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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tour de Lance

For most Americans, when you think about professional cycling, one name always jumps out... Lance Armstrong. "Big Tex" won 7 consecutive Tour de France races from 1999 to 2005 even while battling testicular cancer and still kept competing after he won the fight. He used his fame to found the Livestrong Foundation and help build awareness and raise funds for cancer research.

It's probably been going on for years but more so since his final victory, there has been investigation after investigation into whether Lance was "doping" (using performance enhancers during his racing career). There have been several cyclists, both rivals and teammates, who have testified to seeing or knowing of Lance using performance enhancers but until recently it never stacked up.

Recently, another investigation has brought several testimonies to light and has now ended in Lance being stripped of everything. All 7 of his titles have been taken away, he has been banned for life from professional cycling, and may end up having to repay the $14 million he won from his Tour de France victories.

Now, I'm no advocate for cheating in any way or form but it seems to me like the cycling community had it out for Lance. Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist but there has been more time spent and investigations started to investigate Lance than I feel like should have been necessary. If the allegations are true, then I can understand the stripping of his titles but it seems to me that they kept investigating until they got the answers they wanted.

Either Lance Armstrong is a evil mastermind behind the most carefully planned and perfectly executed cheating campaign in the history of sporting events or he's the victim of his own fame and was brought down by jealous rivals and teammates alike. I'm not sure which is true or if the reality lies in the gray area in between but it truly is a shame to see an American hero and champion fall from grace in such a way.

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