The Hitch said:
I don't see how cases in 2014 are going to change the fact that Lance's career survived an EPO positive for 11 years.
And I don't entirely disagree with you. As I already said, there is ample evidence that Arsmtrong was indeed protected, especially by Hein and his puppet. Indeed, there's very little you could accuse Hein of, up to and including illegal congress with farm animals, that I wouldn't consider entirely plausible.
There is also some evidence, looking at the Contador case, that they tried to 'manage' a controversial positive. And much as I think he's guilty as sin, the tiny amount of the drug was controversial, even at the time.
My point, only, is two fold.
One, if protection is being offered to the top tier - it's pretty sh!te. The big GC hitters of the last couple of generations have been decimated with positives - more, probably, than in any other generation in the history of cycling. Armstrong's long Odyssey doesn't change that - in that sense, he's the exception, not the rule. See point two.
Two. Armstrong had a unique place in the fundiment. He was the perceived antidote to Festina, and UCI (and many others) bought in hook line and sinker to the 'miracle'. Having bought in, they were on the hook. They rose and fell with the Texan. Which suited Hein, and Hein's wallet, of course.
But I think it's a bit of a leap from that to a standing policy of 'picking winners'. In facts its a beamonesque vault of a leap.