No, peoples statements can have weight, a lot in circumstances. But the questions, and they will be hard questions, will be asked of those providing the statement. Any flaw of character, ulertior motive, history, will be exposed, and sometimes this is enough to have the evidence rendered useless or inadmissable.
If the USADA get it wrong I can see the Armstrong legal department suing them out of existence.
Wishful thinking. First of all, the Federal case wasn't dismissed through lack of evidence, it was a political move made by one man who did not discuss his decision with the agents who collected the evidence.
As for the character, ulterior motive, etc. of the accusers, much has been made of Hamilton and Landis, but there are ten riders who gave testimony. Not all of them could possibly be lying, and all stating the same lie to the letter.
In criminal trials involving organized crime, who are the ones giving evidence against the bosses? The very people who went out to rob, steal and kill in their name. These types of witnesses have, according to you, zero credibility. But these are exactly the type of people whose statements put people in prison.
Who had less credibility than Sammy "The Bull" Gravano? But his testimony put his boss John Gotti away for life, while Gravano went free after serving 5 or so years and admitting to 19 murders.
Jerry Sandusky will likely go to jail for life on the strength of the same testimony proffered by those who testified against Armstrong-no actual "proof" of actual crimes because the victims were never examined by doctors directly after the alleged molestations took place. So there you have it.
Back to Armstrong-there are others besides riders who have made statements, unknown in number, but the reality is this type of evidence cannot be dismissed so cavalierly.
And the samples that have been mentioned as showing signs of blood manipulation and/or EPO abuse are from his "Comback 2.0, Hope Rides Again" tour.
The other thing is Armstrong was given an opportunity to meet with USADA, and guess what? He declined. The mind boggles as to why he decided not to go, but credibility, or lack thereof, certainly comes to mind. He decided not to tackle the allegations head-on, but decided on a cowardly public statement where he blames everyone under the sun for conspiring against him. Poor Lance...
USADA would not have taken the drastic step of banning a rider from riding without proof of a recent positive dope test, but they did it to Lance. And they mentioned going after all seven of his Tours. Why? Because despite the legal loophole of a statute of limitations, the breadth and scope of the conspiracy demands that he gets stripped of all the Tours he won as a doped rider.
All in all, it's a great day to be a hater. Armstrong has already sent his internet troops out to pass along the same tired message of "waste of taxpayer money" and "most tested athlete on Earth". This public display of hubris is in stark contrast to the statements he made a few months ago in that soft-gay porn men's magazine, the one that highlights the lifestyles of yuppies enjoying the great outdoors.
He said he was done defending himself against doping allegations, and resigned himself to the possibility of being stripped of one or two Tours. He wasn't counting on the investigation going all the way back to 1998 and the possibility of losing ALL SEVEN Tours.