Armstrong case reveals a problem everyone already knew

Saturday, January 19, 2013

So this Lance Armstrong thing has been around for a while, but now that he's officially lost all of his medals, it's once again news.

To his credit, he's come clean. It may have taken a while, but some things tend to take longer than others. It seems this is something toddlers and celebrities have in common: they will hold onto their story until absolute undeniable proof says otherwise, to which they will come clean and hope that the involved authority will grant them leniency.

Here's the problem I have with the whole Armstrong thing. Doping in cycling is not the vice of the lone individual. Nearly everyone does it. It's more newsworthy to find a cyclist that's succeeded without the help of drugs.

Friday morning, professional cyclist Scott Mercier went on KKCO in Grand Junction, Colo., and estimated that, of the riders on the European tour he raced, more than 95 percent were involved in doping of some sort.

In my opinion, Armstrong was targeted because he was the easiest. He had been the most successful. And that still hasn't changed. As my editor has often said, everyone racing still knows who really won. Just because some other guy now has a medal doesn't change anything. Sports, all sports, are still 80 percent a mental game.

Even with the doping, Armstrong was still the best. When one guy does something to enhance his performance, he breaks away from the group. When everyone does something to enhance their performance, the playing field is once again level. Even with the doping, he still beat all of the other cyclists, most of which were also doping.

If anything, the guy deserves more credit than ever. Not only did he still win 7 Tour de France titles after beating cancer, the USDA report said that Armstrong ran "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

Even in the best-known secret known to sports, he wins. Whatever he does, he does it well, and that's got to be worth something.

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  • He lost his medals--that won't hurt him---what he should have lost is most of the money that he got. He should be made to give it to a charity!

    -- Posted by iowagirl on Sat, Jan 19, 2013, at 4:49 PM
  • I just can't believe he said at the time he didn't think it was wrong. What? We all know its wrong for athletes to do this.

    -- Posted by joe2 on Mon, Jan 21, 2013, at 5:50 PM
  • We may know it's wrong for athletes to use PEDs, but maybe they don't.

    Pre-Mitchell report, it wasn't even against the substance abuse policy in baseball to use PEDs.

    If it's not against the rules, it's not cheating. Unethical, but not cheating.

    -- Posted by old timing man on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 9:53 AM
  • Very dissapointing. The real trouble I see with this is the difficulty for us to know what is real. It's hard enough as an adult, but imagine how vulnerable our children are. It's not just in athletics but in other things as well, like academics and business. Who are our heros today?

    -- Posted by Culture Warrior on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 5:02 PM
  • drugs used to by athletes to enhance performance is rampant in every professional,olympic,amateur,and even high school sport.all records and titles held by anyone using drugs should have an asterisk next to them when publicized or far back does it go? a long time would be my guess.foreign countries were doping as far back as the teens when it came to the olympics.if they did not achieve the record naturally should we throw it out and only recognize ones who can prove they did not dope?if so then there will be a lot of records and titles thrown can we retroactively go back and test or determine if the athletes were doping at the time or not? how can we be sure they are clean in the future? maybe we should value athletes less since they really do not change the world or the outcome of life other than getting excersize.

    -- Posted by big12cc on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 1:43 PM
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