Is hasn’t taken long since the delivery of USADA’s “Reasoned Decison” for all of Lance Armstrong’s cycling friends and sponsors to abandon him. First Nike (after some pressure), then Trek, Radio Shak, Anheuser-Busch and finally, following today’s announcement, Oakley. So it came as little surprise today that l’Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) would choose not to pursue arbitration and would uphold the proposed bans. Subsequently, Armstrong will be stripped of all seven Tours de France victories as well as numerous smaller results that would have made a substantial career for just about any cyclist out there.
Perhaps not so much. The UCI has taken advantage of the anti-Armstrong backlash to make the point, “Armstrong has no place in cycling.” The real work could have been done by the UCI years ago when the first rumours of doping by Lance Armstrong and US Postal Service surfaced or when Floyd Landis tried to come in from the cold. Instead, there is evidence that suggests the UCI covered for Armstrong for many years. Had the Armstrong case gone to arbitration, these details might have come out and a brighter light might have shown the festering disease within the UCI.
But it’s not over yet. Johan Bruyneel has chosen to go to arbitration. If there’s one guy who, if he goes down will take the whole lot with him, it’s Bruyneel. Stay tuned.