This is my Rant.
Did Lance dope? It is becoming almost impossible to claim that he didn`t. The stories coming out lately are not coming out lightly. No longer is it simply hearsay, now racers are admitting that they doped and that Lance stood right next to them. This is a powerful statement, to ruin your own name. To give back a gold medal that had no positive test attached to it. Unfortunately there is no "real evidence". All of this is still the same old circumstantial testimony that has plagued Armstrong's Career. I think the only hard evidence that could be found is if investigators can find proof that Lance had a positive test covered up at the Tour de Suise.
In the last year the investigation has become more than a doping investigation. It is now a federal fraud investigation. Armstrongs Team US postal service was backed by the federal government. This means that if Armstrong and his team mates are found to be doping then they have defrauded the federal government of millions of dollars and could face some serious jail time. The US government has allot of power to be able to demand testimony and paperwork, aparently allot more than the World Anti Doping Agency. With the US federal government involved The case of lance and dope may finally find some hard evidence.
So far the federal investigators have manged to gather allot of testimony from lances former teammates and staff. All of which was carried out supinad backroom interrogations. Some of the testimony has been released, most of it is kept closed. Tyler Hamilton has gone public with his testimony and has openly stated that he was offered immunity should his testimony be found truthful. This is an historically favorite method for federal investigators to draw the conclusions that they desire.
Remember the Salem witch trials, or the Red Scare. Well it went something like this. Take suspect into custody, and inform them that they are a witch, a communist or a sports cheat. Tell them they will be killed or sent to prison for all eternity. Unless. Unless they can provide the names and damning evidence of another witch, communist or sports cheat. The investigators would particularly like it if this other WCSC was thier intended target, in this case Lance Armstrong. You can see where this method of gathering testimony can lose its authenticity as those interrogated scramble to save their own skin.
Until we see some hard evidence it will be impossible to say that Lance was doped. However with no way to really proove that he was clean all along the voices of others will always say he was doped. Regardless of whether lance can win or not there will be some big losers if this continues. The image of cycling is being dragged through the mud and its not Lance that is driving the tractor. Lance has done so much to expand the sport and now investigators and media vampires insist on slapping the sport in the face with used needles and open pee jars. Then there is the LiveStrong foundation. You know those yellow ruber bands everyone wears, there not to support Lance. Those yellow bands are a symbol of strength for cancer sufferers world wide. Not to mention the millions of dollars the foundation has raised to research treatment and to ease the financial burden of those afflicted by cancer.
I would prefer if we never caught the biggest sports cheat in history. If only for the reason that the most beautiful sport and a miraculous charity can live on.