In the month since Lance Armstrong said “enough is enough” and dropped his fight against the US Anti-Doping Agency’s case against him, there have been some interesting sidebars stemming from the case.
As Hunter Thompson once wrote: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
Given Armstrong’s celebrity status and past achievements (which have been dismissed), it’s no wonder this story refuses to die. Here are some stories that have struck me in the past month:
Death threats against Tom Tygart —
The head of the USADA tells French sporting newspaper L’Equipe that the Armstrong case prompted three death threats and that the FBI is investigating. Security at the headquarters has been beefed up.
Defense fund set up for journalist —
A defense fund was created for journalist Paul Kimmage after he was sued in Switzerland by UCI officials Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen. Kimmage reported that the two were involved in a cover-up of a failed Armstrong doping test during the Tour de Suisse in 2001, which is believed to be included in the USADA report. More at “Bad to Worse for McQuaid, Verbruggen, and UCI.”
A Facebook page has been created to apologize to 3-time Tour de France winner Lemond, who alleged for years that Armstrong was guilty of doping. “After abuse, criticism, and the loss of his company, Greg turned out to be 100% right. This page is for both doubters and non-doubters to show support.” There are 1,200 “likes” so far.
Federal investigators questioned singer Sheryl Crow as they looked into possible criminal charges against Armstrong, her former fiance. It’s not known what she said. The government dropped its criminal investigation in February 2012.
After Armstrong declined to fight the USADA ban, the Nike and Anheauser-Busch corporations immediately said they’d continue their endorsement deals with him. Trek soon followed. They all cited his work supporting cancer patients and their families through the Livestrong Foundation.
Meanwhile, VeloNews reports that the USADA says it expects to turn over its file on the Armstrong case to the Union Cycliste Internationale by Oct. 15. UCI officials have been wondering openly why it’s taking the US doping agency so long to put together a file.