It’s currently 9:15am in Chicago. The triathlon world is expecting to hear comments in about an hour from World Triathlon Corp, owners of the Ironman brand, regarding Lance Armstrong‘s newest round of doping allegations.
The initial word was that Lance has been banned from competition. But according to a great article on Slowtwitch, banned isn’t really accurate.
Here is my take. First of all I’d like to point out that I wrote about this months ago after Lace wasn’t tested after Panama. And weather or not he’s guilty of ever doing it, the long list of people who say he did, along with the slew of charges over the years (dropped or not) should have been a red flag & Ironman should have thought of before making Lance triathlon’s poster boy.
Sure WTC has rules in place, but they are a private entity which means they have the ability to change or bend those rules as they see fit. And as I Tweeted yesterday, Lance is good for business.
Preventing him from competing wouldn’t really help draw the legions of new fans and Lance imitators that Ironman was hoping for. It would also make their partnership with Lance’s
PR company Foundation LiveSTRONG look a little silly.
What I expect to hear from WTC is that even though rules dictate ” an athlete is ineligible to compete during an open investigation”, they’re going to allow him to race because these charges are pending & he hasn’t been found guilty.
They’ve already used the phrase “pending further review”.
Sure they’ll look like a podium full of fanboy’s standing by their blank check of an athlete. But it won’t be the first time Ironman reversed their stance on something, does anyone remember the Ironman Access Program?
And if they don’t allow him to race for they’re own reasons, maybe they’ll do it for the poor schmuck who already bid $40,000 in the LiveSTRONG auction to race with Lance in Kona!
But maybe I’m totally wrong.