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View Diary: Dear Lance: It's Not About The Bike (33 comments)

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  •  Lance Armstrong (9+ / 0-)

    While Lance's work with his charity has been absolutely terrific, he was also just exposed as one of the biggest cheaters in the history of sports, one who will cause lasting damage to his entire sport.  Stepping down from the charity was the right thing to do  I hope he can still work with the foundation in whatever capacity he can to help them behind the scenes, but it is definitely time for a new public face.

    •  Sadly, NJI, there is no new public face. (7+ / 0-)

      Armstrong came along at a time when cycling was in turmoil, esp. in the US.  IMHO, he added more to the sport than he diminished it, considering the number of young men and women like Alex who chose to ride for so many different reasons.  

      A veteran is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America for the amount of " up to and including my life". That is Honor, and there are too many people in America who no longer understand that.

      by VeloVixen on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 01:36:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He is a cheater (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      carver, TexDem, VeloVixen, 4Freedom

      and in some ways the cycling controversies are what opened my eyes several years ago and has led me to abandon being a sports fan.

      Because I have come to realize, they are almost all cheaters,  is Lance Armstrong a bigger cheater when virtually every cyclist was doing drugs, the same kinds of things?  When baseball players, football players, runners, you name were all doing drugs?  How do you measure bigger when it is all?

      I don't think great athletes should have to cheat if they want to compete.  I would wish there were no drugs in sports.  I would wish that no teenager is ever encouraged to start drugs so they can move up.   I think its great if they do get sports cleaned up, if they think stripping Lance Armstrong of his titles is a way to clean it up (but who are they going to give them to that isn't a false show of virtue), so be it.

      But one of the biggest cheaters in the history of sports, as if only he were cheating, I don't buy that for a minute.  

      •  If you extend that even further (4+ / 0-)

        you can make it political or societal. Why do members of the GOP and Fox News feel it's perfectly alright to blatantly lie? Why do they feel it's perfectly alright to cheat in what ever method they can to win an election? I guess this is more of a question for a sociologist to ponder.

        •  you can take it way further (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TexDem, zinger99, VeloVixen, 4Freedom

          is it ok to cheat to win at anything, then of course lying is acceptable.

          And if it's ok to alter your body chemistry to win, what about gene enhancement therapy, don't like that fast twitch muscle proportion alter it?   Want to win a beauty contest, surgery, enhancements, etc. buy a whole new face and body.

          It goes to the roots of competition, is it necessarily good?

          People here keep raising the issue about capitalism, that it devours itself,  you can take it as far as you want.  If the system is corrupted, all the players will eventually be corrupted.

      •  There are many who stand to gain from Lance's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TexDem, a gilas girl, 4Freedom

        demise.  Floyd Landis, a former teammate and known doper, has a whistle-blower case pending that would recover sponsorship money for the federal government (with a hefty prize for Landis as primary whistle-blower) over the Postal Service sponsorship, which totaled almost $32 million from 2001 to 2004 alone.

        As far as stripping Lance of his titles, many of them would go to Jan Ulrich, well known as a doper, so maybe not.  It would be very hard to find anybody to give the titles to that hasn't doped and been caught.

        I agree that it would be great to clean up sports from 'drugs'.  My son was routinely tested for 'drugs' as a track athlete in high school.  He was called into the principals office one morning after eating a poppyseed muffin for breakfast.  Does that make him a doper too?  Of course not.

        A veteran is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America for the amount of " up to and including my life". That is Honor, and there are too many people in America who no longer understand that.

        by VeloVixen on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 03:21:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          expatjourno

          you can  ridicule my decision to use the word drugs as opposed to actually listing various blood doping techniques, anabolic steroids, any number of other drugs which have therapeutic uses but can be abused not to treat disease but to enhance performance, etc.   But nowhere did I suggest that drug testing was perfect, that false positives don't occur,  etc.  Would you rather that high school coaches trying to make it to a college team based on the efforts of the kids were encouraging abuse of performance enhancing drugs and no one did anything about it, even knowing that testing isn't perfect?

          I clearly acknowledged that there would be no one in the peleton to give Lance's titles to,  doping was endemic, and has been for a long time.

          Landis is a lot less of a person than I once thought him to be.  I tried hard to believe he was clean the year he won the Tour, but eventually evidence has to take precedence over faith or wishes.  He is and has clearly been after money to replace what he lost for quite a while.  To the extent whistle blower laws exist, I am ok with that, long term I think they do more good than bad.

          Lance simply is not innocent but neither was he the only person to break the rules using performance enhancements. He rode while doping and beat a bunch of other dopers. For that reason I am pretty much of the opinion that it is actually meaningless and petty to strip him of his titles at this point.  

          But  that won't erase all the good he did and still does in the cancer community.  If he lost his titles then maybe every title from the Tour for at least the last 100 years should be revoked, too.  That's the problem with organized sports at a high level.  As the NASCAR people say "If you aren't cheatin', you aren't tryin'"  The system corrupts the participants and corrupt participants ensures the system remains corrupt.

          •  I don't think she was ridiculing your use of the (0+ / 0-)

            word drugs. But more of how "many" things can be caught under that label.

            •  The testing at the Tour (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TexDem

              And UCLA's lab in the US for example is no superficial level of testing.  It is unlikely to mistake a poppy seed for something else.  I spent a lot of time reading up on the tests, at cycling boards etc where this was huge, papers published on the research, etc.

              •  The anecdotal story of her son is from 10 years (0+ / 0-)

                ago. That son is now a MD.

                I sure as hell hope the testing of athletes on an international level are more efficient than those performed by a HS 10 years ago. Her son was called to the office and explained to a very relieved Principal about his poppy-seed muffin.

    •  Did any of the top finishers NOT cheat? (0+ / 0-)

      You don't know if he was "one of the biggest cheaters" in biking, let alone in the history of sports. The people he was riding against might have cheated more, just with less success.

      If it was that easy for Armstrong to cheat all those years and get away with it, you'd better believe it was common practice, given the amount of money involved.

      And frankly, if it took cheating in a bike race to raise half a billion dollars for cancer victims, I think it was worth it.

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