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Debate rages as Lance finds support

Armstrong’s cancer work stands him in good stead although his credibility as a champ has been shaken.

other Updated: Aug 25, 2012 23:59 IST

Think this is over? Think again. Lance Armstrong may want closure, but the charges of conspiracy involving four others, including his former team manager Johan Bruyneel and his trainer Dr Michele Ferrari, will continue to keep the Texan in the headlines as the evidence is revealed. And then there is the business of all the millions of dollars he won during his years of triumph, and whether anyone will be wanting it back.

The debate over what to do about the seven Tours de France from which Armstrong's name has been unilaterally erased by the US Anti-Doping Agency should be laid to rest. Nobody won those Tours.

There can be no winner. Except now a sport that can finally get to grips with its own tainted history.

No looking back

Any attempt to promote the men who finished beneath Armstrong between 1999 and 2005 must be resisted. Who would want to entertain the pretence that such riders as Jan Ullrich, Alex Zulle and Ivan Basso deserve to be awarded a retrospective yellow jersey?

The years of Armstrong's Tour victories constitute a blown-up version of the 1988 Olympic 100m final.

Best to write those years off. Not to ignore them, of course, but to accept the reality of the EPO era and learn its lessons.

Tantamount (although he will continue to deny it) to an admission of guilt, his decision to decline his day in court may make it harder for the world to learn the full extent of the evidence held by the USADA.

It is to be hoped that everything will be revealed, to help heal the wound caused by the years when scientific doping ruled the sport.