Love Lance, hate Lance. I am absolutely disgusted at the headlines of Lance being stripped of seven Tour de France titles and the USADA says they will seek to impose a lifetime ban on Armstrong from sports signed up to the WADA code.
“Enough is enough.” I couldn’t agree more.
I am appalled. Not because I’m biased that Armstrong is the reason I started distance running, but the tone of the headlines in the newspapers. They are writing these articles as if he is already convicted. Armstrong is choosing not to defend himself against the accusation, but does it means he is guilty? Certainly not.
And it fails me to understand the link between Tour de France and USADA. How can an US-based anti-doping agency, with no jurisdiction, be capable to strip the title of a French race? The Olympics committee and the Cycling Federation of France say nothing about the charges.
The Tour de France is the most difficult and challenging athletic event in the world. IF you choose to believe Lance doped, trust me he wasn’t alone. You don’t just “win” an event that lasts 21 days and covers 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi). “…Even a dope cheat still needs to be a master tactician to win the Tour de France.”
Armstrong has survived late stage cancer, serves as an amazing inspiration to athletes, has raised millions with the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer.
As one of the most tested athletes in the history of sports, HE HAS NEVER TESTED POSITIVE.
You can argue he is conceding that he cheated by saying he is no longer willing to fight the charges. I strongly believe that even if he had won this trial, there would have been another one after it, and so on until there was a guilty verdict.
Doping technology is highly advanced now and what athletes were doing “legally” in the 90s is now “illegal” in sport today. Where do you draw the line and understand that the sport will naturally evolve as athlete’s training and science improves with time?
I think many people made their minds up about Armstrong the first time they heard he was accused of doping. Right then, people were either for him or against him. A decade later, you still have a split audience.
Sports Illustrated has a great read, Armstrong ended his fight over doping — but who really cares? The author makes some fantastic arguments, and he believes that Armstrong is guilty. Why? Because he remembers reading a newspaper article that talked about how hard Lance trains.
Gasp! A performance athlete busting his ass?! See how quickly even intelligent people can make assumptions. Remember current Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggin’s poignant comment when people accused him of doping:
“It justifies their own bone-idleness because they can’t ever imagine applying themselves to do anything in their lives. It’s easy for them to sit under a pseudonym on Twitter and write that sort of sh*t, rather than get off their arses in their own lives and apply themselves and work hard at something and achieve something. And that’s ultimately it.”
Nothing I say here will change your mind, but I hope it forces you to look deeper into how quickly we are prepared as a society to push ourselves to an answer, even without truth.
I don’t even have words for the fact that he is now also banned for life. Cyclist Alberto Cantador was accused of doping in 2010, stripped of his titles, and this year he is back in action. Not only are they out to take Lance’s titles, they want his career.
This day marks when Lance Armostrong’s legacy will change. This is a highly calculated move. And now we await more headlines, speculation, and drama. Until the next athlete is convicted.