- Posted October 21, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Lance Armstrong speaks out
Health warning! Livestrong bracelets turn out to be made of chemicals
To say I'm utterly shocked and totally disappointed would be an understatement. Turning 50 next year and representing GB in my age group in Triathlon for the last ten years, Lance has been my major inspiration and is my living legend. Over the last five years I have constantly fought his corner, explaining patiently to the cynics that there was no way Lance had been doping or ever would dope.
He won his seven Tour de France titles because he and his team were the most professional in the peleton. He was Mr Millimetre for goodness sake, every detail, every piece of the jigsaw was analysed and perfected. He had a whole team built around him. Whereas many of the other leading teams in the Tour de France often had too many Chiefs and not enough Indians, Lance was backed up by a stella entourage of the best in cycling, some designated to help him pull on the flats and some to help in climb through the mountains.
He was also one of those rare freaks of nature in any sport. Blessed with huge lungs and heart and a VO2 level that only the greats in any sport could match, such as Miguel Indurain and Eddy Merckx in cycling.
And the most telling of all the reasons why he was greater than all the other greats in cycling. He had attitude. No one since Jacques Anquetil had ridden with such ferociousness or so many chips on his shoulders, and it was the sad and sorry tale of his childhood in the back streets of the poor suburbs of Dallas, Texas, told so elequently in his books that proved where it came from.
This for me was always the clincher. This was his rocket fuel and together with a great coach in Johan Bruyneel, and fantastic funding by the US Postal Service, they were unbeatable. If I needed any extra proof that he'd never cheat, he gave it to me in his books, It's Not About The Bike and Every Second Counts. Why would he, someone who had nearly died from Cancer, and had had drugs pumped into him that came within a needles width of killing him, want to put drugs that could kill him, back into his body.
Well, of course now I, like the rest of the world know that that was all a great big Tour of a lie. In fact it was probably the abuse of drugs since 1996 that lead to his getting testicular cancer in the first place, as the use of HGH and some of the testosterone drugs he was using are a cause of this type of cancer.
The accounts that witnesses have now given of his clear admissions to the medics in his hospital bedroom of the use of the full range of banned drugs in international sport, make it highly questionable that his desire to go back to those very same hospitals and bestow large sums of money on them through what appear to be the most altruistic of ideals, look now little more than covering his tracks.
So that is why four days ago my precious Livestrong wristband went in the bin. Oh and by the way, you will see it is replaced by my Tour de France wrist bracelet.
No I'm not a sucker for punishment. Surprising or mad as it may seem, I do have faith and believe in this institution. This year more than ever before, many of the top riders raced clean, you only had to witness the completely different type of race to 'normal' or at least the last thirty years up to 2010, to see how much the sport is tidying up its own act. And as long as the powerful people at the top of the sport who have been knee deep in so much of the shame of the last three decades can be removed, this won't be just a clean flash in the pan, but will be a rebirth for the noble sport of cycling.