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gondwanalon's avatar

Would you like to see Lance Armstrong come clean?

Asked by gondwanalon (12342 points ) October 13th, 2012

There is no doubt that Armstrong’s cancer foundation has done so much good for the world. However, this does not compensate for being a liar, cheat and a fraud.

Do you think that Lance Armstrong should come clean about his using performance enhancing drugs throughout is professional cycling career?

The case presented by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) against Lance Armstrong for using banded performance enhancing substances (PES) is very strong. Eleven of Armstrong’s team-mates (including Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis) have submitted testimony stating that they routinely witnessed Armstrong using banned substance. There is no reason for all of his team-mate (as well as a couple non-cycling friends) would submit false statement about Armstrong’s PES usage.

Think about it. If you were wrongly accused of using PES while winning the Tour de France 7 times (and a couple Olympic medals) , then wouldn’t you fight it with everything thing that you have? That is what an innocent athlete would do. Instead Armstrong dropped his defense and arrogantly claimed the charges against him as a “witch hunt”.

I would forgive Armstrong if he would be man enough to own up to what he did. He would regain respect for having the strength to do that. As it is now, he is a pathetic shell of a man who continues to live a lie.

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18 Answers

jerv's avatar

And this is more important than anything that actually has an effect on your life because…..?

Seriously though, have you never had a long fight that just would not let up? Do you really know what it’s like to be ground down over the course of years? He did fight it with everything he had, and even his legendary perseverance was not enough to sustain that barrage forever. I have, and I cannot blame him for doing the human thing and saying, Enough is enough!”. Discretion is the better part of valor.

I don’t care about the PES, but the politicization of this makes me sick.

ucme's avatar

I’d like to see the smirking fucker climb alpe d’huez with razor wire for a saddle.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I really don’t care whether he ever “comes clean” or not. There are too many actually important things for me to think about.

jonsblond's avatar

I really don’t care. The good that comes from his cancer foundation outweighs the bad from his personal and professional life. I felt the same about Bill Clinton (a great president even though he was a shitty husband and lied about his affair), and the same with Susan G. Komen and all the backlash they received not too long ago. SGK has helped many people, including important women in my life.

dabbler's avatar

I can’t claim to know enough details about it all but it seems that most of the top cyclists were doing something cagey at that time, and probably still are to the extent that they can get away with it.

Whether or not Lance ‘doped’ he clearly worked extremely hard to do what he has in the sport. The other guys too…
Hard to tell how you could clean up the whole cycling scene as it seems there will be some folks who have to get an edge they can’t achieve ‘naturally’. And they seem to be able to find something that doesn’t get detected by the prevailing test protocals.

Personally I think taking the titles away from Lance and his teammates years after the fact accomplishes nothing. Tighten up the protocals and get on with the competitions.

tom_g's avatar

Are we supposed to be get outraged about a guy who rides a bicycle?

Coloma's avatar

I’d rather see Sandusky come clean than Lance Armstrong.
Regardless, it is always a shame when role models go wrong.
Taking performance inducing drugs is not nearly as bad as molesting kids. Tis the way of the dysfunctional, lies and denial and cover ups are always the main entree of the 7 course meal of deception.

Shame and fear rule the unhealthy and pride is a harsh master.

zenvelo's avatar

There is no reason for all of his team-mate (as well as a couple non-cycling friends) would submit false statement about Armstrong’s PES usage.

Actually, they were given the alternative of taking immunity or suffering prosecution despite most of them not having ever failed a drug test, just as Lance has never failed a test under the rules governing cycling at any time during his career. And USADA has still not acknowledged why they are violating their own rules and those of the World Anti Doping Agency.

When will USADA come clean?

glacial's avatar

Yes, I’d like to see him finally be honest about it. I can’t believe people still deny that he’s been taking performance enhancing drugs.

Also, I’ve never understood why folks are so defensive of him – even while acknowledging that he probably took the drugs. Why is this kind of corruption acceptable, while other forms are not? Is it because he’s just a sports figure? Or is it just that people like a “winner” (whatever that means in this context)?

I guess the reason I find the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports so loathsome is that most people are recruited into these sports as kids. For us not to care whether these athletes cheat their way to success is to tell these kids that cheating is how to succeed. That’s not ok with me.

