UCI & USADA. Why the Armstrong jurisdiction battle doesn’t matter.

Hincapie. The key to the case.

The deafening noise around the USADA investigation of Lance Armstrong has turned into a battle for jurisdiction between the US anti-doping agency and the non-governing body of the sport, the UCI and mostly president Patrick McQuaid.

This is fascinating legal theater and a great read if you like digging into the arcane regulations of the UCI, USADA and all involved parties up and down the tangled chain. Personally, we’d rather read 50 Shades of Grey in bed with the wife, but that’s just us.

However, Twisted Spoke looks beyond jurisdiction because it doesn’t matter one bit who wins the jurisdiction battle — the USADA and their strong case against Armstrong or the UCI and their desperate need to make the embarrassing case go away once and for all.

It doesn’t matter because whoever takes jurisdiction, justice will be done. We say that not because we expect the UCI to come to the conclusion that Armstrong doped. Far from it — we have 100% certitude that should Patrick McQuaid get his way, Armstrong is off the hook forever, case buried, Pat buying cocktails in Aigle, Switzerland.

No, we believe that justice will be served one way or another because the USADA believes they have more than enough testimony to prove Armstrong guilty — and that evidence will be presented whether they lose the jurisdiction battle or not.

The reason comes down to one name as it always has. Argue all you want about who has control of this case, the legal ins and outs, the lawyer games, the political press, the bitter relationship between governing body and doping agency, all of it is unimportant to the final endgame.

One man controls the destiny of Lance Armstrong, one man holds the Texan’s fate in his hands and this has nothing to do with Pat McQuaid or Travis Tygart.

George Hincapie is the only key to this case and that’s been true for years. His testimony will decide Armstrong’s guilt or innocence or just prove Lance’s astonishing good fortune and political clout.

Now the obvious reaction would be, well, yeah, right, but if the UCI wins the jurisdiction battle with USADA, they’ll make sure Hincapie’s testimony never comes out in public.

That’s why, in this ugly, acrimonious pissing match between Tygart and McQuaid, we at Twisted Spoke are jumping several steps ahead. Should the UCI gain control over the case, the USDA will leak Hincapie’s testimony to the public.

Think that won’t happen? Think again. One way or another the USADA, after their own two year investigation — and down to their last shot, fighting both the Armstrong legal juggernaut and the UCI — will make sure everyone knows the truth. If given no other option, they will leak testimony and if it’s from Lance’s most loyal and longtime domestique, a man who has the respect of everyone in cycling, then game over.

The USADA doesn’t have to strip any Tour titles, they don’t have to win their fight with the UCI and they don’t need a guilty on all counts win.

It’s all about Big George and whatever the circumstances that testimony will reach the public.

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  • eddysboy

    there’s a better witness, Armstrong’s ex wife Kristin.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      I would guess that she is financially taken care of for the rest of her life if she keeps her mouth shut. I don’t think she’s part of the USADA case but I could be wrong. Matt

  • LauraLyn

    This is one of the most sober analysis of the Armstrong circus show. The Austin suit is a sideshow and Armstrong, UCI, and USADA know it. What is at stake for Lance and the UCI is that this evidence never sees the light of day.

    But this USADA case is not about getting Armstrong. It is about opening up a new chapter in the fight against doping: Not taking down just a crooked athlete, but exposing and taking down a crooked system that enables doping and cheating.

    What Armstrong has managed to convince the public is that this is all about Lance – Lance’s world is all about Lance. But USADA is not all that interested in Lance, and probably would prefer never to have to deal with a human being of his sorts. Their interest is in dismantling doping in sports. This means not just stopping the athletes, but stopping the enabling structures and systems.

    The question is ‘What does the USADA have in its arsenal of evidence?” No one really knows. Surely there is something substantial, or they would not opened this case of have been allowed to pursue it. Certainly there is something damning to be had, whether they have it or not, or Armstrong would have never gone to the Federal Court for an injunction. And surely whatever is potentially damaging to Armstrong is also potentially damaging to the UCI, directly or indirectly.

    One reasonable guess is that after Pat McQuaid’s interview with Sporza, there was a short call from Austin with someone saying, Hey buddy Pat, don’t think I’m going down by myself.

    There is a history of no love lost between WADA and UCI, and surely there is some bad blood already existing between USADA and UCI as evidenced by the recent exchange of letters.

    The really interesting question in this case is becoming not What does USADA have on Armstrong and his street gang? but What does USADA have on McQuaid and his mobsters?

    Eddyboy’s reference to Kristin, made me smile. The woman is a class act. She went through horrid years with Lance and a world about only Lance. She is an inspiration to so many woman. One doubts ifshe would want to get involved again in Lance’s temperament. Two choice words from Kristin would surely silence all the blind yellow bracelet wearers.

  • EidoDK

    Lance fights back so hard, he’s incriminating himself, just for the battle

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      YEAH BABY, it’s like the war to end all wars. This one will be the nastiest and most crazy you’ve ever seen. It’s for all the marbles. forever. Matt

  • Vern

    As a Brit I’m stunned at what’s happening here. Firstly, that there exists an organisation that’s truly gone on the warpath against doping. And secondly, that a US body is going after one of its own icons. Normally you guys close ranks line a wagon train facing the apaches. It feels like blood sport but it’s fascinating to watch.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Vern, we in the USA still have a bit of that puritanical streak (or Amish if you want the Landis vibe) and that means there are still a few people like Travis Tygart at the USADA that simply don’t care about money and power and political clout and sports icon. The USADA will go scorched earth on Armstrong, they will take this to the bitter end and believe me, they know the enemy and all his forces. Matt

  • LauraLyn

    The Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency (ALAD) announced the following today regarding an athlete, Frank Schleck, who rides for (and is currently in good standing with) the RadioShack Nissan Trek team. Yes, this is the same team co-owned by Lance Armstrong and managed by Johan Bruyneel.

    “Since the testing and the finding of the alleged violation have been made by the UCI as a competent body, the ALAD upon presentation of the test results can only make the final statement of of an alleged violation of a doping rule,”

    So how can UCI and Lance possibly make serious their claims to a Federal Court last week? Only Lance gets to play by a whole new set of rules (still needing to be written)?

  • Ed

    You lot are pathetic.
    “..not about getting Armstrong” – Oh, so that’s why they’re making deals with confirmed drug cheats so that they’ll testify. That makes sense!!!!???? If it’s about cleaning up the sport, then CLEAN UP THE SPORT, don’t just break all of the USADA self made rules/processes and go after Armstrong.
    Absolutely pathetic!!!

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Ed, cutting deals with informants to convict the crime boss is the way the US justice system works. The big fish matters more than the little fish. By the way, if you’re annoyed about the USADA “making deals with confirmed drug cheats” then consider Armstrong was also offered his own deal by the USADA. They told him they wouldn’t strip him of his tour titles if he simply admitted the truth. See? Even big fish get the good deals. Wait another 6-12 months for all the rider testimony to come out and then tell me who is pathetic. Best, Matt

  • Arnulfo

    Please remind me again why Big G can’t pull off an Andrew Pettitte? Coz they certainly thought they had the Clemens case in the bag until Pettitte wavered.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      You just never ever know what’s going to happen when the case involves Armstrong. So many strings to pull. Even ones he hasn’t thought of yet. Matt