Just a short post to say with all the talk of Lance Armstrong’s former team mates singing to the media and the ongoing investigation, one thing to remember is that this isn’t the trial of Lance Armstrong. Instead it’s an investigation into a potential misuse of public funds in the US.
Obviously Lance Armstrong is very prominent, he is a celebrity whose name goes well beyond the sport of cycling and few know about Johan Bruyneel or Bart Knaggs. But this isn’t about Armstrong, or rather it’s got the potential to involve a much wider cast of characters.
Allow me to run with the idea that US TV channel CBS has got wind of George Hincapie’s statements to US authorities. An athlete that confesses to the use of banned substances or methods is liable for a full two-year ban. Many a team would sack a rider if they get sanctioned for doping. In other words, Hincapie might be doing his last race in California right now.
Similarly if the heat is on Lance Armstrong right now, what about team manager Johan Bruyneel? I’m certainly wondering about the future of the Radioshack team, just how long would a sponsor want to be associated with what might turn out to be a very bad news story?
In addition there’s plenty more to consider, from the future of some officials at the UCI and even the possibilities for the charity projects and foundations borrowing Lance Armstrong’s name and image, not to mention other businesses here.
I’ll stress that tonight’s 60 Minutes show is just a TV show. We’ll see what the investigation turns up. But for all the column inches devoted to a now retired rider, however famous, there are potential consequences for active team managers, for wholly innocent riders who happen to be with Radioshack and perhaps for some officials, if not for the sport of pro cycling as a whole.