The Lance Armstrong scandal has rocked not just the cycling world but the sports world because, in short order one of the worlds greatest athletes has been given the scarlet letter of shame, simply for refusing to continue along an arbitration process that according to him, is a distraction and a stress on his life and family.
I was a long time Pete Rose fan. In fact, I still sort of am. I saw the Big Red Machine back in the day, and it was exhilarating. I didn’t believe for one MINUTE Pete Rose was guilty. Then I believed, ok well maybe he gambled but NOT ON THE REDS and well here we are all these years later and yeah he admits he does. In my mind, that hero was still a great athlete but now a person of lesser character. It’s disappointing at best.
Is this the same? Does my hero worship of Lance Armstrong mean I’m blind to obvious facts?
No actually, I don’t think it does this time.
Lance Armstrong committed himself to hundreds of drug tests over his career as a cyclist. During competition, out of competition, on rainy Sundays just because someone wanted it. He did it willingly. He passed every single test, every single time. I am about 100% sure that he’s got enough haters (as witnessed by current events) that if he’d popped up positive for having even SMELLED EPO or any other banned substance, the testing authorities would’ve tattooed it on the back of the hands of every American possible, so we would never forget.
The USADA is basically telling us, with this never ending inquiry and harrassment of Lance Armstrong, that their testing is faulty to inaccurate. They can’t TELL if you’ve been doping! That’s the only way that this evil Lance Armstrong ever managed to be so successful obviously, he’s got some alchemy that has allowed him to defeat the USADA for years and years.
And now, they are going to PERMANENTLY PUNISH HIM FOREVER AND EVER for defeating them like some doping wizard cyclist.
In so many ways, it’s like a case of internet trolling. The USADA are making statements they can’t even support such as he is ”STRIPPED OF TOUR DE FRANCE WINS” not your call folks. Sorry. So quit blathering on. The international community will rule on that.
But what I’m watching, as the sharks descend to feed and tear apart a hero is this. We’ve got science on one hand, and it doesn’t lie. It says he passed the tests. Tests which have managed to catch other “greats” over time (Hello FLOYD LANDIS LOOKING RIGHT AT YOU) . We’ve got gossip on the other side. Gossip says they saw this and they saw that.
We just destroyed someone’s reputation because they were weary of being persecuted, over gossip. Nothing more.
Well done USADA. You’ve proven you can’t do your job, apparently.
Image courtesy of Dosomething.org