Thursday, January 17, 2013

I wanted to believe...

Like Fox Mulder, I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe that someone like Lance existed. He was able to do what no other cyclist has ever been able to do - make Americans give a sh** about the Tour De France. He won the damn thing seven times.

I always thought he was an arrogant bastard but he kind of earned it, and I was OK with that. It was only after I became a cyclist myself and read his book “It’s not about the bike” did I begin to really respect him as an athlete. Despite multiple doping allegations over the years he never tested positive. I recently found out that was not entirely true. His samples were back tested a few years ago with better testing methods and were found to be strongly EPO positive but I guess there was not enough of the sample left for independent verification.

This article was extremely eye opening

I was excited for the sport of triathlon when Lance decided to return to the sport. He competed in triathlons long before he was a world famous cyclist. His fame would bring more attention and money to the sport and it made things exciting. Amateurs like me could race alongside someone like Lance. That was amazing to me. When the WTC denied him the chance to compete in Ironman I was truly disappointed. He was under suspicion of doping in cycling, never proven, and therefore could not compete in triathlon. That made no sense to me. I am not sure how I feel about his future now that it is clear he will admit tonight to doing what everyone else did to win. Do I hate the fact that he doped? Yes, but everyone else did. What I really hate is that I truly thought he earned that piousness. That he really was clean and everyone else was a naysayer. I wanted to believe that he truly was the greatest cyclist of this generation (maybe of all time) and that he did it without doping. The cancer comeback made it an even better story. The line from his book about not wanting to put any more chemicals in his body after chemo was such crap. And I bought it – hook, line and sinker. That’s what I hate the most. You made a sucker out of me!

Should he be able to compete now that he has come clean? I don’t know. He obviously can’t be trusted so he would have to be tested over and over again. Does Triathlon need to deal with that crap? Is it fair to all the pros that have earned their titles without doping? Probably not. He is still an incredible athlete but I think he needs to cry at home in his piles of money and leave the competition to the rest of us.