Strickland, who has followed Armstrong’s entire career and spent a season on tour with Armstrong’s team to pen 2010’s critically-acclaimed book Tour de Lance, writes that he has at last become convinced that Armstrong indeed doped during his career.I think this is pretty significant since Bicycling magazine seems to be a politically correct magazine when it comes to publishing about the big players in the bike industry. Since they get ad money from all the major bike companies, including Trek who is pretty tight with Lance, I've always observed that they tend to say good things about everyone. For Strickland to say that he is convinced Lance has doped is like saying that Bicycling is willing to write off Lance and any companies that Lance has influence over.
Strickland also explains (albeit with a lot of ambiguity) what it took for him to come to this conclusion. Here is a key quote:
After years of remaining, in his words, “agnostic” about the topic of whether Armstrong doped or not (“I clung to the possibility that Lance Armstrong had never doped. I thought he at least deserved that uncertainty…just a few people in the world had directly experienced his acts of innocence or guilt, and their accounts so contradicted one another…”),He then goes on to say more about what influenced him by eliminating a lot of potential explanations but not really explaining, at least to me, what made him finally come to grips with Lance being a fraud. Here is what the reports are saying of Strickland's comments:
“It wasn’t Floyd Landis for me, or the federal investigation, or any public revelation. My catalyst was another one of those statements that was never said by someone I never talked with. It was not from one of Armstrong’s opponents. It was not from anyone who will gain any clemency by affirming it under oath. It was an admission that doping had occurred, one disguised so it could assume innocence but unmistakable to me in meaning.”As I interpret this, it sounds like Strickland heard someone, maybe Lance, admit that doping had occurred in the peloton with an implicit admission that Lance was part of it. Not sure though...
Strickland also says that he has doubts about whether we will ever have anything resolved in the federal investigation. I'm hoping he's wrong about that but have always been concerned that Lance will prove to be too sly for Novitky to ever pin down in court.