Is anyone else as nauseated as I am over this?
During the Olympics, we had a lot of discussions about--let us call it artificial enhancement of power--by athletes. Some posters offered the view that everyone who did well was taking something. I like to hope that's not true. But competitive long-distance cycling certainly seems to prove that jaundiced point.
There is so much that is incomprehensible to me. Most outstanding to me: it seems bizarre that a man who battled cancer would take anything that might alter his blood chemistry. Then there is the sheer stupidity of becoming that famous and expecting that you can keep anything secret. If you win a fiendishly grueling race seven times, more than anyone else in history, don't you think people will pay attention to every move you make? I gather they couldn't find any chemical evidence of any malfeasance by Armstrong. However, many people including teammates have testified against him. It sure doesn't look good for him.
I know that it's possible to cheat at almost anything, but there's not a lot that performance-enhancing drugs could realistically enhance in skating...maybe that's one reason I like our sport so much. Even male pair skaters can't get that muscle-bound, or they couldn't skate in unison with their wispy little partners. At least, I hope there's no incentive to do those terrible things.
But Armstrong's fall is a sad moment. It calls into question everything he's done before or since his bicycling career, including his cancer activism. And it sure makes the sport of cycling look bad. Didn't someone over on the Olympic thread comment that they can't take away the winners' medals, because the runners-up are also taking these substances?
Wicked Yankee Girl
I don't know just how it works - it was a US group that took away the medals, wasn't it, rather than the French group that runs the Tour de France?
Does he mail them back, or what does he need to do.
Yes, this is also bewildering to me. Does this group have the clout to (a) take the medals and (b) alter the official records?
There is also, I suppose, the possibility that Armstrong is innocent and has been railroaded....though that is looking less and less likely.
He has raised half a billion in cancer research monies. Lance went way beyond the bike, the races and they all dope, so finding the winner is impossible. Nike will stay with him. His activism is the real victim here as he did a lot. I can't say he is awful as all his peers had same advantage, yet he won 7 times. It is a tragedy for people who need the money he was channeling around. Sad day.
What's a shame is that most of the top finishers have been involved in drug accusations. The news showed a picture of the top finishers in all 7 races. In all those races, there was only 1 where a top finisher has not been accused of using performance enhancing drugs.
I don't know if he was being railroaded and just fed up with it or if he's guilty. It might be a mix of both
The line from cool runnings comes to mind. "A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you're not enough without it, you'll never be enough with it."
This is what haunts me. How can we ever know? After he's dead, even an autopsy wouldn't prove or disprove. It wouldn't matter for me, personally--my opinion can't sway the course of sport one way or another. But what can governing bodies do if a sport has been so contaminated by possibilities? And this is one of the sports that is most vulnerable to the possibility of performance-enhancing drugs, because of the unholy combination of speed and simply grueling distance and maintenance of effort--a weeks-long event at top speed and output. This and sprinting, I think, and possibly swimming, must be the worst sports in this regard.
Originally Posted by heyang
Toni, what you quoted about the gold medal; I concur. That was an extraordinary little film for truth, considering how modest it was. It's interesting that you and I have as our favorite skater one of the all-time greats, Kurt, and he never won an Olympic medal, and it doesn't matter. And that I add to it one other, Michelle, whose stature and quality on the ice and off also doesn't seem to have been diminished by "just" a silver and bronze. I know you're not a Michelle fan, but you'll agree that many people put Kurt at the top of men's skating in all of history (along with a few others like Yagudin) and Michelle at the top of women's (along with a few others). OGM, no OGM...big deal. There's a poetry to that, I think. We have that luxury because skating isn't just about physical records in terms of speed or height. I feel sorry that cycling, running, and so forth are such slaves to the time clock that temptation rears its ugly head.