Lance Armstrong admitted doping during the time he won his 7 Tour de France titles. As professionals in the strength and conditioning industry, what are your thoughts?
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It's professional sports. His biggest mistake was not admitting it from the get go. I can never understand why people and the media are so shocked when an athlete is caught using PED's. And he's right. like most all sports, he just leveled the playing field. Armstrong admitted using Testosterone. In his defense, I would probably say it was legal in his case since he did have testicular cancer and one testicle removed.
I may have a slightly different view of this than many others, as I knew/trained with Ben Johnson early in his career. Ben was villified after testing positive, yet 5 of the 7 runners in the 100 meter finals in Seoul eventually tested positive. Ben and his coach Charlie Francis told the truth, that by using PED's they were merely 'levelling the playing field'.
At that time steroids were legally avaialable via prescription to athletes and the doctors that were willing to prescribe them were well known in the community. The press largely ignored the use of PED's or signs of PED use. Possibly because so few members of the press actually had any experience in competitive athletics and possibly because 'pulling away the curtain' might denigrate the sport/players that their 'reporting' career depends upon.
Athletes use PED's because they work. And with so much of our lives invested in our sport and for many success in it representing a way to relative 'fame and fortune' many consider it worth the risk.
Lance Armstrong 'earned' over $100 million in winnings/endorsements etc over his career. If he had not used PED's would he have been able to do so?
The fact that he used PED's does not bother me. What does is the way that he treated others when they attempted to reveal or expose secrets or practices. Threats of legal action, referrals to lawyers and the like have negatively impacted those whose story may have differed from Armstrong's. The attempt over the years to build a reputation based on falsehoods is what is reprehensible.
I am torn on this.
A huge number of professional athletes in many sports all over the world are doping in some capacity. When I compete in powerlifting events I cannot always compete with the guys who are 'chemically enhanced'. It is disheartening to find out that an elite athlete, regardless of sport, is better than everyone else, in part, due to doping.
At the same time, I still see Lance Armstrong as an American sports legend. This is a guy that could be dead right now. His life is an inspiration to millions of people. Even with performance-enhancing chemicals, athletes like Armstrong still have to bust their @$$ day in and day out to be the best. He did this while overcoming a disease that was killing him.
I do not think it's right for athletes to dope. I do, however, understand why they do it.
Agree with Thomas- Doping is a standard tool at the pinnacle of cycling. A simple google for riders either implicated/investigated (who testified for immunity/lesser penalties) or who were outright found to be doping reads as a "who's who" of the cycling world.
If you want to "get" Armstrong for something, get him for the allegations of bullying and coercion for pressuring his teammates into partaking. That, at least, isn't something that anyone even remotely connected to the sport doesn't think "meh" when its revealed. And, while everyone knew Armstrong was doping, the USADA investigation thing STILL reads more like a dedicated witch-hunt from someone with a grudge/vendetta to anyone with a critical eye- It was as though Tygart was trying to prove that the USADA was relevant by taking down the best thing that's happened to the sport of cycling. Which, considering the history of the USADA- the allegations of cover-ups, etc- seems a tad hypocritical.
Of course, if you get Armstrong for bullying, you still have to consider, as Joel said, just how much good he's done. Have any of these other cycling greats donated even a fraction of the time, effort and money that Armstrong has into such a good and noble cause?
I think you had to be naive to believe someone would overcome testicular cancer and go on to win the tour de france 7 times in a row clean or whatever the amount was .. the fact he denied the accusations with so much intensity is just funny
Look at how much money and good he has done for cancer research. 100% ok with it.
I don't see the big deal, cyclists dope more than bodybuilders.
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