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  1. #16
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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    Can someone clear up for me, why a US agency is so hell bent on targeting a US athlete if he genuinely hasn't done anything wrong? What's the supposed beef between the two?

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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    There have been claims that Armstrong has used drugs and whatnot for as long as I can remember. I can hardly remember a time when I heard his name and didn't hear some kind of reference (even in passing) to drugs, etc. As for why... they just want to crack down and show that "drug use is bad and has consequences, blah blah." Yeah. Because that is definitely going to help. In short, they're doing it for shits and giggles.
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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    Quote Originally Posted by Therian View Post
    Can someone clear up for me, why a US agency is so hell bent on targeting a US athlete if he genuinely hasn't done anything wrong? What's the supposed beef between the two?
    Reiterating, I actually personally believe he did cheat. As did everyone else.

    I also believe the USADA felt that he had gotten away with dodging them too many times, and were determined to pay him back for all those times, even if no longer really relevant or good for the sport.

    And I do believe that there is a huge tendency in the US for "law enforcement" type (both official and pseudo-legal) to target icons to get their fifteen minutes of fame.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    This addresses a lot: Nerdlinger comments on If he can handle the psychological pressure, he may become one of the greatest athletes the sport has ever seen.

    This person appears to have a better knowledge of WADA and CAS protocol than I do.

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    Goronda Type Vice-Webmaster Evil Figment's Avatar Vice-Webmaster
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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    I find much of his argumentation questionable, given the actual track record of USADA arbitration case, which is right out of a Phoenix Wright prosecutor's textbook (something like 1 case lost in all their history). That point to either

    A)USADA does not sue unless they have overwhelming evidence.
    or
    B)The arbitration process has far too low standards of evidence, making it far too easy to "prove" something to them.

    Given that US federal authorities refused to proceed further with the case, after two years of investigation, and that THEY tend to take cases to court on much less than overwhelming evidence, one cannot help but find the idea that USADA doesn't move without truly overwhelming evidence...dubious. All the more so given that the one case USADA lost turned out to be very thin indeed.

    The only logical conclusion is that their arbitration system use a completely flawed standard of evidence.

    Beyond that, arbitration as a valid judicial process...arbitration is an accepted conflict-resolution process. conflict-resolution. As in, when two people disagree about how to interpret a contract, a panel is appointed to resolve the conflict. It doesn't exist to examine the fact of the case and find the truth, but simply to examine the positions of both parties and try to settle on a "fair" position in-between both. They're definitely not a valid evidence-review process, and have never been. Trying to present them as such, as the author of that piece does, is biased bullshit unworthy of anyone with the least understanding of law.

    This isn,t a conflict. It's not remotely comparable to the contractual sort of disputes where arbitration is (indeed) common. It's, pure and simple, a sport version of crime-and-punishment. And there is no such thing as arbitration in handling that sort of matters. That sort of matter is handled by courts fo law, by judge which are 1)Impartial and 2)Ensure that both party have full access to all the evidence against them so they can question it.
    Last edited by Evil Figment; 27th August 2012 at 11:35 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

  6. #21
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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Figment View Post
    I find much of his argumentation questionable, given the actual track record of USADA arbitration case, which is right out of a Phoenix Wright prosecutor's textbook (something like 1 case lost in all their history). That point to either

    A)USADA does not sue unless they have overwhelming evidence.
    or
    B)The arbitration process has far too low standards of evidence, making it far too easy to "prove" something to them.

    Given that US federal authorities refused to proceed further with the case, after two years of investigation, and that THEY tend to take cases to court on much less than overwhelming evidence, one cannot help but find the idea that USADA doesn't move without truly overwhelming evidence...dubious. All the more so given that the one case USADA lost turned out to be very thin indeed.

    The only logical conclusion is that their arbitration system use a completely flawed standard of evidence.

    Beyond that, arbitration as a valid judicial process...arbitration is an accepted conflict-resolution process. conflict-resolution. As in, when two people disagree about how to interpret a contract, a panel is appointed to resolve the conflict. It doesn't exist to examine the fact of the case and find the truth, but simply to examine the positions of both parties and try to settle on a "fair" position in-between both. They're definitely not a valid evidence-review process, and have never been. Trying to present them as such, as the author of that piece does, is biased bullshit unworthy of anyone with the least understanding of law.

    This isn,t a conflict. It's not remotely comparable to the contractual sort of disputes where arbitration is (indeed) common. It's, pure and simple, a sport version of crime-and-punishment. And there is no such thing as arbitration in handling that sort of matters. That sort of matter is handled by courts fo law, by judge which are 1)Impartial and 2)Ensure that both party have full access to all the evidence against them so they can question it.
    What is your obsession with the Phoenix Wright series? Unable to complete it were you???

