The USADA has finally spoken on the fate of Lance Armstrong, and the results were to be expected.
The seven time Tour de France winner and Olympic medalist from the 2000 Summer Olympics is facing harsh penalties after word was released that questionable blood tests from 2009 and 2010, as well as testimonies from past teammates, revealed that the cyclist used performance-enhancing drugs. While he originally denied the claims made against him, Armstrong is now deciding not the fight the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s punishment of stripping him of his seven Tour de France wins. Armstrong will also have to give up his bronze medal from the 200 Summer Olympics and any awards he has received in his 14-year long career. Any money he has received will also have to be paid back to any sponsors or competition holders he has been associated with.
When I received word of Lance Armstrong and his punishment, I was honestly not surprised but still slightly disappointed. Ever since the 90s word of performance-enhancing drugs being used by those who were considered to be the best of athletes has spread like wildfire, and unfortunately we now have to add Armstrong to that list of fakes.
I’ve always been a fan of the sport of cycling, and I’m also a major baseball, basketball, and football fan, but whenever I hear of one of my favorite athletes getting caught doping I lose all faith in those individuals. A true athlete rises to the top only through persistent practice, exercise, and dedication. Babe Ruth didn’t need drugs to rock the sport of Baseball to its core and become an icon, neither did Michael Jordan or Walter Payton, so why do more and more athletes feel that the only way to rise to the top these days is through temporary, illegal rushes of energy and strength?
I was a fan of Lance Armstrong prior to this recent controversy. His valiant battle against cancer was truly admirable to me, and cancer has had a long standing impact on members of my family, so I was biased and in favor of him whenever he competed. I figured that in battling the disease he wouldn’t dare do anything else to tarnish his body with trying to compete with drugs, but in simply just denying the use of drugs and not doing any further testing in proving his innocence it feels like he is silently admitting his guilt.
Armstrong’s legacy has been torn apart and shredded into a million little pieces in a matter of days over this controversy. It is sad to me that all of his hard work has ended up being for practically nothing, if he really is an innocent man, but in this day and age it is hard for me to hold out hope for Lance being guiltless when he’s done nothing but speak on his behalf and not physically done more to test back into sport eligibility. It doesn’t help that the sporting world has been constantly questioned over the use of these drugs, but when more athletes are being found guilty of their use daily, there aren’t very many surprises anymore when a beloved athlete is caught. R.I.P. Lance Armstrong’s career, the going was good while it lasted, but like a bad breakup his career is going to be left in the dust and forever left shambled.
Josh Grossberg, Lance Armstrong Faces Loss of AllSeven Tour de France Titles, Lifetime Ban, E! Online