Originally Posted by M2
A) I don't need to read up on how highly Armstrong was regarded. He was an instant celebrity in the cycling world, a bigger draw at events like the Tour Du Pont than Greg LeMond before Armstrong had even won anything. People used to head out to see road races to catch a glimpse of the boy wonder. I was one of them.
B) Armstrong had an entire team and profession that was well-versed in PEDs guiding his usage. Lance was always part of a large and coordinated operation. It got more sophisticated as the sport introduced testing (and pretty much every team in cycling was doing things similar to U.S. Postal), but he always had doctors, managers, trainers and teammates working with him. Doping in cycling goes back decades before Armstrong showed up. He was never a lone agent.
C) Braun would have had to run an Armstrong-like operation largely by himself. He didn't have the resources of a team aiding his usage. And he would have to figure all of this out in college and then run his regimen flawlessly until 2011. Could it be done? Sure. But it would be a really impressive feat on Braun's part. It's a lot of planning and execution and, to date, no one's found any trail he left behind. And you don't get to call 2011 the tip of Braun's iceberg without, you know, producing evidence of the actual iceberg.
Your story is mostly holes. And this is the problem Braun's accusers have. If you want to argue he was guilty that one time in 2011, then we're back to dead horse kicking. If you want to argue he's been using his whole life, it's all accusation and no evidence.
I'm not a Braun accuser, so I'd prefer it if you didn't lump me in. Unfortunately, we don't have the benefit of the whole story here, and we rarely do elsewhere. For that reason alone, I'm not going to crucify the guy as a doper. At the same time, I think it's fair to say it's plausible the guy's been doping since college. I understand that cycling has a long history of doping, but so does baseball. And quite frankly, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if a story came out tomorrow stating that the entire athletic department at the U has been running a coordinated doping program for its athletes.
Are there "holes in my story?" I guess, but I'm not building a case against the guy. I'm just saying that with the information that's out there, it's not a stretch to imagine that Braun might be doping now, and he might have been doping for a long, long time.