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As much zeal as there is in this forum for prosecuting the Armstrong machine, I have a few concerns that get lost in the threads.

For the ADHD/TV impaired, the quick and dirty summary is, "How many felons will Novitzky make?" I say two and they will be minor actors. No prosecutions in other countries.

What follows are my predictions.

1. UCI is not touched. Nevermind some damning facts will probably shake out of case documents distributed or leaked. UCI as it is currently run would need to meaningful Swiss legal pressure for anything to happen.

2. UCI won't touch USPS doping results. They can't. It would be a huge blow to competitive cycling as entertainment. "It happened a long time ago. We can't look backwards..." will be the language used to keep business as usual.

3. The legal complexity is astounding. There are so many moving parts to this multi-national process that it will be enough to keep the case that arises in appeals forever. As often as some high profile people go to jail, their cases are appealed away to misdemeanor charges.

4. It's ALWAYS better to ask for forgiveness in the court of public opinion. Team Pharmstrong can negotiate a settlement including a statement that casts the main character acknowledging some arcane accounting/business details tripped him up because he was so focused on 'being a champion' and 'curing cancer.'

5. Armstrong uses cancer. The Public Strategies tactic of making him the greatest cancer fighter (evar!) hasn't even started. Nothing less than sainthood is the goal.

6. Political wrangling. Novitsky's case can be crippled if the prosecution's budget is constrained while the Armstrong machine slows the ejudication of the case down with legal wrangling. This is one of my greatest concerns.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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DirtyWorks said:
As much zeal as there is in this forum for prosecuting the Armstrong machine, I have a few concerns that get lost in the threads.

For the ADHD/TV impaired, the quick and dirty summary is, "How many felons will Novitzky make?" I say two and they will be minor actors. No prosecutions in other countries.

What follows are my predictions.

1. UCI is not touched. Nevermind some damning facts will probably shake out of case documents distributed or leaked. UCI as it is currently run would need to meaningful Swiss legal pressure for anything to happen.

2. UCI won't touch USPS doping results. They can't. It would be a huge blow to competitive cycling as entertainment. "It happened a long time ago. We can't look backwards..." will be the language used to keep business as usual.

3. The legal complexity is astounding. There are so many moving parts to this multi-national process that it will be enough to keep the case that arises in appeals forever. As often as some high profile people go to jail, their cases are appealed away to misdemeanor charges.

4. It's ALWAYS better to ask for forgiveness in the court of public opinion. Team Pharmstrong can negotiate a settlement including a statement that casts the main character acknowledging some arcane accounting/business details tripped him up because he was so focused on 'being a champion' and 'curing cancer.'

5. Armstrong uses cancer. The Public Strategies tactic of making him the greatest cancer fighter (evar!) hasn't even started. Nothing less than sainthood is the goal.

6. Political wrangling. Novitsky's case can be crippled if the prosecution's budget is constrained while the Armstrong machine slows the ejudication of the case down with legal wrangling. This is one of my greatest concerns.

I think it comes down to what your expectations are.

For the UCI, I agree with you that there is very little that can be done by a US investigator, unless there is an admittance of wrongdoing that implicates the UCI. Making this an IOC issue is about the only way the UCI changes, as in, booting out Hein and Patty.

By extension, I don't know if amending any results is part of an expectation. At a minimum, and as seen in cases for Basso and Ullrich, their results were not annulled, so even if the US investigation finds that USPS doped during their time as a Pro team, it won't do much to change any podiums. And, again, absent an admission of doping to win the Tour by Lance, this expectation is a bit much.

Regarding legal complexity, I am not convinced this is so sophisticated. The legal theory that this is fraud is simple. The concept of organized doping is simple. The furtherance of the fraud for many years is simple. The evidence should not be very tough, as once the US Feds show they have the corroboration that many believe exists, I feel this is a house of cards. The confessions and info will flow.

I don't see a salvageable PR position in what Lance has done so far. Turning back now is impossible. It is embodied in his "As long as I live.." statement a week ago. He will deny there is a problem as he is engulfed in flames. Baghdad Bob will be on retainer with Public Strategies to assist in developing speaking points as the indictments come down: "There is no Grand Jury, no indictments, no crime...there is no crime here."

If we see an increase in the amount of cancer references, I will be appalled. Cancer as a shield for this serious of a problem works about as well as "looking for the real killers", if we can borrow an OJ reference. The cancer activists probably just LOVE it. What the apologists forget is the yellow wristband is now becoming of symbol of lying. Livestrong is synonymous with cheating those who bought the miracle, many of which do/did have cancer.

As for politics, I doubt that this would have even found traction if there wasn't the political will to explore the depths of the fraud. Clearly there is. Armstrong's best political clout and connections now reside in suburban Dallas. I think his political leverage is running on empty. The longer he refuses to address the key questions, obfuscates the truth and attacks anyone who poses a true, hard questions (Kimmage), those in politics will give him a wide berth.

This investigation may stretch out a year or two, but it will be over, for all intents and purposes, when he and his crew are indicted.
 

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