The Armstrong investigation: what’s the silence mean?
All quiet on the Texan front.
The scent has grown cold on the Armstrong doping trail. No leaks, no case updates, no mention of new witnesses, more leads, impending events, crazy bar fights in Aspen, naked girls. Just made that last part up.
Not a peep from Hamilton or Landis or Hincapie or Lance or Novitzky. Nobody from the UCI or WADA or Interpol throwing out a choice nugget. No more 12 pages exposes in Sports Illustrated or Bicycling Magazine or even Floyd Landis making one last outrageous accusation to mother-confessor Bonnie Ford of ESPN.
Which is kinda weird given the steady stream of dramatic events. We went from high decibel operatic tragedy to dead silence in a matter of weeks. If nothing else, there’s a tremendous sense of withdrawal.
Even Lance mouthpiece, the Master of Disaster Mark Fabiani has essentially given up. No more talk about wasting tax payer dollars or salmonella poisoning. Which was fun but desperate spin right from the git-go.
It’s as if Mad Men, the Sopranos or Breaking Bad was suddenly yanked off the air without warning. A shock to the system. We require, demand, insist on resolution and if not in high-def at least cheesy courtroom.
In any case, the silence got us thinking and at Twisted Spoke all conspiracy theories are entertained and given deep consideration. We read the tea leaves and silence two ways.
1 Silence is just silence. There’s a break in the action, nothing to get worked up about.
2 Investigation finished. Novitzky and his crack team of Armstrong Myth crushers are now in final case prep mode. They’re done with the digging and are simply doing to last legal buff and polish on the thing. Dotting the i’s, shutting judicial loopholes, making things bulletproof before the Lance Rottweilers tear into the documents.
But there’s a third scenario that popped into our head based on this deafening silence. It came to us, as most brilliant and clairvoyant ideas do, on a long bike ride. The nano-second the insight hit, there was a feeling that we might have indeed stumbled on the truth in this nasty and murky game of high stakes fuck-you.
Scenario # 3:
They’re in the process of cutting a deal.
Twisted Spoke can’t help but sense that the noose has finally tightened around the neck of the “most tested athlete in sports.” He’s reached a point past which no lawyer, spin-master, bank of money or intimidation can really help. He’s decided to reach an arrangement with the Feds. Plead a lesser charge, take the fall for a smaller transgression.
We’re guessing that federal and Armstrong lawyers are even now negotiating the settlement. You can only imagine the complications on both sides and the power plays that are playing out. There are plenty of cojones involved when the most famous legend is sports is on the line.
That’s what we’re thinking. Silence is deal time.