Doping Sneaky Cheats.
Sneaky Cheating Dopers.
<sigh> Race cycling ain’t all like that.
So far, Mr Armstrong’s story hasn’t got a look in on this site. There hasn’t been any point really. I can barely turn on the TV, tune in the radio, fire up a website or pass somebody in the street whilst wearing my cycling kit, without the ‘D’ word being mentioned. It is completely tiresome. For the record, I’ve never read or invested in one of Armstrong’s books. At no point did I think he was a clean cyclist and sadly he turned out to be the dirtiest of them all. He lied and bullied his way to the top. He used strong-arm tactics to stay there. And now – like the effects of Icarus‘ deadly overambition– is plummeting in flames.
Its a sad spectacle on so many levels. Off the back of his astounding recovery from testicular cancer (of which there is no debate), Armstong used his profile to create a successful and worthwhile charity in ‘Live strong’ (Try naming a few other high profile sportsmen who had the same impact).He was – no doubt – part of the reason for the sport’s millennial ascendency (how many US postal or Discovery jerseys adorned cyclists in the early noughties?). In recent years, this foundation has been successfully built upon and the sport’s profile has never been better. Once again the peloton grips the popular imagination. In the UK, cyclists are household names. They win plaudits. Races. Unlikely gongs (A cyclist has been sports personality of the year twice in the last three years). Sadly Armstong’s ‘outing’ tars the sport with an extremely dirty brush. But you know what? I’m very, very glad. At last, we have ended years and years (and YEARS) of speculation. It is now plain to potential cheats everywhere what the ramifications might be. Aside from being stripped of his sporting legacy, Armstrong now faces legal charges, demands for the return of sponsorship money/ winnings and the complete annihilation of his reputation. The next few years will be hell, after which he will no doubt emerge with a pious new book (‘It’s time to tell the truth’, ‘It was all about the drugs’, ‘Don’t listen the the Verve – the drugs DO work’ etc. etc.), a new cause to champion (‘Drugs Outta Peloton Efforts’ or ‘DOPE’) a hectic round of chat show appearances and £10k bookings for after dinner speaking. In the meantime………oh boy.
So great news. The USADA got him, outing the biggest cheat the sport has known and proving what many of us suspected. But please, for the sake of future talent, the current crop of cyclists, sports fans and cycling as a whole, lets not give Armstrong any more of our time and energy than he has robbed us of already.
Now let’s talk about nice cycling things…..