Speaking Out Against the USADA

Below is the text of an email I sent to my elected Colorado representatives, United States Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, and Congressman Mike Coffman, and by copy to the rest of the Colorado Congressional Delegation, plus Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia. In it, I urge an immediate investigation be opened into the practices of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) concerning its recently announced leveling of doping charges against Lance Armstrong.

Dear Senator Udall, Senator Bennet, Congressman Coffman, Congressman Kingston,

I am a Colorado citizen residing in Aurora, and a volunteer Senior Leader with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, known as LIVESTRONG. I am writing to implore you to act immediately to halt the baseless investigation of Lance Armstrong by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and to open an investigation of that agency and its CEO, Mr. Travis Tygart, for fiduciary misconduct.

On June 13, the USADA, located in Colorado Springs, announced that it was leveling charges against Mr. Armstrong, a part-time resident of Aspen, alleging that he was at the center of a 15-year doping ring in professional cycling. This investigation is yet another waste of taxpayer dollars and appears to be nothing short of a vendetta against Mr. Armstrong.

This USADA action follows the dismissal, in February, 2012, of a 20-month long, multi-agency federal grand jury investigation of Mr. Armstrong that cost untold millions of dollars and failed to produce a single indictment. That investigation, an egrieous example of prosecutorial overreach, covered many – if not all – of the allegations the USADA now brings against Mr. Armstrong. This investigation of a retired citizen who has passed over 500 drug tests without a single positive result serves no valuable purpose and calls into question the leadership of Mr. Tygart and his misdirected priorities.

The taxpayer monies now being spent by the USADA on this witchhunt would be better directed toward reducing the well-documented shortage of life-saving cancer medicines or perhaps increasing the funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At a mimimum, the funds could go toward reducing the federal defecit! The economy is poor, and wasteful federal spending must be stopped. Instead, Mr. Tygart and his agency are spending money we don’t have rehashing unproven hearsay brought by anonymous sources thought to have received sweetheart deals from the USADA in exchange for their testimony against Mr. Armstrong.

Later this summer several hundred athletes will represent the United States at the London Olympics. Among them will be the 24 members of the U.S. Cycling Team, 5 of whom call Colorado home, all proven champions in their own right. This investigation will surely cast a pall over the honor and glory our cyclists so richly deserve and for which they have so tirelessly worked.

It is time to put these tired allegations against Mr. Armstrong to rest and move forward. I urge you to stop the USADA investigation of Lance Armstrong immediately.

Thank you.

Erik Pearson
Senior LIVESTRONG Leader