Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Calamity Jane, Jan 18, 2013.
What do you think about the whole situation?
He's become the public face of a major problem...
They have to make him a pariah, because to do anything else would be outrageous.
The scary part to me is...
In general, this IS professional sports. ALL of it.
Anything that involves that much money is corrupt, from top to bottom.
So I'm not surprised.
I am more than ticked off at the way the sports community has laid into him. I think they are more than a bunch of hypocrites and probably will never watch another cycling event again. The Olympics will never have the allure for me and I will only watch the actual events I really like such as gymnastics and ice skating. I will never again watch it from start to finish nor be interested in how many medals we win. In fact I hope we come in tenth place. To strip him of titles is stupid. The man conquered cancer and still road for heavens sake. Leave him the hell alone. Let those without sin cast the first stone.
For some reason this story has always intrigued me. I suppose its because hypocrisy never sits well with me, and I've found this entire thing very hypocritical. I should be clear that obviously I don't agree with the lies he made for so many years to protect his doping. Nor is it okay how he slammed publicly those who spoke about his doping over the years. Having said that, the bigger issue to me is the hypocrisy of the sporting industry (and it is a industry through and through) as well as even the hypocrisy of those who testified in different forums about his doping since most/many of those person themselves doped. The fact is, that unfortunately there is a culture that begins to surround pro athletes when they get to this level. It is a marketing stroke of genius that makes many a corporation millions and even hundreds of millions of dollars in the lifetime of the "sports greats". As soon as that type of money is involved, pressure ensues on the athlete, their entire team, their managers and coaches. The fact has long been known that many sports have had doping issues with their athletes. First it was steroids, then it morphed into these other forms of improving performance in ways which violated bans on them. From a public point of view, I am sure most viewers/fans wish that athletes would ALL just compete on their natural talents, without aid of any banned practice. There was a statement made by Lance about him at the time feeling he was "leveling the playing field". It is exactly what I always have thought, not just for him but for ALL athletes in high levels of sports that have doping problems. If your competitors are doping, they have a leg up. When your sponsors insist upon and promote win at all costs, and your competitors and even team mates dope, it seems sort of standard to me that most athletes end up with the "can't beat em so join em" attitude. It's probably pretty clear to us average joes that a culture like that isn't healthy, and I think it's probably even not much argued that indeed athletes at that level of fame and competition probably do develop large egos and huge competitive demands that they place on themselves to be the best at any cost etc. Sadly, even if that cost is doing as the competition next to you is doing, which has been doping. The irony and the hypocrisy is very apparent to me that those testifying against him also participated in doping. Yes, they came clean, after the fact, during the investigation into Lance. How nice to come clean, take a ban on competing for a period of time, and get no public backlash for YOUR doping, so long as you participate in taking down the "great" Lance. They were all no better nor any worse than Lance in terms of doping, hiding it, beating drug tests, lying if questioned about it, and not feeling guilt at the time of offense because it was what everyone was doing and it WAS seen (wrongly of course) as leveling the playing field, thereby, justifying the acts.
To me, Lance was just the big "Face" of the cycling industry. He was also the one with the campaign to expose him so publicly and hang him to dry, which must have been very hard to swallow when his teammates and competition all THEN admitted THEIR doping and were applauded for THEN coming clean. Meanwhile, everyone wanted his head on a stake. I don't see his offenses as ANY worse than all of the rest. They were all wrong. He just was in the position to have to deny it more publicly, make more enemies by claiming they were lying to protect himself. Well I don't agree with the lying obviously. I also though can see how he probably had a huge inner conflict. Knowing he was wrong wrong wrong in denials and in labeling those who spoke about his doping as liars. At the same time, those persons gained protection from any real public ridicule and did not have as much to lose for outing him as he had to lose (Think Livestrong) as Lance did. Even if he did as they did, admitted, took his punishments, sponsors aren't suing the rest for return of their investments and endorsements. The others weren't facing the public backlash to Livestrong which is a wonderful, amazing organization and would be so damaged by him admitting the truth of his history of doping.
I can't exactly "Justify" his lies, his arrogant appearing denials, his horrible treatment of those who spoke about his doping. It isn't justifiable. I know I couldn't do it to others. Yet I think there is a difference between knowing something was wrong and not condoning it, but being able to see how this all must have been extremely difficult to navigate and more so for someone with such a public entity.
I also think on a different note, that since ALL were doping at the level he was it, it probably did (Even though it was wrong) level the playing field because ALL were doping. Likely if all had NOT doped, that their skills/talents would have remained on the same scale. Likely he could have won his tours etc honestly without doping, if he wasn't competing against others of his caliber that were doping. Maybe not of course, in which case oh well. The fact is, that wasn't an option for anybody at that level. Doping was happening at that level long before Lance hit the scene at that level, was deeply entrenched and frankly Nike and all sponsors, coaches, managers, ALL involved were ALL aware that they ALL were doping. Lance is a great public whipping boy. I've seen nobody else whipped like this despite them all doing it.
