Anderson Issues

Commentary on the Zeitgeist

Downfall of Lance Armstrong

Posted by foodisverydelicious on October 22, 2012

The past two weeks have been buzzing with the shocking surprise involving cycling idol Lance Armstrong. Unfortunately, this superstar athlete has experienced an epic downfall, and consequently has been almost completely stripped of his reputation. Last Monday all seven of the 41-year-old’s Tour de France titles were taken from him as well as nearly $4 million that he earned from winning throughout the years, all because reports revealed he had been “doping” (doing drugs) for quite some time. But wait, the punishment only gets worse. His entire career is greatly affected by this. In fact:

The [Anti-Doping] agency announced it would ban Armstrong from the sport for life and strip him of his results dating from 1998. The decision wiped out 14 years of his career. McQuaid said Monday the cycling union would not appeal USADA’s decision.

Never competing again just because you did drugs, even after overcoming testicular cancer and winning the infamous Tour de France seven years in a row? Sounds pretty harsh. But that’s what happens when an idolized icon lets the world down. Lance Armstrong, similar to Michael Phelps, disappointed millions around the globe, possibly even more so because of the sympathy he had gained during his battle against cancer. Image

What’s also surprising is that Armstrong never once failed the drug tests throughout the years of competition. However, some of his teammates account for that by explaining that he had ways of beating the tests or avoiding them altogether. He also managed to pass all the random drug tests, leading some to suggest that team officials often knew when they were going to be administered.

Accordingly, many of his sponsors who contributed to his immense wealth have left Armstrong and “Team Lance,” including big ones like Nike, RadioShack, and Anheuser-Busch. The SCA is now trying to get back as much as $12 million from Armstrong for bonuses, winnings, and other expenses. 

So how is society viewing this? Well, it will be hard to fully strip him of his athletic glory, but many are sincerely disappointed in him, especially his fellow Austinites. However, federation president Pat McQuaid went a little farther to say that Lance Armstrong “deserves to be forgotten in cycling.” Curiously, Armstrong has always defended himself against accusations of doping via angry tweets, and now, after this fiasco, he has remained “uncharacteristically quiet.”

Before the USADA finding:

Armstrong’s story — that of an outspoken cancer survivor who tamed the grueling three-week race more than any other cyclist before or since — had made him a household name. But allegations of doping long dogged his career.

Now he has no choice but to quit cycling cold-turkey. Though he hasn’t commented directly on the subject, Armstrong has admitted to it being a “very difficult few weeks.” Well I would imagine so! He just lost almost everything he held to his name: his wealth, his pride, his glory, his achievements, and his overall success, and stripped from him in the blink of an eye.

For even more explanation, watch this video. It’s even narrated by someone with a British accent!

Though Lance Armstrong has officially stepped down from being head of his foundation, the foundation itself is still put to good use supporting great causes.

In my opinion, this truly is a shame, because I’ve met Lance Armstrong before (his website did a segment on gymnastics and filmed a segment at the gym where I did gymnastics), and he seemed like an incredible man. Though I am disappointed in him because he was a role model to many athletes and people in general, I can’t say I agree with stripping him of his Tour de France titles; he still worked very hard for those while battling cancer.

ImageLance Armstrong

But that’s just me. What about you?

Do you think Lance Armstrong deserves his punishment?

8 Responses to “Downfall of Lance Armstrong”

  1. stevesnobs said

    He cheated. Everything that is happening to him are deserved consequences. You say that “he is a role model” but what kind of role model does drugs for a competitive advantage. If Armstrong did not have cancer, people would not be so quick to defend him.

  2. lrose727 said

    I think he deserved to be stripped of his titles. He was a role model for a long time, but, that doesn’t hold much merit when the truth comes out and his entire career was a lie. The fact that he had cancer and fought through that gave him that much more influence in the world and makes his betrayal that much more personal. I think its interesting that he was able to cheat the system and pass all the drug tests he was given over the course of his career. It’s kind of unsettling to realize how corruptible the system is and maybe this scandal will lead to a better way of setting it up to where people can no longer get around those rules.

