I want to know. I want to know what the United States Anti-Doping Agency have on Lance Armstrong. I want to see their evidence. I want to read the statements. I want to know who has spoken to the Usada. I want to know what they said. I want to know it in detail. I want to know what they were offered to give that testimony, if anything at all. I want to read the transcripts, to see their words as they talk about what is apparently the greatest scandal in sport since, well, the last one.
I want to know why and which of Armstrong’s former teammates decided now was the time to come clean on a secret they had buried inside themselves for years. Why not five, seven or 10 years ago? Why did they not speak out when Armstrong was suing David Walsh, the Sunday Times journalist, for writing his book LA Confidential in which he detailed a series of circumstantial evidence that insinuated Armstrong had doped. I want to know why the evidence was always circumstantial. I want to know how come all those who claimed to have a smoking gun could never find a bullet shell nor a wound nor a victim. If Armstrong was / is the biggest name ever in cycling, then how did the ever-vigilant French police, their anti-doping agency and L’Equipe never manage to come up with a syringe or an ampoule that had the fingerprint and the stench of Armstrong on it?
I want to know the values of the blood samples Usada say they have. I want them to explain to me what they mean, what they suggest that Armstrong took and how it made him a stronger rider when he needed it. I want them to tell me how they got those samples, who was in the room when they were tested, what methods they used to test them and whether a representative of the rider was present when they did so. I want to know if they followed the rules when it comes to testing samples. I want to know how they knew the supposedly anonymous samples belonged to Armstrong and whether the sanctity of the blood testing process was subverted to prove the allegations. Dopers are the scum of the earth, cheats of themselves and us the fans, but no matter how devious and how much we may suspect riders of being guilty, it is an obligation that the anti-doping agencies and the authorities have to stick to the rules. If they, we, do not, then we cannot trust the outcome. The process is sacred. It protects the innocent as much as it should nail the guilty. You cannot execute someone in the street without a court of law.
I want to know all of this. I want to know what made Armstrong give up the fight. I want to know whether he had seen the evidence and decided that it was best that it was not brought into the public domain. I want to know if he took the path of least resistance, that by refusing to fight the charges against him, he could still claim to be a victim of a witch hunt. I want to know if he is still fighting by not fighting. If it is, it is a clever tactic, one that would have the best public relations person on the planet in orgasms of pleasure.
I want to know why sponsors are standing beside him. I want to know if they believe that he will be able to ride through this storm and survive thanks to the lifebelt of LiveStrong and what he has done in the fight against cancer. I want to know what will happen to that charity.
I hold no torch for Armstrong, nor do I think nor claim he is a victim and is innocent. The clamour around him has been too loud, too strident for there not to have been something going on. It makes little sense that so many would have risked their careers and opened themselves to financial ruin based on a whim and a dislike of the most famous cyclist in the history of the sport. But, I want to know. I want to see the evidence. I do not want this to disappear and be drawn out in accusation and counter-denial, to be resolved by a pointless life ban and stripping of titles. I want to know for sure. I want to know. We all deserve to know. Show us, Usada. Let us know.