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Lance Armstrong - Still a Hero?

"No... You heard that right... 7 world titles"I'm sure you've all heard by now that the USADA has stripped Lance Armstrong of his 7 world titles in cycling.   This has been an ongoing fight for Armstrong ever since coming back from cancer, so I really don't want to dig much into that.    What was most interesting through it all was the response Lance posted to his website yesterday.

Armstrong claims there's been a witch hunt in his honor, courtesy of the USADA.   Doping agencies seem to enjoy chasing after the big names, ruining their careers in hopes of making a name for themselves.   We've seen it in baseball and other sports in the past.  They don't often put this much effort into every athlete... only those with the biggest star power.  

If the USADA had sufficient evidence against Armstrong I'm sure this would have been over years ago, but they now claim to have doctors and former teammates lined up to testify against him.   The fact they've been trying this hard for this long (Armstrong has been retired for about a year and a half now) and are now basing their defense on claims shows just how far they are willing to stretch a person to preserve what they've earned or (in their minds) cheated to achieve.

From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges.  

If Lance had actually wanted to fight these charges he probably could have done so successfully, but he cited the desire to put this behind him for his family, self and the non-profit cancer foundation (LAF) he now represents.   

In the end the battle was deemed not worth the effort.     On one hand you could be looking at a guilty man who championed his way to the top with performance enhancing drugs (and most accusations stemming from his return from cancer) or you could be looking at a champion who who truly knows he never cheated and did indeed top the world's best cyclists (7 times) and is quite content later in life with that being enough, despite it's repercussions.

If the latter is true the man truly is a hero.

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Reader Comments (8)

I'm torn on this. On one hand, the way the officials behave is not very professional, but on the other hand, I have zero tolerance for cheaters and dopers.

August 24, 2012 at 10:13 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

It seems like the USADA is judge and jury.

August 24, 2012 at 10:52 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Miller

Armstrong was never a 'hero'. He competed in bicycle races. What is so heroic about that? The term 'hero' is obviously overused--to me a hero or heroine is someone that takes risks (usually with their life) to help others in need. I guess I'm old-fashioned that way...

August 24, 2012 at 10:56 | Registered CommenterZoy Clem

Coming back from cancer and winning again... not to mention the support his foundation has given to those suffering from cancer. Many earn the title of hero without ever truly doing anything of significant importance in their lives while some go above and beyond.

I don't call him a hero for his racing (I think cycling is boring as hell), but for what he's done for those suffering though cancer as he did is unquestionable. He's inspired cancer victims to see hope beyond their disease. Call him a hero, a cultural icon, merely inspiration or a cheater to the sport... either way the man has gone above and beyond his duty of just competing in bicycle races.

But maybe that's just the young whippersnapper in me...

August 24, 2012 at 11:40 | Registered Commenterskinnydipinacid

But maybe that's just the young whippersnapper in me...


August 24, 2012 at 11:48 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

Skinny, okay, he's a cancer hero. Armstrong doesn't matter too much to me either way--I just figured I should post a comment in here, since I rarely do.

August 24, 2012 at 16:14 | Registered CommenterZoy Clem

This is a shame. He will always be a winner in my heart. There's seem to someone out there always wanting to crush someone elses accomplishment. All I can say is LEAVE HIM ALONE !!

August 25, 2012 at 10:07 | Unregistered CommenterRahul

1. Sports figures can be heroes, if they live their lives the right way and set sterling examples. No more so than Joe Average, or one's own mom and dad, but with the star power to reach a lot of people, touch their hearts, and make them think.

2. If Armstrong is guilty of the doping charges, he is no hero. All for nothing.

August 26, 2012 at 09:32 | Unregistered CommenterRedBeard

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