October 11, 2012

Dope

According to CNN yesterday:

Cyclist Lance Armstrong was part of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Wednesday in preparing to release more than 1,000 pages of evidence in the case.

The evidence involving the U.S. Postal Service-sponsored cycling team encompasses "direct documentary evidence including financial payments, e-mails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance-enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong," the agency said.

I really really want to believe that Armstrong is the victim here. I want to believe that he worked his ass off and earned each of his seven Tour de France titles - and countless others - fair and square. And that he didn't take us all for fools by telling us over and over again that he was innocent. But it's getting harder and harder to believe that.

What do you think? Is Armstrong a victim or a cheater?

Posted by Chris at October 11, 2012 7:54 AM
Comments

I'm in your shoes...I want to believe so much, I am just going to go ahead and believe until Lance himself admits to it.

I know that's probably not right, but I really like the guy. I don't share political leanings with him and yes, he can be real arrogant, but I really like him. And I think what he has done with LiveStrong is beyond reproach.

In a sport that has rampant drug use, it's hard to defend any cyclist. I'm not naive to think that it NEVER happened, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. And that may be wrong, but it's what I am willing to give a guy I admire not necessarily for his skills as a cyclist, but for surviving a nasty disease and helping many many others to survive it. I think that's more important than any sport.

Posted by: Cyndy at October 11, 2012 8:40 AM

at this point, Lance Armstrong is more famous for this scandal, then his foundation (which my take a huge hit) and then in a distant 3rd, his tour de france wins. I want to believe him, i do.

Posted by: darren at October 11, 2012 8:41 AM

I think he's a victim *and* a cheater. Sortof. Everyone involved in cycling (except Armstrong) seems to acknowledge that there's excessive doping in the elite levels of the sport.

In my mind, to some degree, that levels the playing field a bit - if everyone was doping, he's still the best of the dopers. And I don't believe he'd have beat other top cyclists who have either admitted to or found guilty of doping if he weren't doing it himself.

I do think it's a bit unfair to specifically go after Armstrong though. They can strip his titles, but why not give everyone participating in cycling until now the equivalent of a participation ribbon, rather than ranking in the tour, and put the black mark on the sport, rather than picking on a specific athlete.

Posted by: Jen at October 11, 2012 9:00 AM

Personally, I don't think there's one pro cyclist out there that isn't doing the exact same thing.

Posted by: Jaime at October 11, 2012 9:25 AM

I want to believe that he is a victim of all this too. But like you and the other comments have said - it's kind of hard because it seems like EVERYONE was doing it.
It just feels like the way they've gone about it is such a witch hunt. Like the USADA was just not going to let it rest until they found him guilty. I wonder why? Was it really that important to them? I'm more disturbed by their zeal to convict rather than by the fact that he possibly doped.
Personally I think it's a sport that cries out for trying to get an edge! I used to ride road bikes in my 20s and was fairly fit but there were some hills in the bay area where we would ride and I'd be in the lowest gears possible and standing, thighs screaming. My husband would slow down, get next to me, put his hand on the bike seat and PUSH me up the hill. I can't imagine having to ride up the mountains of France!

Posted by: NancyB at October 11, 2012 11:01 AM

I don't know if he's guilty or a victim, but I think if he's guilty he should man up, and if he isn't, he should continue to fight to clear his name.

Posted by: Julee at October 11, 2012 11:08 AM

A cheater in a sport where everyone cheats. You can't be the lone non-doper and win that many times. Sad, but true.

Posted by: Mandy at October 11, 2012 11:22 AM

Long time defender of Armstrong but I heard a fascinating take on this on NPR this morning. When your teammates testify about it...the same guys who helped him win those Tours...the ones who also doped right along with you, well? Sounds like he might be guilty of lying and cheating after all. I will hate for this to go down under "that depends what you mean by doping" but using clearly evasive tactics to provide questionable substances to yourself and your team and then promoting a culture of intimidation and groupthink to get everyone on board? Sounds like doping to me. Another hero falls from grace.

Posted by: rebecca at October 11, 2012 11:23 AM

He's a cheater. I would venture a guess that all pro-cyclists are or have been.

I lost all respect for him several years ago, and it doesn't really matter to me anymore.

Posted by: Mindy at October 11, 2012 12:08 PM

A complete and total cheater.

Posted by: jodifur.com at October 11, 2012 12:32 PM

And where was this evidence 5 years ago?

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at October 11, 2012 12:53 PM

I don't know either way. I tend to believe as most do, you would be hard pressed to find someone who has not use some sort of illegal performance enhancing drug(s) I am always amazed at how we as a society seemingly love to build some one up and take just as much pleasure in tearing them down, we did the same thing with Phelps.

Posted by: Shannon at October 11, 2012 1:47 PM

I went through the exact same feelings when this happened to Roger Clemens. It's like a personal attack when you cheered for a guy, tried to believe him, and they are proven cheaters. :(

Posted by: cynthia at October 11, 2012 4:49 PM

He probably was doping but apparently everyone else was as well (not that this makes it right). My point is that the issue with banned substances is that is provides an uneven playing field. If, as the accusation holds, everyone was involved in this sophisticated and widespread doping then wasn't the playing field leveled? He was the best of all the dopers. :)

Posted by: Sarah at October 11, 2012 8:42 PM

I'm at the point that I don't care so much anymore, but his foundation has raised almost 500 MILLION dollars which I hope have gone toward cancer research and not in his pocket.

Posted by: Rex at October 12, 2012 12:18 PM

I really would like to believe the best of everyone until proven otherwise.

Posted by: Heather at October 12, 2012 9:41 PM


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