“From cycling hero to drug cheat”

Unless you’ve been living under a big old rock, you’d have heard the furore that is happening in cycling about now surrounding 7 time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong.  I actually sat down and read some of the dossier and supporting materials the other day and the evidence is pretty damning.

I’m also feeling pretty damn smug about now, as well as disgusted. Smug because I’ve never shied away from letting people know of my distaste for Armstrong.  Something  just never sat right for me, didn’t add up.  The power of the US Postal team back then was too much, they were simply too good and it just didn’t seem normal.  Then when certain ex team members stood up against him, the vicious attempts to smear these individuals was unsettling and to me seemed excessive and like a cover up for what was really going on – the biggest fraud in the history of sport.  Martin and I used to talk about it, he was even more vehement than me about it all.

I’ve always felt that he has hidden behind the firewall that was his Livestrong charity, that the whole charity thing was used as a distraction, as a way to dupe the public into thinking that he was some sort of darling raising money for cancer victims. One now has to wonder if all that many went to said victims, or if any of it was syphoned off to be used in his doping activities.  He certainly built himself a golden boy reputation and I don’t trust that sort of a reputation.  Not to mention that his team, US Postal, received millions of US tax payers dollars in funding.

The statement from USADA said: “The evidence of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team-run scheme is overwhelming and is in excess of 1000 pages, and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the US Postal Service Team (USPS Team) and its participants’ doping activities. The evidence also includes direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding.”

Tonight I am going to sit down sat and watched the ABC’s Four Corners program, which has a story about Armstrong and his decade long deception. Apparently he was doping before he had cancer and admitted to his doctors when he was getting treatment for the disease.  It was interesting to see Matt White (head of Australian team Orica-Green Edge) come out and put his hand up to say that he used drugs when he rode with Armstrong. It has also been alleged that Armstrong paid bribes to people to let him win races.  Aaaah so much evidence…

“We focused solely on finding the truth without being influenced by celebrity or non-celebrity, threats, personal attacks or political pressure because that is what clean athletes deserve and demand.”  I particularly like this line, because let’s face it, Armstrong has done his very best to discredit every single person who has spoken out against him, with thinly veiled threats and using his celebrity to try and swing public opinion.  Well no more mate, you’ve been had and I hope that it was worth it, because you’ve walked away with absolutely nothing but a filthy reputation. And how Armstrong can still protest his innocence is beyond me. He’d do a lot better to come out and fess up and tell all.  However as he said himself “the faith of all the cancer survivors….would go away”. Maybe that’s just too much for him to lose?

I never understand people who cheat at sports, because what do they gain? Sure they “win” in the eyes of those who don’t know what’s going on, but are cheaters that deluded that they really think that winning this way is worth it, that it means something? Do they have no conscience that tells them their victories are hollow and pointless? Or are they so narcissistic that winning at any cost is the only way to go?  It must be the latter, otherwise why would you bother.  Maybe Lance has brainwashed his own self so successfully that he really does believe that none of it went on.  That he was the only person on a team full of dopers that didn’t touch the EPO, the Human Growth Hormone, the steroids, the cortisones and the testosterone.

I’ve always been a huge fan of cycling, however I’m not naive enough to think that everyone who races is clean. Just like I don’t think everyone is clean in every sport.  I will be watching this unfold with great interest.

PS – seeing Phil Liggett seemingly close to tears – “I find it hard to believe Lance didn’t do it” – broke my heart.

PPS – if you own any Livestrong paraphernalia burn it! If I see anyone I know wearing it I will burn it for you!

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~ by Fen on October 15, 2012.

5 Responses to ““From cycling hero to drug cheat””

  1. What a brilliantly written piece, Fen and I agree with every word. My hubby LC was saying something similar to me just this morning.

    On a lighter note, what if we just had an Olympics and every other event with no holds barred? Drugs if you want, or clean if you prefer – it would be very interesting to see how far some athletes went to ‘win.’

    Armstrong is clearly now in the utterly deluded phase after enjoying years and years of public sympathy (cancer survivor still a champion as well as helping others) and clearly can’t shift into honesty any more.

    • Scary Kath, Martin and I used to say why not just open it all up and leave it to nature to weed out those who want to dope – they’ll all die prematurely anyway.

      Maybe one day he’ll admit what went on, but i’m not holding my breath.

  2. Yes, dear.
    Totally agree, just so disgusted for those who bought into the whole package he sold 😦

    Glad to see you enjoyed yourself and the Perth sunshine 🙂
    I love Meow Meow, & Amanda Palmer, have a lovely time with both those gals!

  3. The Lance bust didn’t affect me as almost everyone above and below him has tested positive anyway. Hincapie disappointed me though; I hoped he had been a good lieutenant through hard work alone. Oh well, I’ll sit back and watch the others come tumbling down!

    Bloody hell, it won’t let me in via Google account.

    crankypants.

    • yeah i’ve got to admit I was disappointed in Hincapie too. But it seems like they had no choice if they were in the team :\

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