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.