There was no reason for the delay no matter what the usda claim
There's one very obvious reason. It gave those that testified against Armstrong the chance to get to the end of the season and retire before their suspensions began. Those that aren't retiring get to sit out their suspension during the close season and don't miss much of teh main european based season next year. Six months suspension for the amount of doping they did is pitiful even if they have done a deal to spill teh beans on Armstrong.
If that genuinely is the case then it would rather prove the witch hunt claim
The usda would allow banned/to be banned/suspected drug cheats to continue to professionally race in order to get a retired no longer professionally riding cyclist
It also shows that those who assisted the usda have indeed been offered preferences/inducements to do so to save their own bacon rather than "for the good of the sport" and as such would cast doubt over some of the testimony offered against Lance
Not surpising to those who have followed the usda's behaviour in this matter