (every good conspiracy needs a foreign villain, if not extra-terrestrial) to nail an innocent Armstrong. Maybe it’s a conspiracy of Armstrong Inc to win 7 Tours and then use his political cloud to fend off prosecution. Either way it’s a conspiracy, the question is if we’ll ever know which one it is and if anybody is still going to be swayed from their current position on Lance.