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I go back and forth on this question - will Landis-gate produce any concrete results (convictions, admissions, etc.)? Or will it blow over and get forgotten quickly?

Involvement of feds certainly opens up a lot of possibilities. But if Landis has no solid evidence, and most people involved have no strong motivation to start spilling beans, the investigation will stall very quickly. They are looking into 1999-2004 period, which involves events more than 6 years ago. Memories of specifics, dates, places get murky. There's already several inaccuracies in Landis' story, a fact that undermines other elements.

Landis seems to think that "Big Tex is going to jail" but I am not convinced anything will happen. Even in Puerto where you had TONS of evidence - blood bags that could be matched via DNA, phone records, visitor surveillance, financial records etc. - all freshly collected as it happened - it turned out it was difficult to reach any conclusions, with a lot of riders clearly involved getting an acquittal, and others, like Valverde, riding for years.

Of course we have Fed investigators that brought down BALCO, but that's different from looking into 6-10 year old case over something that happened in France.

My gut feeling the whole thing is not going to be forgotten, and will be written about for years, but will not produce anything substantial - such as court conviction or forced admission of guilt from top players.
 

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Adorable Furry Hombre
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As of tonight I think Landis-Gate will be vapor-ware. Call me if there is any physical evidence.
 

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Compared to other claims of doping, this may be a case that will be investigated by the Feds (and I believe has already been started), since the USPS is considered a federal arm, and has paid between 8-10 million bukos to the USPS management team, of which LA was a part. The sponsoring entity, USPS, assumes the riders are clean with the transparency provided by the management team. If the management maintained a clean bill of healthy riding (vs doping) on its riders, and any evidence proves otherwise, then this would amount to defrauding the Federal government by the USPS cycling management team. This is why probably this is a different case altogether in a sense that we're now dealing with the Federal government as the sponsoring entity. Now I think I'm making some sense of this.
 

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My guess is that it will all come down to whether or not people will be required to lie when there are real consequences. If there is actually a federal investigation I just don't think all of these folks will be willing to perjure themselves.
 

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Velonews is reporting that the feds are considering fraud and conspiracy charges against LA. The feds generally play for keeps so it is possible Lance and company could face some fines, jail time and public flogging.

Probably hurts the sport from a U.S. perspective. If Lance is taken down, I would expect to see less U.S. coverage of EU races.
 

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I'd be very surprised if we see any results of this investigation this year. These are usually long procedures, opening up previous cases, going through previous testimonies etc.
At best we may start seeing results of this investigation by 2011.

Will this be good for cycling, the answer is no, not in the short term. But let's also be honest about road racing in North America. The only time the major news outlets mention it are when LA is involved, TdF and when major scandals break out. During the Giro?.... nada, during the classics?.....again nothing.
 

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I would say chances are 75%.
 

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Fly on a windshield
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fallzboater said:
What are the chances that Radio Shack will be dis-invited to The Tour?
Slim to none.
The head honcho of the ASO was changed prior to last year's tour. Patrice Clerc was at the helm when Bruyneel's Astana was uninvited for the 2008 Tour. The new ASO has pretty much sided with ratings, money etc. So if Lance vs. Contador means better ratings they'll take that deal every time.
 

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I'm just not buying the federal prosecutor angle. Find me an actual crime that was committed that is 1) within federal jurisdiction and 2) not past the statute of limitations, and we'll talk. Didn't all the "crimes" take place in Europe?

I love the creative angle where the feds will investigate taxpayer funds that were used to support doping via of the USPS sponsorship. Misappropriation of funds? Uh, no. USPS paid money to sponsor the USPS team as a marketing arrangement. It was to buy good publicity and increase brand awareness. There's no crime here. To pursue this, they would have to file a civil suit against the team owners to recover those funds. But even that is a dead end. After all, did they not achieve their marketing goals? What is their argument going to be? That doping they didn't know about from 2002-2004 hurt their marketing efforts back then? That it hurts their marketing now? There is no basis for any suit on that angle, because USPS got exactly what they wanted out of the deal.

Plus, regardless of where you stand, the reality is that Landis has huge credibility problems as a witness, and in any criminal prosecution or civil suit, he would have to testify. That means he would be torn apart on the stand. So what you need is to get someone else to corroborate Landis' story who doesn't have his baggage. Good luck with that. There is zero incentive for anyone he named to come forward, considering they all have strong legacies and all are still racing. Call them and they'll take the fifth. Bypass that with immunity and you'll hear "I don't recall" an awful lot.

