Friday, August 24, 2012

Disappointment In Lance

I just read the news release about how Lance Armstrong decided he was "done" fighting the "doping" charges people have leveled against him for almost his entire career.  He was currently fighting charges the USADA (U.S Anti-Doping Agency) was making towards him and said they had "definite" proof he had cheated as far back as 1996.  To his credit, Armstrong has defeated every previous charge thrown at him by every sporting authority in the world.  They are the very same charges the USADA is hitting him with as well.

Wrongly prosecuted hero or proven cheater?
Naturally upon word of Armstrong's refusal to fight any further, the USADA quickly labeled Armstrong a cheater, and said they will take the measures to nullify all 7 of his Tour De France victories, his Bronze Medal at the 2000 Olympics, and ban him for life from the sport.

I read all of this and was disappointed.

Over the years, several people affiliated with Armstrong's teams have been convicted of doping, and have leveled charges at Armstrong for doing the same.  While every one of his blood/urine tests has shown "negative," the speculation loomed.  As more and more people came forward and said he was doping, my opinion of his truthfulness was "iffy" at best.  Doing what he did:  Going from having a 50% chance of living due to prostate/brain cancer, to being the most awesome person EVER that rode a bike. and won the grueling Tour De France SEVEN times....I had a hunch "something" may have helped him.  So had he been proven, and convicted...I wouldn't have been surprised.  But he wasn't convicted....

What really disappoints me is his "throwing in the towel."  Lance Armstrong never quits, even when the odds are stacked against him.  Cancer?  Phhhfff.  Bring it.  The Pyrenees Alps in France?  Pshaw.  A days work.  By quitting, is he saving face and not letting them actually convict him?  Even though they will probably take away every record and victory he achieved, he will claim he was never convicted of any wrongdoing.

He said he is going to focus on his family and foundation, which is what is most important to him.  You have to wonder if the deck was really stacked against him this time, and he quit so his foundation didn't fall apart because it was led by a "liar" and a cheater.

While I personally do not idolize Armstrong, I do admire his dedication to his foundation, and the message he has long spoken of: Livestrong.  He has certainly served as a champion to helping fund cancer research, and making people aware that help is needed.  He has also served as a champion to those who have cancer, that you have to fight to win - even if it looks like you can't.

So I guess that is why I'm disappointed in Lance Armstrong.  Not because he may have lied about doping, but because the guy who has led the charge to fight everything that gets in your way - is quitting.

Bummer.

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