He should be banned. So should all of the rest. The fact is, regardless of this, absolutely the doping game continues in the sport and all the parties lashing him are well aware and promoting the continued practice, while publicly lashing out about the practice. It's a messed up world. His tour winner titles being stripped is fair, as I believe also all of those years competitors who placed highly should be stripped, most have admitted their doping, some have been stripped. Returning money? No way, not one of them should be made to. Everyone involved made bank on these athletes, most especially massive amounts from Lance's performances. They all knew doping was going on, it was quite public for so many years despite denials but it isn't exactly an industry secret anyhow. They paid endorsements etc knowing this and chose to ignore it. They profited for years and years off it. Sure Lance did too. As did the other athletes involved. I hope if he is sued that the jurors realize that the corporations with the billions invested in these athletes WANT the doping, WANT the mega athletes with mega feats like Lance, and pay heavily in order to profit heavily. If THAT stopped, doping wouldn't be such a huge culture and might just return to sportsmanship. Those corporations in fact should be sued for their profits at the hands of their encouragement behind the scenes of win at all costs, lie about doping at all costs, so long as the athletes win and can make those companies hundreds of millions in profits for their investors.
I do hope Lance just quietly goes back to living a regular guys life. He is the face of the scandal, but he isn't the only face. All were as wrong as he was. He came to the admission table later than the rest, and he has to live with that as does Livestrong. I hope he just lets go and relearns how to be a regular guy, a husband, a father, without competition. With nothing to prove but to himself and his family. Without ego, arrogance, and with some humility and a bit of humble pie. He made huge mistakes. Many do including us, just not so publicly really with so much to lose.
Funny, I never have watched a single cycling event but the entire mess with the cycling/doping thing always struck me as hypocrisy and ludicrous so I tend to pay attention to the news on the topic. I don't even know a thing about him except his fame, his wins, his cancer story.
Whatever he chooses for his future, I do hope that Livestrong survives this and goes on to continue to do great things and spread information and hope and inspiration without him. There is something just inspiring on a scale never known before Livestrong about the rise of the organization and the passion it inspires for cancer survivors and their families. We have enough ugly in the world, something doing such good for our world is important and invaluable.
I'm disgusted with the whole thing. The fact that he doped, then lied, then destroyed lives to protect his own lies... but really, to me, it all starts with the doping. Don't tell me what a great competitor you are when you have to dope to "level the field." Don't tell me the gazillions of dollars you earned because you doped/won aren't essentially stolen from your sponsors.
And his whole Live Strong campaign may have its roots in his lies. In my mind, I can't help but wonder whether his doping led to his cancer. What's utterly astonishing is that he continued doping afterwards. The man's priorities are completely out of whack.
husband has a very different take (big surprise there). He says all cyclists dope, and in fact in his opinion, most athletes dope. While I did get him to admit it's wrong, he maintains that if you have to dope in order to compete against other dopers, so be it.
My take is what is the point? It's dishonest, it's cheating, it's dishonorable, and ... if you dope, you're not competing, your pharmacist/dealer is. We put these athletes on such pedestals when, for all we know, they really are just so morally corrupt.
I hold these guys and gals to a very strict moral standard - they make millions of dollars and are fawned over by the public - they darn well better deserve it. Yes, they work really really hard to maximize the physical gifts they have, and more power to them. But behave like decent human beings and show some appreciation and humility for the extremely gifted life you lead. Don't befoul it with- bad behavior and cheating - it reflects poorly on all athletes and in my humble opinion when you are found out to have doped, it negates any skill/talent/gift/hard work you may have had in the first place.
on the other hand - if doping is as rampant as husband seems to think it is, let's quit keeping record books and for darn sure, let's get these guys off the Wheaties box. Let's quit paying them millions of dollars for their cheating prowess. Why on *earth* do we want to idolize cheaters and liars?
You look at Michael Jordan, Ozzie Smith, Hank Aaron... all the *truly* gifted and talented athletes of old, and then you throw in Daryl Strawberry, Michael Vick, Lance Armstrong, Jose Canseco, and the other athletes who will be more remembered for their bad behavior... it just leaves a terrible taste in my mouth and dishonors the guys and gals who really *do* deserve the accolades.
I'm with slsh on this. There is nothing noble about anyone who dopes up. They are role models for our kids, whether they want to be or not and our children watch what they do. On the basesball front, I was glad that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemons (who I tagged as a doper way before anyone would dare to believe me) were kept out of the HOF. They aren't fit to walk on the same sidewalks as Michael Jordan and Hank Aaron.
