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    Posted January 15, 2013 by
    Waco, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Lance Armstrong speaks out

    No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

    In October Lance Armstong lost a lot of things. He was stripped of his Tour de France titles, banned from competing in the sanctioned triathalon events where he had hoped to continue his illustrious career and detached from the Livestrong Foundation, which he founded. Even after all of the fighting and giving Armstrong has done, he is still being looked at as a cheater. I don’t think it’s right. Growing up, watching Armstrong’s career. When he would win the Tour de France, it would not necessarily be as exciting as my favorite team winning the World Series, but it gave me enough of a reason to wear a ‘Livestrong Band’ in honor of Armstrong and his great foundation.
    Over the past two months the seven--time Tour de France winner ended his battle against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, after repeatedly denying the allegations of abusing illegal substances. He claimed that in his lawsuit the USADA lacked jurisdiction and its arbitration process violated his constitutional rights. He wrote, “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough,’” ... “For me, that time is now. ”
    As a teenager, it is hard to comprehend why people do the things they do. Inexperience is a huge factor in my life, but learning from the mistakes I make and doing the right thing is also extremely difficult. It is a person’s choice to make good decisions. But in Lance Armstrong’s case, I really do not think it is fair to judge a man who has fought so hard. When sports fanatics hear that athletes have used performance-enhancing drugs, they have a pretty good idea of what it means. For those who don’t: Blood doping is the practice of boosting the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream in order to enhance athletic performance. Because such blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the muscles, a higher concentration in the blood can improve an athlete’s aerobic capacity and endurance (realgm.com). And it’s wrong. But even if Armstrong injected his pulsing veins with a solution of heroine and anabolic steroids before every race, his philanthropic efforts still must be acknowledged. Cancer is one of the scariest, most deadly, yet common diseases in the world. According to Cancer.org, only 67 percent of the people diagnosed with the malicious sickness will survive. Armstrong won that battle though; he persevered through months and months of chemotherapy and fought as hard as he could to get back on his bike. Once Lance was finished competing, he began raising money. Alongside his foundation, Armstrong has raised more than $475 million to educate cancer patients and doctors. Making money has never been Armstrong’s main goal. His main goal is winning battles and helping find a cure for cancer. After losing endorsements with top companies like Nike, Oakley, Trek bicycles, Giro helmets and 24-Hour Fitness, Armstrong is estimated to lose $50 million in revenue that some might think he would pocket, but in reality it is $50 million that will not be put to good use for cancer research.

    Lance Armstrong lies in his hospital bed thinking about
    the day he will be back on his bike. Photo By: Getty Images
    Now, record books might as well be written with a pencil because we are seeing more and more athletes’ names erased for cheating and taking shortcuts. If Armstrong did cheat, let them wipe his name out of the books. And there would be no point of trying to take all of his prize money because he has practically given all of it to his foundation. ESPN’s Rick Reilly wrote in a recent article, “They might be able to ban him for life, but they can’t ban him from life.” As the years pass, not many people will look back at the record books to see if Armstrong’s name is there with all of his records and first-place finishes. The thing they will want to see is an alliance continuing to try to find the cure for cancer and the smiles on cancer patients’ faces once they beat the terrible disease. Lance Armstrong is finished arguing about his doping. But because of his efforts, millions of people will continue to be inspired to dig in and help find the cure for cancer.
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