Lance Armstrong annoyed the Europeans by winning 7 Consecutive Tours de France while being an American; that’s not supposed to happen. He annoyed the other leading pro cyclists by coming in ahead of them in both race times and earnings; that’s not supposed to happen, either. The upstart Yanks have won everything else; they’re supposed to leave cycling and soccer to the E.U. Guess Lance didn’t know that.
As his wins piled up. Armstrong’s less successful rivals were nailed for doping and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) started pursuing Armstrong. But he passed every drug test after every race; all physical evidence said he was clean, unlike his competition. This frustrated the USADA, Americas’s self-appointed sports drug enforcer, a non-governmental organization relied upon by Olympic sports in the U.S. It also frustrated his competition. That situation obtained throughout his career.
After he retired, the USADA went after him in earnest, collecting a group of his competitors willing to testify against him, saying he used doping just as did the rest of them, somehow without, unlike them, being caught. The USADA leaped upon that to convict Armstrong of doping and announced it had stripped him of his titles and banned him from cycling for life. Lance Armstrong will, if you follow the link, bring you up to date.
It helps to realize that there are no major sports anymore; only minor ones. All the majors are now businesses. Pro cyclists for instance, are in it for the money; Earnings will give you an idea of how much their efforts are worth to them. Armstrong of course, is now a multi-millionaire. Governments and fans like to pretend these activities somehow differ from business competition but the presence of so much money makes that pure hypocrisy. The fact is, any ‘sport’ whose athletes benefit from doping is going to be full of dopers if the money is serious. And everybody participating knows that. The sponsors with money on the line keep up the hypocrisy to protect their incomes, the ‘sportsmen’ hide what they do for the same reason. But if it makes them faster, stronger or higher (no not that kind of higher) you can believe players are using it. Fans are part of this; who likes losers enough to buy tickets?
In an honest world, pro athletes would be left to train as they please but with a “War on Drugs” going on, that’s out. So it stays under the table, catch-me-if-you-can. USADA needs to destroy Armstrong to prevent its general toothlessness from being too obvious; the old British Army method of shooting one soldier to encourage the rest. They know they’ve been slickered; they’ve answered it with a scam.
Drugs and Doping in Professional Cycling will paint the scene for you. By all physical evidence, Armstrong is clean as many of his rivals aren’t. He’s being hung anyway on testimony by his rivals and fellow cyclists who likely are getting deals of their own in exchange, though that’s just my cynical view of things.
‘They all do it’ isn’t a defense but you can’t say Armstrong won unfairly when so many of those he defeated are admitted druggies.
It looks just now as though the USADA’s announcement stripping Armstrong of his career may be as ill-supported as its ‘investigation.’ The International cycling body has refused so far to approve the punishment and Nike, Armstrong’s primary sponsor, is standing by him. Armstrong’s future, as is said, still lies ahead.
That old Greek guy, Diogenes, who was running around in daylight with a lantern, looking for an honest man…guess he’s still looking. Too bad.