What happened to Lance? This morning, if you Google “Lance Armstrong”, you will find a at the top of the list a few past articles breaking the news of his latest doping charges and some articles written about his legacy at the Tour de France being tainted with all of his past allegations. What you don’t find is any news of him doing anything related to endurance sports.
Sadly he’s still sitting on the bench waiting to get back into the game. He’s wasting time until the latest round of accusations get mashed out in court or dropped out right.
If you like him, hate him or love him, Lance has never had a positive test for any doping substances banned by professional cycling. Sure, he may have had the best tools of the trade to hide what’s in his bloodstream and former teammates have testified to seeing it, but the fact of the matter is, there is not any concrete proof. He’s innocent until proven guilty.
Why punish him by not allowing him to return back to triathlon? Sure, the allegations do not prohibit him from racing Ironman races, but rather a WTC rule keeps him out while under investigation for new doping charges. You can say it’s not USADA’s fault that their new charges keep him out of Ironman, but that’s splitting hairs. Someone knew that this new round of allegations would prohibit him from continuing his rise in the sport of triathlon on its biggest stage in Kona. It’s a nice coincidence that as soon as he started winning 70.3 races, bam, here’s some new crap from the past to deal with.
Let’s move on. It was 7 years ago, and let’s face it, NBC would not be airing the Tour de France for the month of July had Armstrong not won 7 times with all of the controversy he brought. Lance Armstrong made the Tour what it is today in the US. Would you be watching at all if Lance had not won 7 times? Why continue to defame his legacy? Love him or hate him, the damage has been done and so many other tour winners have been found guilty and stripped in the recent past, that it’s not really a big deal any more (maybe an ignorant American point of view). It would be big news if Lance was found guilty and stripped of his titles, but it would probably generate more newspaper sales that result in anything substantial for the sport of professional cycling.
Line them up, let them race and test them. If a sample comes back positive, punish them. Don’t come back 2 or 3 years later and revisit the issue. It’s a waste of energy. If you eat tainted meat and get popped, find a better cook.
Now, if there’s more legal implications such as distribution and serious federal crimes being committed, keep after them if there’s concrete evidence. The law’s the law. Just don’t go after someone because you didn’t like a Texan with an attitude winning your French bike race.
Hopefully this latest round gets over with soon. The triathlon world was looking forward to watching Lance battle it out with Crowie and Macca at Kona, finally. The foreplay of 2011 passed and the real action was going to be front and center in 2012, had it not been for the USADA.
Let him race.
Ryan Falkenrath writes the blog falkeetriathlon.blogspot.com, married father of two young kids, owner of two dogs and trying to balance life, work and multisport. Ryan has participated in multisport events since 2001 from 5k's to Half Ironmans. Ryan is also the Kansas City Endurance Sports Examiner and you can read more of his triathlon thoughts HERE and he collects race reviews at www.Triathlon-Reviews.blogspot.com. Contact Ryan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on @TriJayhawkRyan.
*Expressed opinions are not necessarily that of EverymanTri.com
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