Unless you have had your head in a hole in the ground, you know that Lance Armstrong came out yesterday, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying that he did in fact use performance enhancing drugs during his time as a competitive cyclist. Over the past year, Lance has been stripped of his 7 Tour De France victories, forced to resign from his Livestrong foundation, and faced much public scrutiny after the US Anti-Doping Agency revealed that they had proof that he had taken part in a huge doping scheme.
Here’s why I don’t really care that Armstrong took PEDs: Almost literally everyone in cycling was doping at the time. Lance was merely putting himself on an even playing field by taking part. Was it right? I don’t know whether I’d do it, but I can’t say that I blame him. When MLB started cracking down on players for steroids, it was like a witch-hunt. Things that were not against the rules or tested for were suddenly getting players fined, suspended, kept out of the Hall of Fame, and sent to testify before Congress. I think it’s all a bit ridiculous. Lance participated in a lot of manipulation to continue cycling (and winning), but so did everyone else.
Lance should be no less of a hero to cancer patients because he took PEDs, either. It’s highly unlikely that whatever he took healed his cancer, but if it did, shouldn’t we be giving this wonder drug to all cancer patients? The story of will is still incredible: Lance came back from testicular, lung, and brain cancer to win more Tour de France titles. Whether he did it with help is irrelevant to me.
If you are angry because you gave money to Livestrong and now feel betrayed, I don’t think you have a leg to stand on. You, presumably, gave money to help further cancer research. Livestrong is continuing to do that, whether Lance is the head of it or not, and whether he lied or not.
Now, Lance lied, manipulated, took money that he may not have deserved, and since I didn’t pay him that money, I don’t feel like he owes me anything. I do think he was a bit of a douche because he sued people who accused him of being involved in doping, and I think that money should be paid back.
All in all, I don’t think Lance should be stripped of titles, and I don’t believe anybody has the right to feel betrayed or hurt by his eventual confession. What do you think?