Anorak

Anorak | Lance Armstrong will not use millions earned in victory to save his integrity

Lance Armstrong will not use millions earned in victory to save his integrity

by | 24th, August 2012

LANCE Armstrong says that he will not fight the decision to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. Cycling officials says Armstrong used banned substances, like blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO) and steroids. They say that since the mid-1990s Armstrong has undergone blood transfusions. They say he’s a cheat.

Armstrong will not contest the decision to ban him from cycling for life. He will not fight for his integrity. He will not fight to honour all those lucrative contracts that added brands to the champions jerseys. He will not fight to assure all those he beat that the playing field was a level one. He will not fight for the fans who paid to cheer him on. Says Lance Armstrong: “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now.”

If one of the fittest athletes alive can grow tired of fighting – tired of paying the lawyers – then what hope for us mere mortals?

Armstrong says that his decision was not an admission of guilt.

Travis Tygart, chief executive of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) says:

“This is a heartbreaking example of how the win-at-all-costs culture of sport, if left unchecked, will overtake fair, safe and honest competition, but for clean athletes, it is a reassuring reminder that there is hope for future generations to compete on a level playing field without the use of performance-enhancing drugs.”

Armstrong denies any wrong-doing. He says he’s the victim of a “witch-hunt”. He says:

“USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my team-mates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours.”

Good that Lance Armstrong can speak for everyone he beat.

Lance Armstrong won the Tour in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. No word from Jan Ullrich the rider beaten into second place by Armstrong three times. Ullrich has had his brushes with doping allegations, but is perhaps best remembered for an incident in 2003 when he observed an unwritten rule of cycling, slowing to allow the fallen Armstrong to catch up. Ullrich finished second.

Says Armstrong:

“I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today — finished with this nonsense.”

With wave of the hand the claims are dismissed.

“Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities.”

Well, at least he didn’t fall back on God…

10294499

Picture 1 of 24

Bicycling champion Lance Armstrong, at podium, a cancer survivor is seen during a news conference at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. Armstrong is the campaign co-chair for the California Cancer Research Act, (CCRA), which is proposing to increase taxes on cigarettes by $1 a pack to raise more than $500 million a year. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)



Posted: 24th, August 2012 | In: Sports Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink