Lance Armstrong

The current doping scandal in cycling is a farce. ICU is standing on podiums denouncing Lance Armstrong with righteous indignation as if to say this is merely the behavior of an errant child.

What about the systematic usage of doping in the entire sport? Bordering on comedy, the USADA says Armstrong’s titles can’t even be given to another rider because just about everyone else was doping.

Apparently, 20 of the 21 riders on the podium in the Tour from 1999 through 2005 have been “directly tied to likely doping through admissions, sanctions, public investigations”. Also, of the 45 riders on the podium between 1996 and 2010, 36 were “similarly tainted by doping.” (source)

ICU never had the stomach to sufficiently monitor the sport because Armstrong was such a cash cow. Like MLB, ICU allowed, perhaps even enabled, atheletes to dope because their high-octane performances meant greater viewership and sponsorship.

Hooray for capitalism!

I’m not saying Armstrong isn’t guilty nor deserving of punishment – including his peers who are also guilty but are getting a free ride under Armstrong’s greater public profile. But ICU needs to be reprimanded as well. I don’t buy their obliviousness. They were too negligent not to share some of the blame.

I think what’s really sad about all this is now Livestrong is in danger of losing sponsors (source). It’s a knee-jerk reaction to associate Livestrong with Lance. They’ve done good work. To punish Livestrong is to punish cancer patients, not Armstrong.

Mostly, I think we need to have a new discussion concerning the use of doping in sports.

If everyone else was doping, then perhaps Armstrong was on a level playing field? What are the true risks of doping? If they are negligible then why ban them at all? What is the relationship between doping and performance? Surely, one doesn’t increase their red blood cells and can suddenly win the Tour de France; there is still significant trianing/ability involved.

Here is a great documentary that explores these questions:



~ by braddunne on October 22, 2012.

2 Responses to “Lance Armstrong”

  1. Exactly! Great post. Lance was the best of the dopers. It’s not as if he didn’t train his butt off. He did, but he did with the help of performance enhancers.

    If you want to read an amazing book on the subject, check out Game of Shadows. It’s extraordinary!

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