Lance Armstrong Strong-Arming Congress?

According to both the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, Lance Armstrong’s charitable foundation sent lobbyists to Congress to discuss USADA’s government funding.  Two-thirds of USADA’s annual budget is funded by the U.S. government.  The Post article describes a discussion mainly about raising cancer awareness, with Armstrong’s USADA charges a tangential part of the meeting.  But the Journal describes a meeting with a different congressman that seemed to be all about USADA’s funding.  You gotta wonder why uncharitable foundation needs lobbyists in the first place.

On another front, the redoubtable Juliet Macur wrote in the New York Times about how George Hincapie could be a potentially devastating witness against Armstrong in an arbitration case.  From her story:

The details of what Hincapie, 39, told antidoping authorities remains a mystery — though it could become public if Armstrong’s doping case goes to arbitration. Armstrong’s lawyers have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the antidoping agency from moving forward with punishing him. He faces a lifetime ban from Olympic sports and the loss of his Tour titles.

If Hincapie does testify, it has the potential to be one of the starkest, most jarring revelations in a sport known for its code of silence regarding doping.

Hincapie is likely to know more about the behind-the-scenes activity on Armstrong’s squads than any other rider: He was the only one to be at Armstrong’s side for all seven of his Tour victories. – Juliet Macur

Just to play the devil’s advocate, I strongly recommend Brian Alexander’s great story about the dark side of USADA’s charges against Lance Armstrong.  I’m not about to compare USADA to the secret police.  But do the ends justify USADA’s means?  I missed this, a big thank you to Dave Jarrett for sharing.  Whether or not you believe Lance Armstrong is guilty, you better read this story, because it homes in on personal liberties:

USADA, which participated in the federal investigation, isn’t part of the U.S. government and isn’t a judicial body. Newspaper stories tend to shorthand it as a “quasi-governmental” entity, but that’s not accurate. USADA is a private non-profit corporation hired to manage the anti-doping program for American athletes who hope to participate in the Olympics as well as various local, regional, national, and international competitions. And it’s gotten out of control.