Lance Armstrong has done so much for cycling, and for the search for a cure for cancer in America. It’s terrible to see his 7 Tour de France victories taken away from him. However, I don’t think his legacy will be stripped away from him.
I don’t know very much about cycling and I don’t pretend to, so I figured I would find some information on this whole situation. It seems as if the USADA, the United States Anti Doping Agency, had absolutely no jurisdiction in this case against Armstrong, and why would it? According to a their mission statement, the goals of the USADA are to “Preserve the Integrity of Competition”, “Inspire True Sport”, and “Protect the Rights of U.S. Athletes”, under which it says they protect the rights of “US Olympic and Paralympic athletes.” This is all fine and good, until you start to involve Lance Armstrong. While Lance Armstrong may or may not have been doping during his run of 7 Tour de France titles, in no way should his wins be “involved” in the actions of the USADA.
As @_Believeland explained on Twitter, it’s like having the US Olympic Committee strip Kobe Bryant of his NBA Titles. It just makes no sense. If Lance Armstrong was an Olympic cyclist who had been doping, then the USADA should have every right to strip him of any medals he won, and possibly even ban him. If anyone has any jurisdiction in this case against Armstrong, again this is information I obtained completely through research, it should be the UCI or the International Cyclist Union. They have direct involvement with the Tour De France and with Lance Armstrong. They should be the ones who were stripping any titles, and they have been fighting over jurisdiction in the Armstrong case for quite a while. They have withheld from any comments until they get an answer from the USADA regarding their actions.
Armstrong still claims to be innocent. Until it is absolutely proven otherwise, through a positive test I see with my eyes, I will believe him. It seems as if the USADA has been attacking Armstrong for many years and instead of trying to stick to their initiatives, their main goal has been going after Armstrong. Armstrong has called it “a witch hunt”.
It’s also been brought to my attention by @_Believeland, thank you again kind sir, that all of Lance Armstrong’s “Livestrong” campaign initiatives have been a bit falsified. Apparently they haven’t given a lab research grant since 2005, Armstrong hasn’t given any money to them since then, and it no longer accepts research proposals. Essentially, Livestrong hasn’t been “fighting” cancer since 2005. They have gotten out of the lab. They now specialize in diagnosis and post cancer care, both of which are nice but seemingly not proactive in the fight against cancer.
There is no doubt that Armstrong was once an American hero. Today, that fact can be argued, but in his day, I specifically remember owning many, many Livestrong bands. I wore them with pride knowing that I was supporting a worthy cause and a worthy man. And maybe I was.
Doping or no doping, Livestrong or no Livestrong, Armstrong is still heroic in my book. He’s never been someone I’ve particularly looked up to, but he is a man I will always respect. The man beat cancer, won 7 Tour de France titles, and has increased the level of support in the fight against cancer immensely. He may not be quite the athlete that everyone thought he was, but even without those titles he’s somewhat heroic.
It’s just a shame. Unfortunately these days, more than in the past, the minute someone accomplishes something legendary, they are immediately targeted. People will look for anything to tarnish the legacy of a hero, and in this case it is no different.
Whether the USADA has been on a “witchhunt” or they have sufficient evidence against Armstrong, the whole situation is unfortunate. A man who gave Americans so much hope and inspiration is now under fire for a mistake he may or may not have made. I don’t think this situation is over yet. While Armstrong has stopped fighting an unworthy opponent, I think the UCI will continue to fight on. The battle for jurisdiction in the case against Armstrong lingers on, and hopefully it will end well for a former American hero.
I would like to thank @_Believeland for a great amount of this information. He is a true cycling fan, and a great Twitter follow. Hopefully he won’t rip this article apart!
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