If 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!