Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960

 

By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Is Armstrong right in not fighting doping allegations?

 

August 28, 2012



No, I am not a cycler and honestly I am amazed at those who love the sport and choose to ride hundreds of miles on a bike with the seat the size of a Frisbee. While this is not exactly what I would consider “fun” thousands of people throughout the world are engrossed with the sport.

It takes a well-trained, highly competitive person to ride in bike races and especially the well-known Tour de France.

However, here in America most of us wouldn’t even know what the Tour de France is if it weren’t for seven time winner Lance Armstrong, who almost single-handedly made it a household name in this country.

Now, Armstrong is in jeopardy of losing his seven titles after allegations made by former teammates to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that Armstrong took steroids throughout his career.

According to CNN.com, “The U.S. agency has charged Armstrong with using, possessing, trafficking and giving to others performance-enhancing drugs, as well as covering up doping violations.”

Armstrong vehemently denies the allegations saying, “I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart’s (CEO of the USADA) unconstitutional witch hunt. 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.”

While I understand Armstrong’s wish to be finished with all of this I am also concerned that he isn’t fighting back if he is innocent.

He has provided hundreds of blood and urine tests throughout his career, all of them coming up negative to drugs. Sometimes, we just get tired of fighting the fight, which is what it seems Armstrong is feeling now.

So what happens if he is stripped of his titles? Does the second place winner now get those titles and what would that really mean to him/her and to the rest of the world?

Remember when Vanessa Williams got her Miss America Crown taken away? I honestly couldn’t tell you who took her place and her career skyrocketed.

No one in the sports field should get away with doping if they truly are breaking the rules, including Armstrong. It would make for an unfair advantage and would taint the sports world and the competition.

Tygart put it nicely when he stated the following, ““Nobody wins when an athlete decides to cheat with dangerous performance-enhancing drugs, but clean athletes at every level expect those of us here on their behalf to pursue the truth to ensure the win-at-all-cost culture does not permanently overtake fair, honest competition.”

Hopefully this will all come to an end soon and Armstrong can get on to helping with the battle against cancer through his Lance Armstrong Foundation and can be remembered for the good he has done helping cancer victims and survivors.

 

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