Does anyone really believe that Lance Armstrong didn’t use performance enhancing drugs? That they didn’t help him win all those Tour de France titles? Come on. Let’s be serious here.
The question isn’t whether he doped, it’s weather his achievements are any less amazing because he doped?
Everyone in cycling uses steroids and other PEDs. I can’t prove that. No one truthfully can, but so many players have been found guilty of doping, through positive drug tests, that I believe that 95% of bikers dope. So if Lance is just one of many,does it make his 7 consecutive Tour de France titles any less extraordinary?
Yes and No
Yes, he loses credibility and respect, because his entire message of fighting cancer and coming back is tainted by his use of harmful substances. He’s injecting himself with steroids that no one fully knows the consequences of. How is that a good example to set for kids?
How can you not be disappointed when you realize that such an iconic figure was just another steroid user? It’s like in baseball when you find out one of your favorite players used steroids. First, comes disbelief and denial.
No way could _____ (fill in favorite player’s name) have used ‘roids. He just isn’t that type of player. I can’t see it. Not possible. No way.
Well I feel that way about Lance. Not because I particularly like the guy (I don’t really), but because he is an American biker who defied the odds and shocked the world…over and over again. Like watching a hero fall, seeing reports of Armstrong using steroids is the same as watching an American sports legend lose all respect. His career tarnished. An asterisk next to his name forever.
However, all should not be lost, because like that baseball fan who makes an excuse for his favorite player, here is my excuse for Lance:
In terms of pure achievement, his 7 consecutive Tour titles is still absolutely amazing. The most prestigious cycling race in the world and he won it seven straight years. No one can say they have ever done that. For anyone who has ever watched a minute of the race, you know what incredible shape the bikers are in and I doubt any of us can truly comprehend the intense fitness that goes into 7 straight titles. No doubt steroids help, but everyone has that advantage so Lance’s victories still show off his will to win and his intense drive. He would not lose.
Here’s to you Lance Armstrong and your many tainted, but no less extraordinary titles.