Friday, October 26, 2012

My view on Lance Armstrong: "The truth is better than lies."

Bad week for Lance Armstrong, with all the stripping of the titles, wins, endorsements.  Bummer.  It's brought down everything to do with cycling, much less his cancer foundation, Livestrong.  I figure he's been lying now for his whole career as a cyclist, and he's brought down everyone who has ever been associated with him.  Bummer.  (I have no idea what will happen to Livestrong, which has done so much good for cancer patients.)

Last night on NBC's RockCenter, Betsy Andreu and Emma O'Reilly told the story they've been telling for the past 15+ years, and are finally being heard.  I tell you, in the past, I didn't listen, either.  Like Emma says here, it was a lot prettier to listen to a "fairy tale" and 7 Tour de France wins, that to listen to two women who were trying to tell what they knew. They were villified by Lance himself (in court depositions), and silenced by court filings. 

It took the confessions of the 26 riders - and teammates, including Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, Dave Zabriskie, George Hincapie and more - to bring out what seems to be known by all the insiders.  The truth has come forward, and we HAVE to hear it.  Painful, sad, damaging, but true. 

I have no stake in this but my memories of Le Tour de France, wonderful summers, and a lot of enthusiasm.  Lance Armstrong has brought down a whole sport and the industry of cycling, all the marketing, all the support services that go into bringing the Tour to the world, and the individual cyclists that have brought out the truth over the hidden world of doping. 

What have I lost?  I've lost what it all meant.  These guys were really my heroes, and just like other sports that people love, I admired all of them.  I don't throw it all away, except for the hero part.  And just like I say about a lot of other things, the truth is better. 

If you are interested...
Here's more video detail:  Armstrong teammates testified.   and more.

1 comment:

Lisa M said...

I ended up here because of the reprint of Ray's article but read this article as well. I've been a cycling fan since Greg Lemond won his first Tour. I loved when the Discovery Channel took over for USPS as they produced in depth programming on cycling and I ate every bit of it up. I got up at 4am just to watch the Tour De France each year starting in 2002 and slowly began following the sport year round. I was a Lance fan. I was a cycling fan. Now I'm a crushed fan. Does it affect my life day to day? nah. But it's hard to have sports you love and sports figures you admire be nothing more than illusions. I feel for any professional cyclist who is riding clean today as they will always be assumed guilty of doping because of how rampant it has been in the sport. Lance built his life on lie after lie and they've come home to roost. He's also taken a ton of people down with him as collateral damage and it stinks. I don't think I can ever watch cycling again.