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CYCLING UPHILL?

By David Vance On January 18th, 2013

Wondered what you made of Lance Armstrong’s Oprah moment? It all smacks of self serving contrived PR to me and as it pointed out here, there is no real contrition, self pity perhaps…

“I didn’t feel bad, I didn’t think it was wrong and I didn’t feel like I was cheating':

But since he was exposed, he does feel bad, he knows he is a cheat so he has admitted his wrongdoing. Was he alone in drug cheating in this Sport. or indeed in many sports, where performance is routinely enhanced by drug taking?

47 Responses to “CYCLING UPHILL?”

  1. It’s left this fan gutted.
    I’ve always supported Lance and believed in him right up until this admission.

    It’s a sad day for the sport. And a very sad day for all those that stood with him and defended him.

  2. And this one!

    That nearly all participants were doing exactly the same, and had being doing it since the early fifties, is no excuse.

    It does raise similar points to the Savile case, – everyone knew about it, including cyclings executive, and yet conveniently turned a blind eye. The attitude seems to have been – ‘don’t rock the boat while the cash is flowing so well!’

    If they reclaim Armstong’s winnings, just who will they redistrubute it to? more than likely it will end up in some slush fund or other, to gradually be dispensed when the storm abates.

  3. Lance Armstrong has disgraced himself and all who have supported him in his battles against cancer and his racing wins. His family must feel terrible too. It reinforces the truth that “No man is an island” and everything we do in life has repercussions on others.
    Individual choice independent of anyone else almost always has a negative outcome.

  4. I supported him in his triumphs, and am very sad to see this. I’d been in denial, too.

    But if Lance Armstrong had never learned how to ride a bike, all those Tours would have been won by a doper nonetheless.

    He didn’t ruin the sport. It was already ruined.

  5. Do you think what Lance did was as bad as what some think David did in posting that Obama/Hitler poster Phantom?
    Or was it simply “different”?

    I just wondered how much huffin’ and puffin’ we might hear from “Outraged of Baltimore”..

  6. The man is a cheat and should be shunned and prosecuted.

  7. Agit

    Did you pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?

  8. why, you gonna arrest him Popeye?

  9. Agit8ed,

    But isn’t his moral behaviour no better or worse than 90% of the rest of western civilisation? Among our ‘leaders’ the percentage is even higher.

    Certainly he has disgraced himself, but given the circumstances of that time and his personal circunstances, I fail to see the merits of the extremly and hypocritically pompous remarks of his critics. He did what he had to do, and which all of the others were doing as well, and had been doing for a very long time, the ‘sport’ was noted for it!

    I think Djokovic’s outburst was quite demeaning, and hardly the remarks of a ‘sportsman’.

    What excuse do the bankers, politicians and assorted international business leaders have? They get just as drunk and drugged as people in other walks of life, – it’s the popular thing to do these days – don’cha know! – and they get away with far worse criminality than a bit of cheating, – because they are more anonymous than a celeb sports participant, or are perhaps ‘just too big’ to be punished. At least Armstrong hasn’t killed anyone.

    It’s all very well for us plebs to believe in honesty and a general morality in all things, but the ‘knobs’ certainly don’t think that way. Nothing is too heinous for them in their pursuit of wealth, anything from tax dodging, and deceit to war mongering and outright murder.

    It has long been that way – and yet we still fall for their fairy tales.

    ‘Individual choice independent of anyone else almost always has a negative outcome.’ – only if you get caught!!

  10. The knobs don’t Ernest because the people don’t hold them accountable.

  11. He did what he had to do, and which all of the others were doing as well, and had been doing for a very long time, the ‘sport’ was noted for it!

    Not all. Numerous cyclists quit the sport they loved because they didn’t want to cheat. Some of them might have been champions were if not for the dishonesty of Armstrong and his ilk.

    Did what he had to do? Really? So he had to consistently cheat, bully those around him into staying quiet, smear and sue them when they bravely spoke out? Interesting perspective, though I’d have to disagree.

  12. Troll,

    ‘The man is a cheat and should be shunned and prosecuted.’

    What utter nonsense – the only person he cheated was himself. I enjoyed seeing him ride, as did many others. We may now be disappointed, but how can you takeaway the pleasure of seeing a winning ride?

  13. Fair point from Ernest.

    Yes, Armstrong is a disgrace. And a liar, a bully and a thoroughly unpleasant man who tried desperately to ruin those who told the truth.

    At the same time we shouldn’t necessarily be outraged when the media directs, not about Armstrong or Jimmy Saville et al, particularly since the media often covers up scandals.

