His case was suspicious since the beginning in 1999. Surviving cancer and coming back stronger ? He was a good cyclist, not an great one, before that, there is no way he won naturally.
He has certainly more than 7 Tours to lose if he fights the doping accusations, his decision is tactical.
Surviving cancer and coming back stronger is not suspicious. What it did was set in motion "extreme motivation." The guy had to fight for his life. And in doing so, it provided greater motivation and drive to come back, in fact enough to come back stronger. The body is capable of healing itself, and he was young enough to not only rebuild his muscles and toning but to improve upon it. Whether or not it was "super human", meaning helped with drugs, or just a case of raw unbridled determination is what is difficult to know for sure at this point.
Now, did he use drugs to help him do that? It's possible. Was he and his support team clever enough to figure out how to foil the screening tests and not get caught? Possibly. Did that mean at the very least it would be exposed to his teammates, creating a vulnerability that might come back to bite him later? Perhaps. I don't think you can dope completely in private. When you do it, noticeable changes take place not only in visible musculature but also in ability. If someone suddenly leap frogs ahead of his peers, it will look suspicious.
What really looks suspicious to me is why he is giving up the fight NOW. What is different? He claims he is tired of the unfair and perpetual slams against his character, that they haven't found any conclusive evidence and yet the case against him continues. Is there no statute of limitations in these things? There probably ought to be.
"The antidoping agency also said it had blood test results of Armstrong’s from 2009 and 2010 that were consistent with doping.
" Really. Why weren't they brought up in 2009 and 2010? Test results don't take that long to become conclusive. "Consistent with doping", not "evidence of doping." What they're trying to say is that his blood readings didn't show direct evidence of drugs but rather the characteristics that would be present AFTER doping. Would this be conclusive, that the readings would not appear as detected under normal circumstances? If that is possible to prove, then there could very well be a solid case against him. But again, I wonder why it took so long. In any event, I wonder if this is what is scaring Armstrong this time enough to quit fighting.
Also, given the decay of trust across agencies that we've previously long considered trustworthy, it does bring to question whether or not Travis Tygart is conducting a "witch hunt" and may have tampered with samples just to prove his case. Do they have really tight controls to prevent that from happening? I wonder...