Monday, August 27, 2012
Lance Armstrong just because you're guilty doesn't mean it isn't a witch hunt
If you are like me, all your friends and co-workers come to you for all things cycling. You are their de facto expert. "Hey, what about that Neil Armstrong guy who won those yellow shirts?"
In the cycling community there are opinions ranging from King Eddy Mercyx who wisely asked, "don't those tests count for anything?," to others who want him bankrupted for being a poor father. As for the logic based arguments I agree with both sides. I think he is guilty and I think it has been a witch hunt.
I am no Lance lover. My hero's don't ride bikes. My heroes did boring things like sell insurance and were guys who stayed out of the limelight.
If we define cheating as gaining an unfair advantage, then if everybody was doing it, don't single out one guy. Does that make it right? No way. But if you get pulled over for going 65 when the speed limit is 60 and you are third in a line of ten cars going the same speed, what is the first thing you're going to say to the police officer? You will admit to going 65, but so was everybody else.
If we look to the "Golden age" of cycling we have Fausto Coppi who some thing should be granted sainthood. He took amphetamines when he raced. He won the Tour de France. After he retired he was asked if he took "speed" and he said yes. Then they asked when he took it and he said "when it was necessary." Logically he was then asked when it was necessary, he said, "all the time." Are they stripping him of his title? No way.
Yeah, I know USADA doesn't have authority to strip results, but let's stay on point here. Although I will speculate that Pat McQuaid may just let it all die to keep his power base intact. Back to topic...
I looked up all of Lance's podiums. Dopers on the left side, dopers on the right side. Zulle Ulrich, Basso, all admitted dopers. Once again, I am not saying it is cool. I am a big "dopers suck" guy. I think witch hunts suck more.
It is easy to point a finger at Lance and call him a cheater. I am not one who can look back at my life under the harsh microscope of 2012 and find no faults. We all have made mistakes, we all have events we hope never to even think about, let alone talk about. For most of us we are lucky that loved ones forgive and accept us. One of the great things about life, whether you call it redemption, grace, forgiveness, or just forgetfulness; is that we don't have to endure reliving of most of our mistakes. I am willing to grant this guy the same peace.