@jonsblond Personally, I would not compare Armstrong to Clinton, because Clinton’s affair wasn’t the basis for his success. Likewise, I’m not sure why this case needs to be comparable to child abuse or other horrors for people to care about it. o_O

Coloma's avatar

Performance enhancing drugs are nothing new, hell, I have been a horse person most of my life and you wouldn’t believe how many sale animals are drugged to mask certain conditions, drugged to conceal behaviorial/training issues, drugged to be more easily handled, drugged to run faster, “perform” better, mask injuries. Very scary and sad, indeed.
Even animal athletes are abused. :-(

jonsblond's avatar

@glacial My comparison is the good a person does versus the bad they have done. As long as no one is abused, harmed or murdered, lying about a blowjob in the oval office or taking performance enhancing drugs for a race does not take away from the good things the two men have done imo.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond Good point!

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t care if he comes clean. I don’t think performance enhancing drugs should be banned. I think it gets the sport into an unwinnable situation, where they never can trust the riders and the riders, knowing they aren’t trusted, continue to behave like criminals. They will always push the edge of what they can get away with, and they have no sense of honor or need no sense of honor, because they know they are being watched.

It’s a game and it won’t stop until they stop trying to outlaw these drugs. The sport shouldn’t be going after the riders. It should be going after itself and its corrupt way of running itself.

It is a witch hunt. And it is what all sick organizations do when there is corruption throughout the organization. They find someone big and make them the fall guy. It’s as if they can knock Lance down, and that will clean up the sport and make everything ok again. As long as the sport does not accept responsibility for the way the system pressures riders to perfrom, and as long as they do not acknowledge that there is so much riding on what the riders do and that that encourages riders to do whatever they can to win, we’ll have this problem.

Lance Armstrong is not the problem. He may or may not have doped, but chopping off his head is not going to fix the problem. The problem is much deeper—so deep, that I don’t think it can be fixed. We need to come to grips with that and change our attitudes towards what is going on.

gondwanalon's avatar

@jerv How important is truth? To me it is among the most valuable and precious aspect of being a human being.

If you don’t value truth, honesty and being a good sport, then this matter will mean little. Some people enjoy and even love other sports but I really enjoy professional cycling which is among the most grueling and unforgiving of sports. I have all 7 of Armstrong’s Tour de France wins on DVD plus a large pile of other great cycling DVD’s plus my subscription to Cycle Sport magazine. I sat glued to the TV screen watching what I thought at the time was the greatest professional cyclist of all time far out perform his competition with such power and grace. Now I know that none of what I saw or have on DVD is real. It was all faked and all of the honest cyclist and millions cycling fans were cheated.

If Armstrong would come clean and be honest about what he did and say that he is sorry, then I will forgive him. The pressure to perform at such a high level year after year must be huge. He is human after all.

Coloma's avatar

@gondwanalon I agree, but…@jonsblond does make a good point. As long as ones overall contributions are positive a mistake can be forgiven. Humans are imperfect creatures and as long as their imperfections are not of a horrendous nature we must be careful about extreme judgment. Certainly you would feel rather betrayed, understandable.

glacial's avatar

@wundayatta I’m not sure how it would be possible to “go after” those who are trafficking the drugs (if that’s what you’re suggesting) without first identifying which athletes are taking them. That seems to me to be a vital step. But regardless of the legality of the situation – I think it’s deeply wrong for him to lie about it, for the reasons I gave above.

@jonsblond I see where you’re coming from, but to me personally, it’s not like accounting or carbon emissions trading… a person’s wrongs are still wrong, whether the balance sheet puts him in the red or black in the end. I don’t mean there can’t be forgiveness or change – but the act still requires some kind of contrition, or at least acknowledgement. So, like @gondwanalon said, I think Armstrong can be redeemed – but first he needs to own up to what he did.

And… it’s not a “mistake” if he keeps on doing it (and lies about it after repeated questioning!) for decades.

ETpro's avatar

Oh absolutely. Let’s give him sodium pentathol. :-P

woodcutter's avatar

Dude’s still badass on a bike regardless. Wish I could do that.

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