    You admit yourself you think he done it. Too often in law we all know someone did it but can't do anything because of a technicality like that woman who killed her child and hid the body in a black bag in her car last year. It was clear as light of day but she walks free, justice denied. You know Armstrong did it, I know he did it, we all know he did it, USADA know he did it, and now he has been stripped of his titles.

    Here here!

  7. #22
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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    What is your obsession with the Phoenix Wright series? Unable to complete it were you???

    You admit yourself you think he done it. Too often in law we all know someone did it but can't do anything because of a technicality. You know he did it, I know he did it, we all know he did it, USADA know he did it, and now he has been stripped of his titles.
    Phoenix Wright make an excellent demonstration of a laughably bad justice system. And I'm not referring to the actual game, I'm referring to its backstory where prosecutors have "undefeated" perfect records (until they run into you, the player), and where the whole system is set up so that the defendent has to prove he's innocent by proving someone else did it (which is a blatantly unfair system).

    My obsession is not with the game, it's with justice, a little concept of a lot of importance. Justice require that people, even if we "know" they are guilty, only be condemned when that guilt can be proven - "Innocent until proven guilty". The fact that "we know it" is not proof; it's a reasoned guess at best.

    Proof, to be properly made, must be made before an impartial third party whose task it is to examine proof and render a ruling). He determines how strong the proof is; examine questions as to the credibility of the proof (what so many unlettered idiots in the media refer to as "legal technicalities", and make sure the fundamental rights of the parties are not broken in the name of catching the "guilty". Because, yes, guilty people have rights, and those rights need respected. And if respecting those rights means you cannot prove them guilty, then that's your own problem. No matter how much you "know" they're guilty.

    EDIT: removed a somewhat insulting part. Apology to Therian for being out of line.
    Last edited by Evil Figment; 27th August 2012 at 04:02 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    "My obsession is with justice"
    We can all agree to needing proof, but you seem to be requiring a ridiculously high standard! Are you saying its justice that a woman who murdered her child walks free because of a technicality?
    Last edited by Iteru; 27th August 2012 at 03:51 PM.

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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    What Disney movie did you rip that out off?
    From the movie called "Three years of studying law and the principles and standards that underlie all of western justice."

    With the intent to work (if I can secure such a job) for the government, as a prosecutor (or legal advisor), before you mistake that as "wanting to be a corrupt defense lawyer".

    There's a right way to bring the guilty to justice, and a wrong way. When it comes to punishing the guilty, if the true standard of proof - beyond reasonable doubt - cannot be met, then better let them walk than risk destroying the life of even one innocent. Going outside the fundamental principles in the name of catching the guilty make a mockery of justice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Figment View Post
    What Disney movie did you rip that out off?
    From the movie called "Three years of studying law and the principles and standards that underlie all of western justice."
    Sure it wasn't The Incredibles? I'm certain I've heard it before.

    With the intent to work (if I can secure such a job) as a prosecutor, before you mistake that as "wanting to be a corrupt defense lawyer".

    There's a right way to bring the guilty to justice, and a wrong way. If the true standard of proof - beyond reasonable doubt - cannot be met, then better let the guilty walk than the innocent be imprisoned.
    It's admirable that you're so passionate about this and I suppose I'm talking to the wrong person when I'm criticizing the law. Initially, I too wanted to be a Lawyer and studied it for 2 years at Advanced level (the level before a degree in the UK) and it just infuriated me that the burden of proof was so high, I too want justice, and that's what frustrated me, when you knew with all your heart that someone was guilty and they walked free, OJ Simpson is another example. So I decided I couldn't go into law as I'd literally be pulling my hair out every day.

    With this Lance Armstrong thing, for me, it just seems like a victory of Common Sense over Bureaucracy. Sure it may not have ticked every box on your criminal justice list, but at the end of the day someone who was a sham, and a fraud has been exposed and punished and for me, that's a great triumph!

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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    The problem is, what is evident to the public (who get a very partial selection of all the evidence presented, through the eyes of journalists who are usually trying to "sexy up" their article by insisting on the evidence), and what's evident to the judge and jury who see the full evidence, hear all the testimony, and see how people react to the questions being asked of them, are two highly distinct things. They cannot, and should not, be treated as the same. Did the witness look like he was lying? Did he come all to piece trying to answer the defense's questions? Medias usually do not cover these things.

    The problem is also that public opinion usually goes for the "most likely explanation", while you cannot stop at that when it comes to destroying someone's life's work, let alone lock them up never to come out or (even worse) execute them. You need to make absolutely sure that there are no other reasonable explanation for the facts. Because, if there's another reasonable explanation for the facts, then that, too, might have happened, and you cannot condemn someone to prison and the label of "murderer" unless you're damn sure it's the only reasonable explanation - otherwise you run too great a risk of condemning the innocent.

    ------------

    As for the rest, and this specific case, I feel that "destroying someone's life work and labeling them cheaters permanently" is more than enough of a punishment to require at least a similar standard of proof; or even if the standard of proof is lower, at the very least an open examination of evidence (including cross-examination of witnesses) before an impartial judge.

