DM – Former cycling champion Lance Armstrong had blood transfusions during races, administered testosterone to himself and team-mates and orchestrated a ‘code of silence’ in the sport by threatening whistleblowers, doping investigators have alleged. In a 200-page report, Armstrong is also accused of threatening to fire USPS team members who did not use performance enhancing drugs and is said to have paid $1million into the Swiss bank account of an Italian doctor alleged to have helped fake blood tests. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement: ‘The USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices.’ The programme was described as being ‘organised by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today’.
Secret million-dollar payments to Italian doctors through Swiss bank accounts, Strong-arming (Arm-stronging?) team members and other subordinates, getting high on his own power while installing a decades-long code of silence? Sounds like any successful American politician I’ve ever heard of. We’re supposed to act differently because he’s an athlete? I’m supposed to be LESS impressed by him after this? Nonsense.
The real world, much like the world of cycling, is filled with cheaters. What? Did you expect the most talented cyclist in the world to relinquish his stranglehold on the competition because of something as small as a lack of testosterone and blood transfusions? The greats find a way to push through adversity. No longer able to defeat the other dopers in a race? Just become the kingpin at the center of the ‘most sophisticated, professionalized and successful’ doping program in sports history.
I said it before and I’ll say it again — everybody in cycling cheated. EVERYBODY — except for maybe one hipster on a fixie who cruised into last every time bumping Black Keys on his iPhone. Check the stats out for yourself. Look at about 1/4 of the cheaters from 2006 alone:
Exactly. If you’re mad at Lance for being the best cyclist ever AND for being the best cheater ever then you’re completely missing the point. He was THE BEST. In all facets of cycling, apparently. Doping during races, construction of a sophisticated warning system for drugs tests, having his wife hand out foil-wrapped pills on the low — this genius should be appreciated, not vilified.
You’re still the best cyclist in my mind, Lance. Even if this decision haunts you forever.