However, I'll keep Michael Vick aka Michel Sick in his own category. Doping isn't as bad as dog fighting and electrocuting and torturing man's best friend...they probably loved him until he killed them. And what about the athlete that killed his girlfriend and then himself? Are we supposed to feel sorry for him? They acted like he was a tragic guy rather than a murderer who also killed himself so his girlfriend's family could never see justice done.
Athletes were never perfect, but they used to be on a good persona at least for the kids. Now they don't even try. Lance Armstrong is suffering from his own self-made problems.
I think it's self-serving, and he can't stand not being in the limelight. I'm sorry, but what kind of POS lets his kid defend him for years online and in person and then has the nerve to say, "Well I deserve punishment, not the death penalty." You, sir, deserve to be forgotten.
On a personal note, I know that you all know that I have Muscular Dystrophy. It's a genetic disease and I've had it all of my life. I had to quit work when it became obvious that every time I had to go down the hall to the copy room it was something that I really had to think out, because I was not going to have the energy to do it more than that one time, or maybe I was already out of the energy to do it and making that trip made me want to cry. If I forgot something I needed or the stapler was out of staples, it was even worse. Now it's to the point where not only is every trip across my house carefully planned to ensure that I have at least four things to do along the way so that no step is wasted, there are times that I just have to not do things for hours because my legs are that weak. I'm tired of doctors asking me why I'm not using a walker yet. I don't want to, OK?
As for Lance Armstrong, not only did he cheat, he made himself into a muscle growing machine with no eye to helping anyone else. What could the scientific community have learned from him if they had been paying attention to his doses and his levels of exercise and the formulas that he was using. He's a selfish git, and I don't care if the world thinks it makes good gossip, he should be forgotten.
His victories, to me anyway, always seemed like a giant "F-You" - he NEVER seemed happy or at peace. Go figure.
To be honest? I dunno why the public even bothers to get upset. This IS professional sports, regardless of the sport involved. Should it be that way? Nope. But once participants in sports began making those enormous salaries, it pretty much opened the door to this sort of thing. Greed is more powerful than any drug, winning can come in a close 2nd. Now that I think about it.......this is now trickling down to college level and lower sports as well.
Nope. This doesn't surprise me, doesn't even bother me. Some sport player wants to hype themselves up on steriods or whatever..........well, karma will catch up to them rather quickly. Then they'll get to spend the rest of their lives (if they're lucky) deciding if it was really worth it or not. But the public trying to pretend that most of them aren't doing the same thing are fooling themselves because they are and have been for several decades. He just got caught. Like others before him were caught.
What about the college dude that pretended he had a girlfriend who died of cancer? Now that is a new low, even for sports, I do believe. And now he's bold enough to try to deny he didn't know he'd made her up. He claimed to have spent hours with this made up person, they were "tight" or "close" and were planning to be married. Now he claims it was an online romance.........Sorry, not buying it. He did it for attention and to make himself look like some brave soul playing in spite of his "grief". Well, he's got more attention than he bargained for now, doesn't he. Careful what you wish for.
I stopped following sports ages ago when I realized this sort of thing was the new norm. I prefer to watch little kids play sports instead. Although if they keep up with this "everyone is a winner" attitude that is so utterly stupid I might stop with that as well.
I'm torn with this. On the other hand it feels quite hypocrite to pick one athlete when his whole sport is so thoroughly doped (same with many other endurance sports.) On the other hand one can not but wonder the cancer and sudden heart attacks with athletes especially in sports and countries you know they are using (there has been a lot of latter in soccer across the Europe lately.) Anti-doping practises are also so different from country to country that competition is far from fair. For example many pro sports in USA have none to very superficial doping control. For example it is joke around here that when a hockey player from Europe moves to NHL/AHL they gain 20 pounds of muscle and inch of chin in one summer. And that is because in North America they don't have to worry doping control like for example in Sweden. Then again doping is not doing the work for anyone, mostly it just makes it possible to train harder without body getting over exhausted. So also the doping users have to do the work.
My sons are in competitive sports, difficult child already in low pro level. I do know he isn't using anything now and he is tested quite frequently. And in what he does extreme endurance or strength is not that important so he is less prone to doping even if he someday ends up somewhere, there risk of getting caught would be smaller. For his sport the biggest advantage would be shorter recovery times and ability to play more without exhaustion and risk for injury that brings. But it's not like in endurance sports (like cycling) there you simple are not competitive without same doping as others are taking.
Of course not all drugs used for doping are things that would feel especially harmful. For example stimulants are doping and they are doping my kid would had a hard time getting clearance even if he could show clear medical need and long-time us from childhood. (An athlete can get a clearance for any not allowed drug if there is a medical need and it doesn't give them advantage to healthy athletes.) Some of the most commonly used doping in world of pro team sports are very common allergy or asthma medicine for example. So many of us are in fact using substances that would get an athlete into a trouble.
Yes, it is professional sports. But it truly saddens me.
