I’m an avid cyclist, but not a fanboy, and I have to say this is some sad news. It’s disappointing to see a cycling icon in the middle of such a tangled mess. I firmly believe that Lance is capable of doing the cycling feats we’ve seen. Unlike riders like Boonen and Cancellara, who ride week after week in different races, putting themselves in danger and getting banged up, Armstrong only focus on the Tour and trained for it the whole year. He went into that race well rested and in top condition. He didn’t come into it on the heels of another race of healing from some injury. And just like Wiggins, tens of millions of dollars have been spent on training, research and equipment to make Lance the best cyclist in the world. He trained for one thing. He participated in one thing. I have no doubt he’s capable of winning those tours without the help of drugs. I happen to think he’s an exceptionally gifted and talented athlete.
Is he guilty? I have no idea. Cycling has become synonymous with doping and scandals are commonplace. It’s not like the opportunity wasn’t there. I’m sure Lance could name names and rat out of dozens of people over the things he saw. But I don’t think the USADA was out to find justice or put an end to wrongdoing. So many of the comments made by Travis Tygart and Jeffery C. Garvey have already convicted him. They hung the label of cheater and doper on him before things even for started. I agree, there was no way for him to win. Instead of showing any sign of remorse, they gloat and mock. They keep coming back with this, "since he dropped the fight, he’s guilty."
When you’re up against that mentality, how do you win? How can it be fair? As many have said, the cards were stacked against him. I feel bad for him and the wake of scandal, sadness, ridicule, finger pointing and disappointment this will bring. The whole thing comes across like there are some issues between those two. But the damage is done. Lance will take his licks and focus on other things. Does it make him a coward? Does it make him guilty? At this point, it won’t make a difference. Those things he’s innocent will keep thinking he’s innocent. Those who hang the label of cheater on him will feel justified in doing so. Martyr to some, scapegoat to others.
Too bad the whole innocent until proven guilty mantra doesn’t seem to apply here.
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