In short, yes, this will all blow over without any results. It's unfortunate, but that is the reality. But that doesn't meant there won't be a lot of posturing by various agencies.
 

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Without other, hard evidence

one disgruntled, already condemned ex-teammate who changed his tune about events several years in the past, I don't think will turn into anything serious.

For those that suspect that LA &co doped, this is not new. For those that thought him clean, this is not enough to demonstrate otherwise.
 

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mohair_chair said:
I'm just not buying the federal prosecutor angle. Find me an actual crime that was committed that is 1) within federal jurisdiction and 2) not past the statute of limitations, and we'll talk. Didn't all the "crimes" take place in Europe?

I love the creative angle where the feds will investigate taxpayer funds that were used to support doping via of the USPS sponsorship. Misappropriation of funds? Uh, no. USPS paid money to sponsor the USPS team as a marketing arrangement. It was to buy good publicity and increase brand awareness. There's no crime here. To pursue this, they would have to file a civil suit against the team owners to recover those funds. But even that is a dead end. After all, did they not achieve their marketing goals? What is their argument going to be? That doping they didn't know about from 2002-2004 hurt their marketing efforts back then? That it hurts their marketing now? There is no basis for any suit on that angle, because USPS got exactly what they wanted out of the deal.

Plus, regardless of where you stand, the reality is that Landis has huge credibility problems as a witness, and in any criminal prosecution or civil suit, he would have to testify. That means he would be torn apart on the stand. So what you need is to get someone else to corroborate Landis' story who doesn't have his baggage. Good luck with that. There is zero incentive for anyone he named to come forward, considering they all have strong legacies and all are still racing. Call them and they'll take the fifth. Bypass that with immunity and you'll hear "I don't recall" an awful lot.

In short, yes, this will all blow over without any results. It's unfortunate, but that is the reality. But that doesn't meant there won't be a lot of posturing by various agencies.
It also intrigues me that people (I guess lay people like you and me) are apt to form conclusions quickly on what is probably a far-reaching, complex situation. Federal jurisdiction at least for the United States has a much larger scope than we could probably imagine. The reason being that we have US diplomats, ambassadors, representatives in many countries outside the territorial US of A that could potentially commit a crime. Remember the endless spy stories that have covered the headlines that past umpteen years, stories which involve US citizens, which have occurred in non-territorial US countries?

The issue of misappropriation of funds is also a subject matter that has tentacles that spread out outside the core issue of funds-handling. There is perjury. Remember Mr. Baseball, Barry Bonds, who claimed not to have used any performance enhancing drugs? Well, we know what happened, he faced a grand jury and was found guilty of perjury – thus the misappropriation of funds is just one angle in the prism of what might have gone wrong or what did they (whoever the they may be ) did wrong.

Regarding Landis’ credibility, we know the guy’s got credibility problems. But, the investigating arm does not need a “stable” witness, what they need is documented evidence that points to actual usage, be it a piece of email, document, etc. It is after all, evidence that can implicate individuals. Landis, in this case, was a tool, a whistle blower, however unstable he may be.

I am not for or against anyone in this case, I’m just an observer, and the overall effect of this case may be over and above what any of our blogs can try to simplify.
 

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I feel like this Landis thing has got a lot more people raising an eyebrow at LA. Sooner or later, Lance is going to really be put under the microscope.

Yes, I understand the whole "Lance is the most highly tested athlete out there" concept, but from what I understand, there really was not an accurate test for EPO during many of Lance's wins. EPO levels drop dramatically from injection date to test date too as far as I know. I think it is easy to inject EPO on a Monday, for example, and be tested on Wednesday with no problem.

I hope Lance is not found guilty, but my oh my...I have a feeling the feces is about to hit the oscillator....:eek:
 

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Perception is reality and the SI piece that I received today doesn't do LA any favors with p.r. That said, most of the public will look at the team pic with several of the riders either banned, investigated, or under suspicion and the public thinks that with all of this, there must be some truth to the story..not unlike Bonds/Canseco/A-Rod etc.

The biggest issue at hand, per the article, is the use of Federal money for a blood doping program.

Regardless of your take, this doesn't paint cycling in a good light.
 
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