The whole thing ... the idea of someone who is an outstanding athelete, and pushes themselves and wins ... where's the sportsmanship, the self-direction, the initiative? Not there. At all. It's like an era has passed. For all sports.
I was talking to some friends the other day, and said something about gymnastics, and they laughed and said, "Yeah, like the Eastern Bloc countries don't do anything like that. 18-yr-olds who remain forever 13?" Sigh.
Personally I am much more angry at Michael Vick. He should never have been allowed back into the NFL. And he has now lobbied to be allowed to get a dog for his sons! I think they let him. And there are a bunch of other stupid players...one is playing right now Randy Moss...he mooned the crowd somewhere. Why is he still playing? Can we say idiot? And Ocho Cinco. He isnt playing right now because he got traded to the Dolphins and got in trouble for so many things pre-season they kicked him off the team. But what kind of fool changes their name to a number in spanish? Glad he got canned. Then of course the Cowboys...America's Team...they have a whole host of problems. One of their players gets arrested for beating up his mother...oh nice...but yet they played him all year. Nice on ya Cowboys. Lets give mother beaters a pass. Wouldnt want to infringe on his salary now would we? Then of course there was their linebacker or some such player who forgot the league rules and drove drunk and killed his team mate. All he had to do was call for the team limo to come pick them up. Didnt even have to call a taxi like regular folks. No the teams have it all set up so that if players go out and get too drunk to drive home, all they have to do is call a number and they send a car to pick up the players and their cars and all is well. No problems. Why cant they follow that rule? Seems simple to me. And dont even get me started on SaintsGate. Yeah, lets tell all the defensive players that they will get paid extra if they hurt other teams players. Pay for pain. Good idea. Pay more for injuries. Oh better idea. Then the team doctor goes and gives the trainer a bunch of pain pills to hand out willy nilly as he sees fit. Lovely, drug dealing at the highest level. Did ya ever wonder why you didnt see the normal head coach of the Saints this year? He was suspended for the year. Idiots. They did their very best to kill Favre. I hate the very idea of Pay for Pain. That is not the idea behind Pro Football.
There are some really good players out there, dont get me wrong. I love the NFL.
I love NASCAR. I know some people only watch it for the wrecks. That is not me. I love the whole thing. The wrecks scare the heck out of me. I am so glad that they have come up with better and better safety inventions. I dont mind the rivalry between the drivers. That adds to the fun of it all. If the drivers get out of their cars and go head to head with all that gear on they cant hurt each other. Heck they probably cant hear each other.
Ya know, come to think of it, I have only heard of one time in NASCAR when a driver got in trouble for substances in his system and he was suspended for quite awhile. I dont think he is even driving anymore. Good teams dont like to deal with things like that because they have too many good drivers to pick from. They would have to be incredibly stupid to blow a chance in NASCAR.
I always believed he doped. How does someone have cancer and then come back and win 7 Tour de Frances?
His "confession" reminded me of when I confronted my H about his cheating. He said "I'm sorry you feel hurt" rather than I'm sorry I hurt you. To me, Armstong was acting like it was everyone else's problem that they were upset over his doping, just like it was MY problem that I was upset about my H sleeping with trash. As for his kids, I hope they learn from his mistakes/poor choices and don't go down his road.
Coming on the heels of there being no inductees to the baseball hall of fame this year, maybe playing honestly will come back into style... A girl can dream, can't she?
I was bothered to learn he was such a bully. Then he laughed about that fact during Oprah's interview. If he were sorry, he would publicly acknowlede the people he wronged, not generally say he was a bully and laugh.
I do think he has become a hero in the cancer community. He rode his bike in a Livestrong race I was in a few years ago. He really has done a lot to help cancer patients. I guess the good he has done outweighs the doping in my mind.
First it is professional sports. Second the Europeans and especially cycling has a long history of doping. If he had to make it then he had to use drug. If you look at the people he competed against it is difficult - very difficult to find a clean rider among top 10. And we are talking the entire 7 years he won the Tour. Different names but all have later been caught cheating.
In my husbands firm we had an Italian guy working there for some years. He participated in something called Gran Fondo where non-professional riders race against each other. Even many of the non-professional riders used drug when the races were held in Europe. It was about 10 years ago and it could have been changed today. But it told me that doping is so widespread in cycling that it was not something my child should be involved in. At our daughters high school we had problems enough with the soccer team. There were rumors and in the end the school decided to pull the team quietly blaming the economy to shut a possible scandal down.
So I dont care whether Lance Armstrong was doped or not. I am concern with the fact that he broke up with his wife. It tells me something about his character. I hope that he is forgotten and the some of the roads which were converted into bike lanes due to his activism will be converted back because the traffic is slowed down due to the limited space.
Some of us never cared much about Lance to begin with. Until his doping scandal, I barely knew who he was. May he recede back into obscurity.
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