Lance Armstrong and a Reversal?

| January 5, 2013 | Comments (9)

Lance w Bike Texas 70.3 2012If you’re just waking up and still haven’t opened Facebook or gone right to a news site (I know, Tridigest is the first thing you look at in the morning…), you probably haven’t seen the latest twist in the Lance Armstrong doping saga.

According to a report in the New York Times, Lance is considering reversing his decade-long position that he never doped despite anti-doping officials’ claims, and hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony from teammates, e-mail correspondence, financial records and laboratory analyses that he did otherwise.

His reasoning now apparently is that he would like to “persuade anti-doping officials to restore his eligibility so he can resume his athletic career.” Clearly for those of us in the triathlon world that would mean a re-emergence of Lance back in the sport that he loves and began to dominate in his most recent return this past year before the latest ban from the sport was handed down.

Back in October I wrote here about the Lance situation and suggested that in the end coming clean would be the best thing for him to do.  So it is without question that I applaud this possible outcome, not only for Lance but also for the sport(s), that he’s been involved in.

Yes, there will certainly be the Lance haters out there who will now pile on this report and say that he denied it for so long and now he’s admitting to that but I say so what?  While not condoning what he or any of the other cyclists did (a doper’s a doper and a cheat), I do believe that this would be a step in the right direction.

According to the Times report, Lance has been under pressure from wealthy supporters of his former Livestrong organization to confess not only to clear his conscience but also to help save his once beloved organization from any further damage.

But don’t worry all of you negative naysayers out there.  Lance would still be facing a number of lawsuits against him, namely the Federal whistle-blower case that essentially states that Armstrong and other members of the US Postal Cycling Team defrauded the government by allowing doping to occur despite a clause in their contracts that said they would be in default if any doping actually did occur.

Regardless, I am taking the position (again), that he should come out and admit his mistakes and we should somehow begin to forgive.  Wow, even writing that is a bit hard for me.  A cheater’s a cheater and he was literally at the top of it all.  For those of us who commit so many hours to a sport it’s hard to forgive someone who achieved what he did through a disingenuous route. But I have to admit I don’t feel negative about Tyler Hamilton or George Hincapie for that matter, yet they are both just as guilty as Lance.  So why Lance?

I think the negative mentality has always been about his overall power and how he abused it; first and foremost to his teammates but also to racing officials and the public at large, relying on a non-profit organization that helped millions to mask his indiscretions. Even so, I think it’s time we all moved on if he decides to make this decision.

For the sport of triathlon we all should agree that this would be great news if he could get rid of the lifetime ban and begin racing in our sport again.  The exposure he brought was amazing though short lived.  Thinking from a big picture position as a triathlete, wouldn’t you agree?

I know this topic is very polarizing (and old), however, I would love to hear your opinions.  Do you think an admission by Lance would be the right thing to do and more importantly would you be willing to forgive and move on?

Thanks for reading!

Charlie

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Comments (9)

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  1. Jason@ Cook Train Eat Race says:

    My initial reaction to this news: who cares?

    If he is thinking of admitting that he cheated then he has already admitted and I. The end who cares? I wish he would just go away. Take his cocky attitude and fade into the sunset never to be heard from again.

    We have spent a lot of time and money on him while he steadfastly held to the notion that he didn’t cheat. Now, for whatever reason, he wants us to forgive him for his cheating and to me it just isn’t worth the time and energy anymore.

    Admit, don’t admit but please just go away and allow the rest of us to conti he to grow this great sport.

  2. Doping went through it’s most sinister stage from the mid ’90′s to the mid 00′s. Everyone was doing it. I’m not saying it was right, I’m just saying it was what it was. And when the whole peleton is juiced, how can you not start looking at the entire sport as opposed to just the individual riders? It was an arms race.

    Which brings me to Lance. I’m not offended by the doping. In fact, I forgave him for doping before he even admitted to it. What I am offended by is the lying, cheating, stealing, collusion and strong arming he did while trying to cover up what was perhaps the biggest ongoing conspiracy in the history of sport. To forgive him for this will be harder, if not impossible.

