Hollywood movies like Crash or Babel or Watergate/All the President’s Men center on stories where one seemingly random event triggers a litany of unfortunate yet intertwined events. Could the path to Lance Armstrong’s recent fall from grace have taken a similarly random twist? Today’s NY Times tells the story of Kayle Leogrande, a tattooed world class cyclist whose seemingly innocent confession to using performance enhancing drugs in a race led super FDA drug investigator Jeff Novitzky (aka the guy who brought down Barry Bonds, Marion Jones and Roger Clemens) to his doorstep:
“He would ask, Do you think Lance is doing this?” Leogrande said. “I would tell him: “He’s racing in these barbaric cycling races in Europe. If you were a rider at that level, what would you do?”
More than a year later, in spring 2010, Floyd Landis, one of Armstrong’s former teammates, had come clean about his own doping, telling officials from the antidoping agency that he and other top riders, including Armstrong, had doped while on the Postal Service team. Landis also said he had information that Michael Ball, the team owner of Rock Racing, was involved in doping.
Even when it was happening, can anyone truly, honestly say that Lance Armstrong winning seven straight Tour De France’s wasn’t just a teeny weeny bit suspicious? As Lewis Black noted on the Daily Show, “I don’t care that Lance Armstrong was doping, I care that he didn’t admit it.”