Last week I wrote about charges the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is bringing against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Long story short, rats on the US Olympic team are fleeing the ship as the heat comes down on Armstrong.
Since then, not a whole lot had happened... until yesterday. A Wall Street Journal blog broke a story saying that lobbyists for Livestrong, Lance Armstrong's cancer-fighting non-profit, were lobbying US Representatives about the USADA. The report comes from a spokesman for Representative Jose Serrano, a New York Democrat, who alleged the lobbyist "broached the fairness" of USADA charges against Armstrong.
As CyclingNews.com explains, the lobbyists questioned the USADA's 'fairness,' after last week's attack on USADA funding by Congressman Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin. Relatedly, the USADA's funding is funneled through the House Appropriations Committee, which Rep. Serrano serves on.
Whether or not Armstrong doped, using The Livestrong Foundation's paid lobbyists for this purpose looks pathetic. The dude is rich—he owns parts of many companies and made millions during his racing years. If he wants to go after the USADA in retaliation, he should have the ball to use his god damn money. Instead, his Livestrong foundation, it seems, has turned into some legal defense fund for its embattled founder. What is the Livestrong foundation supposed to be doing? Let's see what their mission statement says:
We empower the cancer community to address the unmet needs of cancer survivors. To do so, we encourage collaboration, knowledge-sharing and partnership.
Then, we develop evidence-based solutions to address both the common and unique problems survivors are facing around the world.
That sure doesn't sound like a manifesto to lobby against doping investigations. But, hey, now that their founder is under investigation for doping, it's how the Livestrong Foundation is spending its resources. Perhaps his troubles with the USADA could be construed as "unmet needs of cancer survivors," but I feel that as long as people are actually dying from cancer, it sounds like bullshit to me.