  3. catzforsale said

    I feel a little bit awkward saying it because everyone disagrees, but I think this reaction is a little ridiculous. If he passed every drug test during the races, he obviously wasn’t doing them then. I’d also like to point out that a lot of the time, cancer patients actually have to take steroids in order to recover. I understand that it isn’t completely fair to the other racers that he was given these medications, but can’t they just take away his win for that year, not all of the others? And if it isn’t steroids they are talking about, but things like weed… I mean come on, he’s over 40. Odds are everyone over 40 has done at least one drug in their life. I agree that it was not a wise choice for him given his career and status, but people shouldn’t be so hard on him.

  4. iexercisebytyping said

    If he is really guilty then it is definitely fair that he should get penalized. NO circumstances make cheating acceptable. If he cheated, then the fantastic image that he has made for himself is based in lies, and is not deserved. By not punishing him, society would accept cheating. This would undermine society and conventional values and should not be allowed. Nor is it fair to cyclists and individuals in general who are honest and do not cheat, but lose their right to be recognized and admitted for their skill and honest, just because a cheater lied, and robbed them of it.

  5. Lance Armstrong cheated by taking banned substances. He lied about it. He covered it up. He forced his teammates to take performance enhancing drugs. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency concluded that Armstrong and the United States Postal Service team ran “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”. Armstrong threatened his ex-teammate Tyler Hamilton who was about to testify against him, “When you’re on the witness stand, we are going to f***ing tear you apart. You are going to look like a f***ing idiot.” Hamilton further testified that Armstrong said, “I’m going to make your life a living . . . f***ing . . . hell. Hamilton testified that Armstrong had tested positive for EPO (testosterone) in 2001, but had made the test “go away,” by paying off the drug tester $100,000. At the 1998 World Championships, when Lance was subjected to a surprise drug test, the team doctor managed to administer a liter of saline solution which masked the drugs in his system.
    Doping was common in biking during this period. Just because everyone else was doing, doesn’t make it right. He was just the best at doping and hiding it. He stole the Tour de France titles. He deserves to lose everything.

  6. soccerchick3 said

    I cannot believe that Lance Armstrong did this. I am starstruck, as I suspect the nation was. Many people looked up to this man, including me myself, and now to hear that it was all just a fluke, just a failure, makes me extremely angry. As a someone who also is avidly engaged in sports, I must confess that I have no patience for those who take performance enhancing drugs- it is the lowest form of cheating I know. A true athlete is someone who works as hard as they can to transform their body into a machine, not somebody who slacks off by taking these drugs to again turn their bodies into machines. Maybe this sinful act would be a little more acceptable if he actually admitted to the offense, but the fact that he lied again and again to cover this up makes this wholly inadmissible. Lance Armstrong deserves nothing of the fame and fortune he has gained by essentially cheating his way through life. I am satisfied that his many winnings have been removed from his possession. At this time, I am very disappointed in the athletes we have today- it seems like almost every day a new person is convicted of this crime. Where are the true athletes out there, who only use the skills that their own bodies possess to bring themselves to success? I am very passionate about this problem, as a fellow athlete, and I really hope the acquisition of performance enhancing drugs, with all of the testing we have out there, is on the decline.

  7. shishimato said

    Beating testicular cancer, especially considering the career he had pursued, is heroic of anyone. That, of course, doesn’t take away from his shameful act. We all come from a city that views him as a hometown hero, so of course we’re a bit ashamed considering how much we valued him as a posterboy for the city. I agree with taking away his Tour de France medals. Not just because of the doping, but because of the incredible lengths his team went to in order to cover it up.

  8. hunter said

    he cheated no getting past that so what if he beat cancer lots of people have done that so why is he so special he is a regular human being like the rest of us its only fair for him to be punished justly

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