|Will Lance Armstrong's legacy live strong?|
|Written by Sam Isdale, Sports Columnist|
|Wednesday, 06 February 2013 20:18|
Everyone and anyone who keeps up with the news, and doesn’t live under a rock, has heard about the disappointing realities Lance Armstrong has revealed to the world. According to National Public Radio, the Department of Justice stated it will not be charging Armstrong after he admitted on Oprah that he had been using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) while participating in cycling competitions.
“We made a decision on that case a little over a year ago. Obviously, we’ve been well aware of the statements that have been made by Mr. Armstrong in other media reports. That does not change my view at this time,” André Birotte, a U.S. attorney based in Los Angeles, told Reuters on Tuesday.
Whether Lance Armstrong was going to face any charges or not, he has to live with his decisions, his doping and his humiliations the rest of his life. I can’t say I admire the fact he came “clean” about his past use with PEDs, but it may open doors for others to speak up as well.
He hasn’t exposed any names of other cyclists who were using the same drugs while he was, but maybe now these cyclists will feel the remorse and want to fess-up.
However, if other cyclists step forward on the issue, it may not mean much. Lance Armstrong was not just a name of an athlete; he was an inspiration to everyone. Athletes, average people and those battling cancer were eager to see what he was going to do next. Was he going to claim another Tour de France title? What would be the next event Livestrong would host? These questions are now irrelevant and Armstrong’s name will not show much association with any of them now.
During Oprah’s hour-long interview with Armstrong, he admitted to using PEDs such as erythropoietin (EPO) and other banned substances including testosterone, cortisone and human growth hormones. After his confessions of doping and the lies he admitted, he made another decision — to step down from Livestrong.
I’m not 100 percent sure I like the idea of this. I believe it’s a great organization and the face of the organization should be an honest person, but he did build it to what it has become today. NBC News said his reason to end his chairmanship was so the cancer-fighting charity can focus on its mission and not the doping accusations. This makes total sense to me, but if he can continue to support the cancer-fighting organization in a positive way by continuing to be involved, I think he should.
Not everyone in the sports industry may feel the same way I do about Armstrong continuing his involvement with the Livestrong organization, but I’m willing to bet they hold the same beliefs about his disappointments to the world.
ESPN acquired quite similar responses to his disclosures.
Professional tennis player Rodger Federer admitted his negative feelings about the incidents while he was at the Australian Open.
“What a sad story,” Federer told ESPN. “Obviously he’s hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning. But now the burden they live under, all other sports may be as well.”
Serena Williams also had something to say about what people may think about other renowned athletes.
“I think a lot of people now look and are like, ‘OK, if somebody (is) that great, what about everyone else in every other sport?’” Williams told ESPN.
I’ve never followed cycling and I’m not sure if I will ever really get into it, but when I think of the sport, Lance Armstrong pops into my head. I support the Livestrong foundation and even own some Livestrong apparel. When I would slip my gray and yellow jacket on I never thought much about it. Now, as I pull it out of my closet I think to myself, was it worth it? If a sport or competition is too hard to win without a drug, why do it?
It’s not something I understand right now and maybe if I got into cycling competitively, I would. I hope to see Lance Armstrong attempting to take steps in the right direction and speak out to advocate sports without the use of PEDs.