I’ve been reading and listening to all sorts of tripe about Lance and all the others who have been done for doping, particularly from Marc Watson last night on Newstalkzb.
He was of the opinion that you could never trust Armstrong again, that his livestrong organisation is just a sham to make him look like an angel.
Honestly, what a load of tripe. Firstly, Armstrongs fit with cancer and subsequent creation of livestrong would have happened regardless of his cycling career. Anyone who doesnt think Armstrong is the kind of guy who is motivated to win, and would not have been in a place to do what he did does not understand people like him.
Secondly, Armstrong still had to win 7 tour de france’s to get where he was. Bradly Wiggins pointed out today that if you wanted to award the victories to the next person down, you would have to go downt he list A LONG WAY before you found someone who was not doping. To win, Lance still had to ride for 20 days, up mountains, at huge speeds, to the point of exhaustion. Sure he was “supercharged” but so was the guy behind him, and the guy behind that, and the guy behind that..
It is not the same as, say, Valerie Adams in the olympics, where there was just her and someone on steroids who won. EVERYONE was on dope, and so the playing field amongst the top 10 or 20 was even.
Steven Swart, the New Zealander who rode with Armstrong, and admitted doping, himself, said that even if Armstrong had not been doping, he would still have been an amazing athlete (and he still is as his triathlon performances show – right up there with the world champs), and that everyone was doping and there was no way to compete if you were not.
I dont condone doping, for sure. I’d prefer that it never happened, and yeah, its sad that they needed to do it. However, some how negating the performance itself because he was on dope is just stupid. He still had to perform to a level beyond that of a mere mortal regardless of dope. Ok, yes, he did it. Slap his hand, change the sport, make it clean.. all good.. but dont ever say that he still didnt have to earn those wins. Never.