I’ve been meaning to post this for ages…
One of my sporting icons was Lance Armstrong. I watched all of his tours when I was younger, I read his books, I bought his DVD, I believed he was clean. I was wrong.
Last week as I’m sure you will know, Lance confessed to Oprah that he had taken banned substances not just once, but throughout his career. He admitted controlling and bullying people in the process. Anyone that stepped out and claimed he doped during his career felt the full wrath of Armstrong.
I was left not upset or surprised, but rather angry that someone can mislead and lie for the greater part of their life. Not just to lie, but to live in that lie, to continually deny that he was doping, and probably the worst offense: point to his cancer ordeal as a reason NOT to dope.
From what I understand, it was the culture of the sport to dope then. I daresay many of the riders were on something or other - maybe just to get through the Tour let alone compete to win the thing. Is that much of an excuse though? Presumably a lover of the Tour and a lover of cycling like Armstrong could have competed clean and not doped. Who knows. It’s easy for me to sit in my armchair and point the finger, but what is irrefutable is that Armstrong doped and lied for literally years.
I believe that Armstrong should name everyone involved his doping ring and they should be brought to justice. I also believe that Armstrong should not be made eligible to compete professionally again. Only then can cycling move out of the shadow he has cast over it.