Sunday, January 20, 2013

LANCE ARMSTRONG : AN ATHLETES PERSPECTIVE

The Lance Armstrong case has unfolded rather rapidly in the past few weeks with the climax coming in his doping admittance on the Oprah interview. He came under fire in the past year when he was sued by several Federal agencies and the USADA.
I wanted to believe Lance all along. His life story all the way from his tough childhood upbringing, to his amazing achievements as a professional athlete including his second comeback. There were two parts to Lance. The athlete, and the person. As a person hes not someone to imitate. He is a jerk, doesn't make many friends and lots of enemies, and bullies people around. Obviously he hurt many people along the way, both financially and emotionally, and ruined their lives along the way. As an athlete he was one to look up to. Nobody training as hard or meticulously as he did! In the off season he trained in the European mountains to acclimate and do reconnaissance for races.
He has admitted to doping by his own mouth. He was an amazing athlete and had above average performance, but he wanted just a little more to get himself over the top. At the time, many or most pro tour cyclists were doping so its controversial to say wether it was unfair advantage. I didn't follow pro Cycling enough during that era to make an solid, informed opinion. What's not however is that it was dishonest and unethical. Doping is cheating, and that's not right. So if everybody was doing it, then they all were cheaters. How he covered it up is still unknown, and would be interesting to find out. Some say he paid off the UCI to cover up for him. He also had the best, most advanced doctors working for him.( Perhaps we will know, if the UCI cuts him a deal.
I'm not convinced he's really sorry for what he did. I think he is a win at all costs athlete. What is somewhat downplayed by the mainstream media, or simply not understood by non athletics is his reasoning for admitting to doping. He has been banned from all sanctioned sports for life! To put that into your light, competition is something that is priceless to him. By confessing and perhaps getting a deal with the UCI and USAC he MAY have his lifetime ban reduced to 4-8 years after which he could compete again. But obviously he has opened himself up to many nightmares including lawsuits which may cost him millions of dollars, plus a possibility of going to jail for perjury. His pride is his downfall. He wants to compete, that's why he confessed. I hope that there is some good motivation behind this though. Hopefully he truly does want to heal his family, his friends, and broken relationships.
International Pro Cycling has cleaned up its image tremendously over the past several years and hopefully will continue. And I hope that a new American star will arise to the Pro Tour ranks and win again, but this time clean.

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