  3. Yes, admitting his guilt is a step in the right direction. However, I am not sure that he is sincere. I believe that his drive to win, and be the best at all costs, is so high that he will continue to find a way to “cheat” the system. I believe that he, Hincapie, Hamilton… the list goes on and on, should receive lifetime bans. Personally, I don’t want the publicity he will bring our sport. I would rather see the sport rise on the shoulders of clean talent and hard working athletes, than on those of a cheat. He had a choice, they all had choices. There is plenty of cycling talent out there that chose not to use. They are out there every day making the sport better for all of us. I applaud their efforts, and their choice not to cheat. Cyclists, triathletes, runners, any athlete has a choice. For some, the stakes are higher, but the morality remains the same. – My $0.02

    • donna furse says:

      I agree jeff, at this point I really don’t care if he admits it or not and I honestly believe at this point that if he is allowed to compete in ironman events I don’t know if it will be a good thing, I’m thinking the already existing pro’s will have huge problems with it. I’m thinking it will be bad for our sport.

  4. Note to my comment, I suppose he has not “officially” admitted anything yet. Was typing too fast. Probably a minor detail, but since Lance employs a team of crack litigators, one should not put the cart before the horse.

  5. Doug Fleming says:

    Seriously flawed logic re the former Saint Lance being good for Tri. This was exactly the same logic a applied by the UCI. Lance was great box office and helped popularise the sport outside it’s European heartland. At the same time he was deeply screwing the sport and while I think cycling will survive just look at the devastation being caused e.g. Rabobank withdrawing their sponsorship, Nissan withdrawing their sponsorship, etc.

    You don’t want Lance Cancer anywhere near your sport.

  6. Alex B. says:

    Well Charlie:
    Good topic to write about but there does seem to be a lot of conjecture and posturing at the moment.
    We do seem to think a like and I would simply say that putting everything from the past in arrears and looking forward I personally would enjoy seeing a CLEAN Lance in triathlons specifically Kona.
    I’ve been forgiven for some egregious actions and behavior in my life so perhaps we can do the same for Mr. Armstrong?
    Alex

  7. Elaine DeBitetto says:

    He needs to come clean with no strings attached. There should be no negotiating- I’ll do this if you give me that- BS. Day late, dollar short. He lied under oath. He bullied many people and ruined many livelihoods all with his power and wealth.

    He needs to come clean for the sake of his children and do whatever he can to remedy this situation so it doesn’t leave a negative impact on those children’s lives.
    This should be first and formost, not competing in sports. That is a luxury that frankly, he doesn’t really deserve (right now anyway)

  8. Dave says:

    Consider me one of the naysayers, as well as I think there is nothing good that would come from him coming clean… at this point. 5 years ago. Yeah.

    To me what is so egregious about him is not that he cheated, lied, bribed, covered-up and organized, he also sued the hell out of people, harassed, blackballed and pretty much destroyed lives. You came out against Lance during that period, a team of lawyers went mafioso on them and made an example. Check out the interview in Outside magazine on one of his former assistance who basically had to move out of the country, or look at what he did to Frankie and Betty… Not to mention knowingly defrauding to over $10M and the whole time what amounts to perjury.

    So should this be rewarded. Should the message we send out kids is CHEAT, LIE, INTIMIDATE… do everything you can to win, at all costs and hurt who ever you have to to get ahead. If you get caught, turn up the heat, make witnesses feel pain, hurt them enough and they will fade away… And if you get caught… really caught, and you loose everything. Make up a story. Cry crocidile tears, “come clean” and you may lose some money…

    Now if he truly wants to show remorse, then the absolute best thing is to uphold the lifetime ban and still have him “come clean” and pay the price for all his wrongs. That is repentance. What he is doing is just trying to buy his way back in.

    This is not about doping or cheating. This is more about the intimidation, the lying, and using lawyers as bands of thugs to harass and ruin some people’s lives.

    Maybe I am more sensitive about this. When I was growing up my sister worked for EDS and they broke a contract terms on her, and when she went to look for another job, they sued the hell out of her and us. They were in the wrong, they knew they were in the wrong, but they did what they did because A) They could and B) They wanted to make an example of her and show all the other employees… you do what we say or we will go after you. Right or wrong. We have the power.

    You want to support that? Especially when the person doing the suing and sending the bands of lawyers is lying and perjuring???

    This is just a small list:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/more-sports/zone-lance-armstrong-bully-downfall-article-1.1188512

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