Lance Armstrong: For better of worse

Stop this madness.  Why is Lance Armstrong in the news?  The 7 time Tour De France winner and Olympic gold medalist gave up the fight to keep his name clean today, which has resulted in all his wins being revoked.  A very sad turn in the Lance Armstrong story, but far from the end, and really, a decision that speaks poorly more on the USADA and all other associations that have administered drug tests to Lance Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong has passed an estimated 500 drug tests and failed a grand total of zero.  He retired a year and a half ago, but he has been under investigation since 1999.  For over a decade, he has been scrutinized and tested and accused of doping, but has never failed a drug test.  Not during his bout with testicular cancer, not during his 7 consecutive Tour De France wins, not ever. 

All that said, it is pretty hard to imagine a man could dominate the dirtiest sport in the world and be clean.  It is hard to believe a man can come back from cancer and become the greatest of all time.  Never has somebody come back from such a terrible disease and dominate a sport.  But dirty or not, you cannot look past all the good he did for cancer.

Lance Armstrong founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which released the famous yellow bracelets, Livestrong.  Since the start of his foundation, he has raised over a quarter of a billion dollars.  He has been a source of inspiration to those diagnosed with cancer all over the world.  So, even if he has doped, wasn’t it worth it?

You cannot tell the story of Lance Armstrong without discussing the doping allegations and being stripped of his titles, but don’t let it be the lasting view of the man.  Today, on sports radio and tv, you will hear people discuss his “admission” of guilt, but realize he is a man two and a half years into his retirement that just wants to have some peace, something the USADA was not ready to give him.  His foundation isn’t done, his story is not done, he will continue to be a positive influence on the world.  Sometimes in life, there are dilemmas where doing something of questionable ethics can change the world for the better.  So, regardless of what you did to accomplish all you did, I would like to say thank you Lance Armstrong, here is at least one place that will recognize you for the good you have done, not the mistakes you may have made.


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