    At the same time Lance Armstrong and Jimmy Savile or no morally worse than 99% of politicians and far less unpleasant and corrupt than many of them.

  14. so Ernest you don’t care if someone cheats if what they do gives you enjoyment?

    Man that says a hell of a lot about you?

  15. He let down those who believed in him

    But the sport itself had been entirely rotten, probably for decades.

    Drugs in sports goes back further than some admit.

    And are humans even meant to race up the Alps on bicycles?

  16. No one is perfect and we all fall short.

    If you choose to accept cheating, corruption, cover ups etc. Than you deserve what you get.

    and have NO RIGHT to complain because you are complicit in the behavior.

  17. In the interview, he openly regretted his ‘come back’ because were it not for that, he’d probably have gotten away with everything. Rotten character. He calls himself ‘flawed'; he is a nasty and corrupt jerk.

  18. Petr,

    I doubt that many quit for the reason you mention, all they had to do was prove that they could be just as good without the drugs, but of course, that might mean more hard work than they were prepared to do, but they didn’t and thus left the way open for the users. I am quite sure the team sponsors were well aware of his usage, and more than likely were the ones who did the bullying and smearing.

    That doesn’t excuse the ‘sports leading lights’ who were always well aware of the status quo, and by their lax attitudes could be said to have actually encouraged drug use.

    I doubt there is any professional sport that is completely drug free. Where there are such large sums to be won there will always be cheats. Professional sports people aren’t really sports, they are entertainers, no more and no less!

  19. Isn’t there an argument for saying the doping rules should be abandoned and anyone competing should be entitled to take whatever performance enhancers they wish. The races would still be entertaing trials of strength speed and skill but coupled with an honesty and transparency that isn’t there at the moment.

  20. Troll,

    At the time I saw him ride I was not aware that he was cheating, – so yes I enjoyed it! – now many years later I am told ‘ he cheated’ – oh! dear, how do I retract that feeling of enjoyment I felt so long ago? Sure I have a sense of betrayal, but he did once give pleasure to millions.

    We all get suckered at some time in our lives. Sometimes, as in this case, there is little you can do about it, you can dwell on it and make yourself miserable, or just shrug your shoulders and soldier on, and figure it all as ‘a lesson learned’. I recall being suckered a few weeks ago! – so what? nowt I can do about it, – but I learned a lesson and hopefully wont be fooled so easily next time.

  21. no above you say:

    What utter nonsense – the only person he cheated was himself. I enjoyed seeing him ride, as did many others. We may now be disappointed, but how can you takeaway the pleasure of seeing a winning ride?

    I’m sorry but that is an admission of acceptance, and again here

    there is little you can do about it, you can dwell on it and make yourself miserable, or just shrug your shoulders and soldier on

    Your admitting that YOU don’t hold him or anyone to any standards. Oh me Oh my what can I do? You call a cheat a cheat, a thief a thief, you hold people accountable.

    It is attitudes like the one you are displaying that promotes the corruption. Why expect good people to be Leaders and Examples when you don’t care enough to hold the corrupt in contempt?

  22. There seems to be a bit of moral equivalence here (apart from Troll, credit where credit is due). A cheat is a cheat is a cheat. Yes, cycling has been corrupt for decades but Lance was the most corrupt of all and became a hero to many based on his cheating, lying and bullying.

    I and many others who had so much respect for him have every right to feel let down.

  23. He was one of my heros. I was very sad and disapointed to hear this.

  24. There is a culture of cheating and bad sportsmanship in many sports.

    Diving in soccer, and the equivalent in other sports, to me is not completely different from using PEDs.

    In the NFL, the Super Bowl winning New Orleans Saints paid bonuses based on injuring opposing players. Darryl Stingley was crippled for life by a devastating and legal hit by Jack Tatum, who never showed remorse for it. These things to me are a lot worse than anything the evil Armstrong ever did.

    Sports is fun, but there is much that is wrong and disgusting with all of it. People can do other things besides watching other men run around on the TV.

  25. Phantom

    Which, I think only makes stronger my argument that the attempts to stop doping in all sports should be abandoned. Let all the athletes enhance their performance however they choose. That way there is no cheating, no dishonesty and a genuinely even playing field. The winner will still be the person who performs the best and the entertaininment for the viewer will still be the same. After all, if athletes can adopt a scientific diet to improve their performance why is that any different to taking strength enhancing drugs.

  26. Colm

    If any sport went to a free for all as respects doping, I’d never watch it. That competition would not be for me.