    I cannot celebrate catching someone, even if I think it was guilty, on the basis of a joke of a process.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

  12. #27
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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    I'm not going to respond as you guys have started giving out warnings. If you want to carry on the discussion then PM me.

    EDIT: Not butthurt about getting the warning, but I've overstepped the boundaries and want to make sure I don't step over them again. I think it's best to just walk away then get angry again and risk another warning.
    Last edited by Therian; 27th August 2012 at 04:39 PM.

  13. #28
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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Figment View Post
    And I do believe that there is a huge tendency in the US for "law enforcement" type (both official and pseudo-legal) to target icons to get their fifteen minutes of fame.
    What are some recent examples of this? I can only think of a few prosecuted celebrities and they all had strong cases against them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Figment View Post
    I find much of his argumentation questionable, given the actual track record of USADA arbitration case, which is right out of a Phoenix Wright prosecutor's textbook (something like 1 case lost in all their history). That point to either

    A)USADA does not sue unless they have overwhelming evidence.
    or
    B)The arbitration process has far too low standards of evidence, making it far too easy to "prove" something to them.
    One of the issues could be that due to zero tolerance policy, once you test positive there is nothing you can do. I'm not familiar with other sports, but it definitely works that way in gymnastics. I can think of one gymnast who was able to avoid a disciplinary ban, but she still couldn't reverse her nullified results.

    I'm not sure if it works this way in cycling. Armstrong was able to avoid consequences, but I also think about Contador. He tested positive for a very low amount of a banned substance. The Spanish Federation originally didn't punish him, but WADA and the UCI appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which did ban him from competition and annulled his results since 2010.

    Armstrong's case is a little different since he is being accused of a doping conspiracy rather than just doping at a single competition. Additionally he may have been using methods of doping that were impossible to detect at the time.

    The idea that courts of law are best to handle sports doping cases is short-sighted. An impartial party in a legal system can be difficult to find, since there are nations who are interested in keeping their results even if their athletes break the rules. You'd be subjecting athletes to a different form of arbitration depending on their nation, which isn't very fair.

    There's also the problem that each nation follows its own laws. Sports federations follow the WADA code. Then you also need people within federal courts who are familiar with the WADA protocol. For non-doping violations, you would need third-party figures who are fully familiar with the rules and protocols of specific sports federations.

    There's also CAS, which is completely neutral since it's not party of any sports federation. Armstrong has that at his disposal if he chooses to contest these charges.

    I can't find the piece that fully explained USADA's arbitration process, but it said that it includes neutral arbitrators. The US courts have twice decided that USADA's arbitration does not violate his right to due process.
    Last edited by Shinobu; 28th August 2012 at 10:59 PM.

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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    Be careful with what the courts say. The courts have no authority to judge whether the process is fair, only whether a constitutional right of Armstrong under the US constitution was violated (and violated by someone who has to respect the constitution). They could rule that the process does not violate due process because due process apply only to the actions of the executive/judiciary/legislative, and USADA really isn't any of these (it's a non-governmental not-for-profit organization). That doesn't mean the process is fair or impartial; only that it doesn't violate L.A.'s constitutional rights.

    That said, I'm not saying it should be ruled on by a court of law. Taking up valuable court of law time with this is nonsense.

    I'm saying that the system should be significantly shored up to set up a review system that more closely follow the core tenets of a court of law:

    1)An impartial judge, or as close to impartial as possible. This means they cannot be named by USADA (or WADA) alone (if USADA get to participate in the selection, so do the accused), though there's room for work on the specifics.
    2)A Full defense. The accused should be given the chance to defend themselves by counter-examining witnesses to undermine the credibility and solidity of their testimony.

    The USADA process, as far as I'm aware, meet neither of these goals. I have certainly seen no evidence that the review panel is chosen by anyone but the anti-drugs people. And it gives no reasonable chance to the accused to present a defense.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mintaka and Hurristat
    He's an evil director / He'll give out infractions / Do something wrong / And he takes direct actions
    Then what'll he do?/ He'll permaban you / You find your name slashed / With a message, 'Adieu'
    Sooooo...watch out!
    "It is said that the federal government, if it was in charge of the Sahara, would run out of sand in five years. Private enterprise, being more efficient, would do it in half the time - and they'd make money off the bridges." - me.
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton's last letter. Rest in peace, Jack.

  15. #30
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    Default Re: USADA moves to nullify Lance Armstrong's record

    It seems pretty cut and dry to me, if there are official drug test results that say he did drugs, then he's guilty. If there are no official drug test results that say he did drugs, then he's not guilty. As far as I gather from reading his Wikipedia article, there have been no positive official drug test results on file, just people saying they saw results and whatnot.
    That's nice.

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