Thursday, October 25, 2012

What is wrong with Armstrong?

Lance Armstrong is (was?) the most successful cyclist in modern sporting history. But soon after the US Anti-Doping Agency showed how he and his team "ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen" (here), Nike terminated his contract (here), he was forced to step down as chairman of his Livestrong charity (here), and he is said to "a cheating bastard..." among other epithets (here).
Now, we are talking about cycling and doping. Of 21 podium finishers in the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005, 20 were directly linked to doping (here). We are talking about competitive team sports, where it is acceptable to do things you are not supposed to do when you play alone or with your friends. There is room for both a defense of doping and a defense of cheating in professional team sports. There is no room, though, for lying. And that should be the main charge to Mr. Armstrong.