Adam Wakefield

Armstrong legend ends in betrayal

The old saying goes that if something is too good to be true, it often is. Before this year, Lance Armstrong represented the ultimate story of a man’s triumph over disease and himself as the Texan went on to win seven Tour de France titles, a record. While there were always whispers of drug use, the accepted wisdom especially from the media at large was that Armstrong was clean. Legends don’t come easy.

Sadly, the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s report on Armstrong released recently, labelling him as a serial cheat, has shown his legend to be just that, a myth generated by a career of doping and misinformation. A week after announcing it would stand by Armstrong (as it did when revelations of golfer Tiger Woods’ sexual antics came out), Nike decided to expunge their relationship with the American, the heaviest price Armstrong has paid thus far.

He also resigned as chairperson of his charity Livestrong, which helps people suffering from cancer. There is no doubt Armstrong’s name will soon be parodied as Woods was in an episode of South Park.

For all those who believed that Armstrong had accomplished the tremendous through hard work, dedication and determination, it’s a sharp wake-up call, which sadly has created more cynics in the cycling world — if all cycling fans weren’t cynics already considering their sport has been mired in drug-related scandals for years now.

The reported sophistication of Armstrong’s operation and the number of witnesses willing to tell the USADA that he was the ringmaster, reveals a man who would do whatever it took to win, choosing team-mates for their complicity rather than their skill as the number-one determining factor.

The Legend of Lance Armstrong has turned into Ultimate Betrayal (and Denial), as the man will now be forever haunted by his ill-gotten accomplishments. I almost feel sorry for him.

Almost.

2 Responses to “Armstrong legend ends in betrayal”

  1. Peter Marklew #

    Adam, hi
    The Armstrong story has intrigued me for year, not just recently when the revelations have been coming out. There is an extremely well written book called Bad Blood which convince me some time ago.
    In addition to the cheating, the worst part was his aggression and arrogance.
    I strongly believe he did it with the implicit knowledge of Hein Verbruggen, the UCI Chief.
    Armstrong, like no other, has raised the profile of cycling, and especially the Tour de France. Raising the profile include huge sums of cash flowing into the sport, their ultimate goal. He was a promotions dream. Did he do good for cancer, yes, but that for him/ them was a sideshow, it was all a calculated scheme to raise profiles to attract cash, for themselves. Millions of people who have no interest in cycling watch the TdF and buy the yellow band. It was always about the money.

    The only compeling argument I could put forward for his success was Professor Tim Noakes “central govener” theory which kind of explains that we have an in-built systemwhich tells us when we are tired, but that we do still have reserves in place. I thought that maybe, his struggles through his cancer and chemo treatment, his central govener wa able to “tell” him that he could go so much further than than the next person, hence his phenomenal success. In other words, maybe the extremeness of his treatment had given him some benefit.
    But even that was a stretch.
    Sadly, he like Tiger are “Its all about me” creatures…….

    October 20, 2012 at 8:42 am
  2. Derek #

    Can’t wait for his next book. The first two were awesome.

    “Sadly, he like Tiger are “Its all about me” creatures…….” Ja, reallity. We should all get on with our own lives. Why do we watch another person?Why the expectation…they owe us nothing.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:17 pm

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