Lance Armstrong still a legend? Well, that’s what a former team mate said when the scandal first broke, so as Armstrong finally admits to doping in a TV interview, let’s look further at the Armstrong legend…
Alex Dowsett used to ride with Armstrong, and when the scandal broke, he said that Armstrong was still a legend because he came back from cancer and won the Tour de France 7 times. He went on to say that the drugs issue ‘didn’t really matter.’
Dowsett has since clarified those remarks, saying he was talking about the legendary charity work that Armstrong had done, that when he said the drugs didn’t matter, he was talking about how anything someone like Dowsett said would not matter, rather than the drug taking itself.
I suspect that Dowsett put his foot straight in his mouth, and then shoved it in further, but let’s look at the legacy Armstrong now leaves…
It’s a legacy of tarnish, and mistrust, and shattered dreams of youngsters. I saw someone on facebook talk of all the hours of driving miles and miles to cheer for 30 seconds when Armstrong flashed by, that the hours were worth it for the inspiration.
That kind of ruined memory is what he’s left.
His apology has been met with much cynicism, coming as it does after years of indignant denials, and only coming when there seemed no other way. He also said that drug use felt no different to putting air in the tyres or water in his bottle – it was just part of the job.
That kind of attitude doesn’t really help much, does it?
I was reminded of Marion Jones. The multi Olympic winning sprinter also shouted loudly for years that she had never failed a drug test, and that the accusations against her were outrageous.
It was only when she was found to lie in court and went to jail that she admitted it.
During the years of Armstrong’s denial, I was torn between the possibility of him telling the truth, that Marion Jones was tainting things, or the possibility that Armstrong was doing the *same* as Jones.
We know now which it was, and Armstrong will now make it even harder to believe anyone in the future who makes loud denials.
Very depressing, and his integrity obviously got lost a long way back in the past, and that’s the choice made by sports people all over, but how about in any walk of life?
You can choose to ignore your ethics and integrity, to maybe make life easier, or to progress faster.
Or, you can choose to keep your integrity, to be proud of your ethics, operating within those limits even if it creates problems. At least looking in the mirror won’t be one of your problems.
No, Armstrong isn’t a legend. He’s a cheat, a fraud, who comes across as being sorry that he got caught rather than being sorry for what he did. It may seem easy to preach, but isn’t it so much better to push forward knowing you are acting with honesty, to yourself as well as to others?
Do let me know, I love your feedback!
‘Til Next Time,
P.S. You can grab my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’ at the rock bottom kindle price!
P.S. Here’s a far better sportsman to take inspiration from: ‘Goal Achievement – Fly LikeThe Eagle!