Lance Armstrong Is Still a Hero
USADA's effort was a 'slam job': Buzz Bissinger
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 27, 2012 12:21 PM CDT
Lance Armstrong follows a trail on his way to a second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – Lance Armstrong may have been stripped of his Tour de France titles, but he hasn't lost his legacy. This is a man who inspired us by overcoming life-threatening cancer to achieve the seemingly impossible. The cyclist "is a hero, one of the few we have left in a country virtually bereft of them. And he needs to remain one," writes Buzz Bissinger in Newsweek. Authorities' apparent desperation to catch him doping looks a lot like a "witch hunt"—and the cyclist's decision to stop fighting the charges wasn't an admission of guilt.

It was a result of mental exhaustion from years fighting never-proven charges. The US Anti-Doping Agency was pushing charges as old as 13 years, even though it has an eight-year statute of limitations. Even a judge who ruled for the agency in an Armstrong lawsuit questioned its motivations. And if he was doping, who cares? "He was leveling the playing field," Bissinger notes. "What point is being served here besides the USADA’s own desperation to prove to the public that it is cleaning up sports? It’s a slam job, and Armstrong is the victim of that slam." Click for Bissinger's full column.

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