I have my opinions about the doping scandal that’s once again rocked the world of professional road racing.
While I admire the abilities (enhanced or not) of men and women who push themselves to their limits (natural and otherwise), I don’t worship them as heroes. I have role models in my life, but a stranger like Lance Armstrong isn’t one of them.
Sport is drama. There’s excitement when you don’t know who wins a stage race until 10 minutes before the last rider crosses the finish line of an individual time trial. It’s better if the athletes don’t chemically abuse their bodies and I’m not in favor of proposals for no-holds-barred competition. If I find out 10 years after the fact, though, it’s not the end of the world for me.
I admire what Armstrong has done for cancer research and that he’s mobilized probably millions of people to participate in charity rides. Armstrong has found a purpose in his life other than personal glory. The fanboy aspect of it all kind of bugs me a little, but Armstrong has done a good job leveraging his wins and celebrity status into something that helps a lot of people. Perhaps Armstrong finds redemption through Livestrong, and I’m okay with that.
That’s my say on the topic. Other interesting perspectives out and about on the web:
- Scientific American: When–if Ever–Was Cycling Drug-Free?
- Cozy Beehive: Lance Armstrong’s Story a Case Study in Human Psychology
- The Science of Sport: The Lance Armstrong fallout – questions, denials and doping reactions, which goes into how athletes like Lance Armstrong can get away with passing
500an estimated 236 drug tests over his career.