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Re: The official Lance Armstrong thread
« Reply #720 on: August 28, 2012, 11:31 »
i am going to attempt to summarize the all-important question asked above:

- what is the legal basis for usada stripping Armstrong of his 7 tour de france titles.

before i proceed, i must note that i don’t have any legal training nor experience. however, i do love digging when i struggle with some questions.

the short answer was provided - wada code allows extending the 8-year statute of limitations in cases involving a cover-up. and since USADA determined that Armstrong fraudulently concealed his doping dating to the 1990s, he received the maximum hammer  :police:

i think it was justified and many of us hoped this should have happened earlier, but if stated with full honestly, the severe usada sanction is not conclusive yet. moreover, it is likely to be exposed to a vigorous legal challenge. that’s where a longer answer to the question needs to be examined.

Many sources referred to hellebuyck's case as the validated precedent allowing usada to extend the statute of limitations. indeed it was the precedent but the parallel is not a perfect one. mainly because hellebuyck perjured himself under oath and then admitted his earlier doping offense. this allowed usada to add-up his sanctions and argue for tolling sol. this Not the case with armstrong who continues to deny and never faced an anti-doping panel. Another difference is the non-analytical nature of Armstrong’s evidence vs. a failed test/admission in hellebuyck’s case.

Here is the AAA ruling.
http://www.usada.org/uploads/hellebuyckaaaruling.pdf

Indeed it is a very interesting document. Not everything went smoothly for usada at the hearing. in fact, usada was sharply criticized by the panel on several accounts including…their charging letter.  the panel had to delve into various conflicting statues and the applicability of IAAF's 6-year sol.  the panel explicitly noted that if hellebuyck exercised his right NOT to testify, he would not perjure himself…guess what, Armstrong declined to testify. the panel expressed its opinion wrt extending the sol on page 28. it basically amounts to the fact that a false testimony is a fraudulent concealment and under the us law allows tolling the sol.. again, if armstrong perjured himself, it was a different hearing (SCA), and it would very interesting it it's applicable here.

overall, I think the uci will have their hands full if they try to appeal to cas exploiting the controversial sol issues from the hellebuyck’s case. they may even succeed in overturning usada’s verdict but while doing so they WILL HAVE TO EXPOSE their own role in the key issue of armstrong’s case - fraudulent concealment.

that’s why i don’t believe the uci would want shooting itself in the foot.  either way it is a double bad news for armstrong. he will not be able to keep the evidence from seeing the day of light and he is almost guaranteed to be an officially sanctioned doper and  a cheat.
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