I'm happy to be corrected if I am wrong
But I'm sure usda/wadas own guidelines has an 8 year time limit on offences?
Where there is evidence of a conspiracy to conceal a doping offence, it is possible to use a precedent set in a case called 'Hellebuyck' (A previous USADA Arbitration case) to extend that SOL. This is also relatively common in other areas of Law in the U.S.
The difficulty here is that because Lance has decided not to take part in the usda's witch hunt circus they have come out claiming it's an admission of guilt despite never having provided a positive test.
That actually remains to be seen, although I think its not that likely they have a Urine / blood test. they have the Bio Passport data however and that can be used as evidence, as can eye witness testimony of an Athlete being treated or using PED's. However, there are 5 urine samples from the 1999 tour that were retro-tested in 2005 and found to contain r-EPO, which are claimed to belong to the Athlete. Thats a long read but you can view it here: http://nyvelocity.com/content/interview ... l-ashenden
I say positive because until you can say 100% you have proof then you have none.
'Beyond reasonable doubt' is a term used in a court of law, in an arbitration the level of evidence does not need to be as thorough - the recipient of the arbitration is not going to prison. I believe its something like 'a reasonable standard of proof' or similar but that is really down to the arbitration panel.
One thing to note on an Arbitration panel by the way is that the Athlete is allowed to choose a panel member, the USADA choose one and both the Athlete and USADA have to agree on the third.
As to the us cycling body being part of wada..that is true but they are part and not all and on this occasion wada and the uci are going to take kindly to the tale wagging the dog.
This is not really the case as prior to the Arbitration deadline the Athlete asked the Federal courts to rule that USADA did not have jusistiction to charge or sanction him, and this was ultimately denied by the court.
The UCI tried to take the case from USADA and the letter from UCI became matter of public record as part of the case. WADA replied to the UCI in a letter (which also came on record) and were quite specific that USADA were within their rights. USAC also stated that they thought UCI should be looking at the case, WADA likely wrote them a letter too. One problem with the case was that the UCI had been acused of covering up a positive test in 2001 and thus USADA argued that the UCI were effectively capable of hindering the process of the case.
Here are the letters..
UCI to USADA: http://www.scribd.com/doc/101973130/McQ ... Bock-USADA
WADA letter to UCI: http://www.scribd.com/doc/102398382/WADA-Letter-to-UCI
(Can't find the USAC one right now)
Judges decision that ruling is not going to be in US court and USADA should be the right body to conduct Arbitration, with some reservations and moaning about USAC, USDA, UCI and WADA and the Athlete.http://www.scribd.com/doc/103348811/Sparks-Decision
It's true that he has been banned from competitive iron man events not because he has done anything there..but because it's part of the usda's witch hunt to hound him indefinately.
The Athlete has been banned from taking part in sport. This covers all sports and this occurs when any Athlete is banned by a governing body.
The other thing often overlooked . Lance has been a marmite cyclist with so many unable to match his talent and the usda not liking the fact that Lance is bigger than the organisation in so many ways.
He through live strong has raised over $500 million for U.S. cancer charities and since retiring has increased his personal time into the charity.
Personally if I was lance I would sit back, enjoy life and say to the usda..prove it..I would then expect a long wait.
At present, that is already done and dusted. He chose not to Arbitrate and therefore a sanction has been imposed. He effectively said 'no contest' and when that happens you get a ruling. It remains to be seen if that changes.
If you take to one side all that he did as a parent and all that he did for charity and as a Cancer survivor, he is an Athlete. It is in this forum in which USADA and other bodies operate and govern. It is in this context that he has been judged against. His sporting legacy has apparently been ruled null and void from 1998, the other things in his life can still be a source of anger for some and enthusiasm / optimism for others. He has his freedom and his charitable legacy and so on.
This is not an easy case as it is emotive for many people as he inspired many, however, I will repeat, there are five other individuals in this case and the charges against them are serious in the context of professional sport. It's not
just about the bike