The term “world’s greatest”, at anything, has always been a fun road to go down, providing fodder at the local pub or dinner parties. Some sports records are so incredible in it’s individual feat that they have withstood the arrows of time, and some may never ever be broken. Joe Dimaggio and his 56 game hitting streak, Wilt Chamberlain and his 100 point game record, even Bob Beamon jumping out of the stadium at the Mexico City Olympics. The one that I hold as the gold standard of probable unbeatable records is Lance Armstrong and his 7 TDF wins. But there is trouble a brewing.
I’m not a big fan of bicycle road racing but I know there are several here that might want to weigh in on the newest doping allegations:
It has happened enough times, at this point, that we sort of know how it’s going to go.
First, a former cycling teammate – or a doping agency, or someone else – accuses Lance Armstrong of taking performance-enhancing drugs in some public forum or other.
The latest charges against Armstrong arrived via former teammate Tyler Hamilton, on Sunday’s episode of “60 Minutes,” with allegations that he saw Armstrong inject testosterone and erythropoietin, or EPO, a “blood booster” and performance enhancing drug.
Ya know, I believe I’ve heard all this stuff before. that loser Floyd Landis made similar allegations last year. Now Hamiliton, another caught doper, tries to mitigate his bad behavior with the old line of ,”well, everyone is doing it”. And the fact that he gave back in 2004 Olympic Gold Medal, he has to be telling the truth, right? How funny that he admits to doping his entire riding career, but thinks he can salvage a modicum of esteem by saying that in 2004, when he won his medal, he was NOT doping. That’s like saying that Ted Bundy, although a bad dude, did call him mom every week, what a sweetheart.
Armstrong has a website up where he tries to defend his good name, good luck with that. Lance is without a doubt the most tested person in history, and he has never bounced a test. I think his lawyer nailed it when addressing the new charges:
“Hamilton is actively seeking to make money by writing a book, and now he has completely changed the story he has always told before so he could get himself on ’60 Minutes’ and increase his chances with publishers.”
A few years ago I read Lance’s book about his fight with cancer and his come back to racing. Again, I’m no big fan of the sport but I would highly recommend this book to anyone, what a true testament of courage. Briefly, Lance goes to see his doctor because, after a ride, he notices his right nut is 3 times the size of his left. Tests reveal he has cancer, further tests reveal that his cancer has spread to his lungs and brain, one doctor gives him a less than 10% chance of survival. Well, he decides he is not going down without a fight, and chemo is no fun, but he licks it and the rest is history.
Right now Armstrong is in the cross hairs of a number of ongoing investigations. The IRS, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Food and Drug Agency and the Department of Justice are all looking into the matter. Lance could be in a world of hurt. This is worse then what Bonds or Clemens went through (perjury), this could involve fraud, racketeering, conspiracy, and what ever else they can think of.
I’ve been accused of being naive in the past, maybe, but to me Lance is a hero, a literal man of steel, who not only holds the greatest sports accomplishment in history but does incredible charitable work and good deeds for his fellow man, so, at least for today, he is innocent until proven guilty. Until they got the goods on him, I will continue to hold him in high esteem.
So, is Hamilton right in that everybody in general (and Lance in particular) is dirty, that nobody can be successful in this sport without juicing?