Bicycling Magazine yesterday posted on their website a preview of the May issue, in which their senior editor, Bill Strickland, writes that he is finally willing to concede that Lance is guilty of the doping allegations made against him.
This is the link to the story...
...but if you're really interested you should find the link on the page that invites you to register and download the whole package of stories and accompanying charts and sidebar stories all about Lance and doping (it's a big PDF file, a reprint of the layout that will be in the magazine).
Whether you are a Lance fan or opponent, it's an interesting moment in the Lance saga. Strickland has covered Lance since the beginning, and wrote a book about him, "Tour de Lance," about Lance's comeback. I think Strickland has always been considered one of Lance's defenders and true believers, and Bicycling has certainly done its bit over the years in drafting off the Lance phenomenon.
The noteworthy thing about the article is not that there is anything new in it -- it's just the fact that Strickland wrote it, and Bicycling is going with this as their May cover story.
Interestingly, Strickland is *extremely* guarded about what made him change his mind. He hints, in this very obscurely worded passage, that someone on the inside confessed:
"I don't know, if you're not already there, what might lead you to believe that Lance Armstrong doped. 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. The moment I received it felt strangely like a relief, and after all these years unreal and apart from what was happening, like those odd instants that sometimes immediately follow the death of someone you love, when grief is eclipsed by gratitude that the suffering has ended."