    But I remember years ago, a US sports radio guy advocating this ( and more ). He said ” If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’ “. That thought, that approach goes back a long, long way.

  27. “Did you pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?”

    Aw shucks,
    you guessed already. One of my favourite Gene Hackman films btw.
    “Unforgiven” was another one, but I was saving that for David Vance and his shocking post.
    Actually what I was getting at (as if you didn’t know, ‘cos you’re smart like that) is how different things upset different people.
    Me, I usually try to see the best in people, so I did wonder if Lance’s brush with cancer had affected his brain or radically affected his outlook on life.
    He may have thought
    “What the heck, I’m going to make as much money and glory out of this as I possibly can.”
    It’s a shame all round, but he won’t be the first or the last to cheat himself, his family, his fans and his sport.

  28. //Let all the athletes enhance their performance however they choose. That way there is no cheating, no dishonesty and a genuinely even playing field.//

    Yes, it would be like;

    in the left lane we have Pfizer Inc running strong today.. but now he’s be overtaken by GlaxcoSmithKine in the yellow shirt.
    But wait! – oh dear, it looks like Hoffman-La Roche has just shoved Bayer to the side and,yes, he is coming up strong on the inside…. Look at them go! but, yes, yes, it’s Roche’s day.
    So it’s Gold for Hoffman-La Roche, Silver for GlaxcoSmithKine and only Bronze for Pfizer Inc.

  29. Athletes would be dropping dead from the unfettered exposure to new cutting edge and untested drugs.

    You’d have faster times and players hitting 100 home runs a year and it wouldn’t mean anything.

  30. Colm –

    Athletes can ignore doping rules right now. They just have to set up their own competitions. That they haven’t suggests there would be much less money in it than supposedly clean sports because no-one would watch a competition for chemists.

  31. Pete

    Oh yes they would. Thay want to watch the top personalities and most famous and succesfull celebrity athletes. If the top 20 athletes or teams in any sport created their own ‘dope allowed’ competitions they would still get more followers than a clean competition amongst the also rans and the nonentities.

  32. If I enjoy something based on false Information, finding out the lie cannot take away from what I experienced at the time but it does take away from my reflections on it and in my opinion I am left worse off.

    Pete

    Not the vast majority of politicians are better than someone who molests dying children.

    I understand fans of his and his sport feeling betrayed and let down and they are entitled to think that important. However the thing that leaves the biggest bad taste in my mouth about this are those who are in their own battle with cancer and for whom, he was an inspiration. I fear for some (hopefully very few), this may give cancer the upper hand.

  33. Oops “no” not “not”

  34. I’m a sports fan, and I’d never watch that.

    If there isn’t a clean athletic competition, nothing has happened.

  35. Colm –

    No way. Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong, whoever, even the biggest stars are derided when doping becomes known.

    Aileen –

    No way. Almost all national politicians in the UK and US bear some culpability for the thousands of children who have been shot, blown up, maimed, injured, mentally tortured and orphaned in many countries in recent years. The average child abuser is nowhere near as morally reprehensible.

  36. Pete

    No way

    What you deliberately set out to do is worse than incompetence or fallout from your decisions.

  37. Pete and Aileen

    No way No way !

  38. Aileen –

    Warlords in London and Washington know that killing civilians in inevitable in war. They know and still choose avoidable wars.

    This is what politicians are directly responsible for. Quite a bit worse than Jimmy Savile touching a boy’s arse, I think.

  39. Pete

    “touching a boys arse” is a heartless way to dismiss the sexual molestation of dying children.

  40. besides that, surely Jimmy Saville’s preference was for girls not boys ?

  41. Colm

    It was his preference but he apparently also abused boys.

  42. Aileen –

    However you describe what Jimmy Savile did, it was nowhere near as wicked as what politicians do to children.

  43. //Warlords in London and Washington know that killing civilians in inevitable in war. They know and still choose avoidable wars. //

    Right. Well said.

    If some terrorist bomb kills civilians, and the terrorists then come out with the “but we only meant to get the soldiers” excuse, they are rightly vilified.

    But politicians do the same thing and use the same excuse regularly, and many here cheer them on as they do so.

  44. During ‘Operation Cast Lead’ which killed more than a thousand Palestinians, a number of commenters here exclaimed “Go Israel!”

  45. Since men keep screwing things up, I think it’s time to let the women take over the world.

  46. http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/12/19/inenglish/1355928581_856388.html

    In contrast! Shame his name will not be remembered as long as Armstrong.

  47. Yes.

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