Armstrong’s days of influence coming to an end
Landmark moment will ripple through the sport and bike industry.
make a ruling. Typically this is a slam dunk. Maybe not so much this time.
Did the UCI interfere with any other doping case brought before them? No, they didn’t. However, Armstrong is the Golden Goose. He took professional cycling to another level in the United States and the rest of the world with his message of battling cancer. He was good for business. Let’s remember - professional cycling is a business. The UCI saying they had no idea about all the evidence against the disgraced cyclist makes them look either incompetent or naïve to the situation. There must also be some concern in the halls of the UCI headquarters that there’s solid evidence Armstrong did in fact payoff the UCI to make a positive drug test at the 2001 Tour de Suisse disappear.
The downside to Armstrong rolling over like a dead armadillo is that the USADA evidence will not enter into the public forum. Or will it?
Speculating, I suspect that evidence will be leaked and we’ll start to see parts of it as time goes on, proving that Tygart had the goods to back up the lifetime ban.
What’s muddying the waters is the Armstrong P.R. machine promoting the LiveStrong message. We need to separate the sportsman from the cancer survivor.
Again, I was asked this question numerous times when I was interviewed, “Was Armstrong a fraud?” I retold the story of how my dad dies of cancer. It was a long, painful death, but he still held out hope telling my mom, “If Lance beat this, so can I.” Whatever glimmer of hope that gave Dad then who am I to take that away from him?
I’m not going to regurgitate reports for or against the LiveStrong Foundation. My dad’s cancer was terminal, he was getting great care in England, and there was nothing any foundation could have done.
However, Lance Armstrong the athlete is a fraud. I don’t buy some journalist’s excuse saying he was leveling the playing field. I saw another Armstrong-friendly cycling journalist write that he would have won the Tours regardless if everyone had been clean. These are all excuses for a man who not only cheated, but systematically ruined other people’s lives to better his own. He used intimidation and threats to run people out of the sport. This went far beyond what other riders who doped did. From testimony gathered it was Armstrong who organized systematic doping within the team.
For those who question why bother spending the funds to strip someone of an award from seven years ago I say because otherwise the cycle of doping would never stop. Armstrong was still involved in the sport - wielding influence. Johan Bruyneel was still directing teams. And then there are the doctors and “trainers” still floating around in the flotsam and jetsam of professional cycling. Without this painful eradication of Armstrong from the record books organized doping was destined to continue.
I’m sure we will continue to have positive doping results in cycling as well as other sports, but this is a