Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I was preparing for, and ultimately successfully, defending my PhD (humble brag).
Picking up from my last post, today the cycling world is reeling (is that a pun?) from Lance Armstrong’s decision to no longer contest the doping charges being levelled against him by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Armstrong’s decision to no longer pursue this fight, is being seen by many as an admission to guilt, and that the claims against him “have substance“. Because USADA is affiliated with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the decision to ban Armstrong and strip him of his records and wins, will be upheld internationally. This means his 7 Tour de France titles are gone, and likely his bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games will also be stripped.
In his statement, Armstrong likened the continued accusations against him to a “witch hunt”, and maintained his innocence, while attacking the system he deemed corrupt and unconstitutional. The fallout and impact of this decision on Armstrong’s legacy, and indeed his foundation, remains to be seen, but I can’t help but feel incredibly saddened by his decision to no longer fight. Granted, the odds may have been against him, and the financial burden of the continued legal fees was starting to take a toll, but Armstrong has proved, perhaps more than any other athlete, that you can come back and fight back from anything, and overcome the odds. To see a man known for his ability to fight back and his resilience, give up this fight, essentially pleading no contest to the charges against him, is sad. Both because of the seeming admission of guilt, but also to see this man defeated in a contest that he thought he couldn’t win is, well I don’t really have any better adjectives to describe it, sad.
- Lance Armstrong to lose seven Tour de France titles as he gives up doping charges fight (independent.co.uk)
- UCI asks USADA to explain case against Armstrong (metronews.ca)
- Lance Armstrong Faces Big Decision in Doping Case (abcnews.go.com)
- Armstrong won’t fight USADA charges (nbcsports.msnbc.com)