The adage "where there is smoke, there's fire" elevates suspicion to certain fact. When the adage is applied to evidence in a legal dispute there can be problems. Here is Patterico, whose day job is a District Attorney in LA, writing on the Lance Armstrong case:
Lance Armstrong Stripped of 7 Tour de France TitlesFiled under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am
. . . . Having never followed this story before, I was surprised when I received the news alert last night about it. I was vaguely aware there were allegations, but didn’t know there was any danger of such a drastic sanction.
The USADA and other governing bodies seem to be proceeding under the view that Armstrong’s failure to fight the charges (despite having contested them in the past) means they’re true:
“He had a right to contest the charges,” WADA President John Fahey said after Armstrong’s announcement. “He chose not to. The simple fact is that his refusal to examine the evidence means the charges had substance in them.”I am not comfortable with that. It’s certainly not how things are supposed to work in this country, where you’re innocent until proven guilty, and the evidence has to stand on its own. Reading the article, it looks to me like there is some evidence Armstrong used steroids. For example:
After Armstrong’s second victory in 2000, French judicial officials investigated his Postal Service team for drug use. That investigation ended with no charges, but the allegations kept coming.But I’m not sure how strong that evidence is. Armstrong says he’s just tired of fighting this:
Armstrong was criticized for his relationship with [Michele] Ferrari, who was banned by Italian authorities over doping charges in 2002. Former personal and team assistants accused Armstrong of having steroids in an apartment in Spain and disposing of syringes that were used for injections. In 2004, a Dallas-based promotions company initially refused to pay him a $5 million bonus for winning his sixth Tour de France because it wanted to investigate allegations raised by media in Europe. Testimony in that case included former teammate Frankie Andreu and his wife, Betsy, saying Armstrong told doctors during his 1996 cancer treatments that he had taken a cornucopia of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said. He called the USADA investigation an “unconstitutional witch hunt.”Armstrong may have doped himself and he may not have. All I’m saying is: the evidence should stand on its own.
“I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999,” he said. “The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today — finished with this nonsense.”