This week has seen the US Anti-Doping Authority release its evidence and reasons for castigating Lance Amrstrong as a cheat. He was, apparently, in the middle of the web of drug using and supplying and the evidence I have read suggests that the USADA was right. His behaviour, on the other hand, does not seem to me to be one of someone totally clean and innocent.
|Lance Armstrong 1993|
|And again in 2009 - been working out|
I heard a pathetic interview with someone involved in professional cycling in Texas, Armstrong's home state. It was pathetic because it used the same tame excuses that Armstrong himself has made. He will continue to have his defenders but he will go to his grave knowing that his reputation is not for wonderful philanthropic things or defeating cancer (and I have seen one despicable comment on one website that we might not be able to accept all he says about his cancer), but for being the biggest sporting cheat so far uncovered.
The other hero was Neil Armstrong. To have made a contribution to history even more significant than peddling well (in more than one sense, Lance), Neil Armstrong was a duly modest man. I never met or saw him and can believe that he was driven and at times not a pleasant man to be with, though I have never actually heard such things. Of all the astronauts to have been chosen to be the first to stand on the surface of another planet/moon/asteroid/etc, he could not have been bettered. To have recognised that he owed it all to other people, that he was in the right place at the right time, etc, and to have consistently said so, that could give Lance Armstrong a severe lesson in how to be a better person. Perhaps to his family and friends, the cyclist is a wonderful person. I don't know that man. I just know the one who would not stick to the rules.
|Neil Armstrong, off duty (sort of) in 1969|