Reality Strikes

Cycling | Tour De France

Lance has admitted to his devious ways. This may well turn out to be the revelation that shocked the sporting world – but for those who actually looked at the facts, the truth was always there in plain sight. Lance won the tour 7 times in the most prolific years of doping that the sport of cycling has ever seen….after recovering from cancer and with scars on his lungs. A great story, but highly improbably, if not impossible. Everybody wants to believe in fairy tales, and as Lance said himself “this story was so perfect for so long” – “mythic, perfect story”. But unfortunately the facts don’t lie, and reality strikes. His categoric opinion was that in those years, it was not possible to win the tour without doping.

I am not discounting the fact that Lance was, and is, an amazing athlete. Look at his success as a youngster, the man has always been a freak. Yet the issues that cycling were facing at the time were simply too large. Even with his ridiculous will power and even more extreme Vo2 max, it is almost impossible to beat people, who might I remind you were already incredible athletes, and were doped up to the eye balls. So there is a part of me that excuses Lance (a very small part of me) because it was a case of just levelling the playing field. Even with his abilities as an athlete, he would have fallen by the way side if he hadn’t doped. It has crossed my mind, “how has he lived with this lie for over a decade?”, but that is the answer. To him it was completely justifiable. He did not view it as gaining an advantage. Others see it differently because in the end cheating is cheating.

Lance’s case is different to others. His success has been his downfall and for that I feel sorry for him. But I suppose my overwhelming feeling is that he is a liar, a bully, and conned millions of people for over a decade, and that is inexcusable. Great athlete he might be, but his success meant that his secret had to stay that way for longer than others. In doing so, his whole life became a lie. Some might say that the greater good (Livestrong’s hundreds of millions donated to cancer charities) outweigh his lies,and this is probably true. But it will always be slightly tainted and as he said “toxic”. The circumstances and eventual revelations have been his greatest diminishing factor. Unfortunately, he is not just another doper. He was the ringleader. The one who, near as makes no difference, forced people to do drugs and keep it quiet. His influence was so large that he could cover up positive results. His lies have not just been to the media but also the courts. It is the extent of his deviousness that has astonished people and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest cheats of all time. He convinced the masses and much like the phrase “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn’t exist”, Lance Armstrong gave people hope that impossible dreams could become reality. Well it would appear that is no longer correct!

Anyhow, I hope the world of cycling recovers from this blow and more importantly – that Bradley Wiggins is not doping. Should Lance compete in the Ironman? no. Triathlon had its publicity spurt in the Olympics and Lance’s short return to the sport, it does not need to be seen as a sport that accommodates cheats. I would love to see him compete clean because you cannot deny he is a special athlete, but for the greater good I think that Lance’s lifetime ban should remain. Saying sorry is a step in the right direction and must have taken a huge pair to muster up the courage of admitting (and facing the ensuing shit storm), but the sorry fact is that he shouldn’t have done it in the first place.

Lance Armstrong should not be forgotten. But he should not be remembered as some sort of hero – he should be remembered as an instance in which the greatest cheat of all time got caught and a lesson to all those thinking of doping in the future.

I am looking forward to a film about his life…..


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