So the word is out, from the man himself – yes – he cheated. Every year he won, he used banned substances to stay at the front. But other riders have, were and will try to stay at the front. Lance will forever be the biggest cheat to be ‘caught’, even though other riders throughout history have admitted doping (Coppi to name one) just not ‘caught’. I’m not justifying [t]his behaviour, he has already done that – we all make excuses to fit our belief system to justify our actions. But we have to be honest about the extent of doping, not just in cycling, but sport itself. Late last year I wrote a post hoping for a new day and a new era. I believe we are a step closer.
Although the road is long and for Lance it really is. The verdict from just about everyone is damning, some of the saddest parts of his road to success and subsequent ruin is the people in his life that stood up to him and got smashed out of the way. Did he act alone? It just can’t be can it? He had a huge support system of doctors, team staff, lawyers and other riders who shared the same view. The whole thing was rotten from the top to the bottom from the core out. This kind of support system needs to be stripped out and throughly replaced (within teams and rider management). But ignoring the past isn’t going to work. Ignoring Lance isn’t going to work. We have two choices, we can accept what happened, or not accept. We can accept the sordid past or believe the myths (not just Lance). So many GC riders have tested positive at some point in their career, it can hardly be said that Lance is something new, the only new thing is the seven wins. The damage was there before Lance, he just proved it beyond a doubt.
Maybe the bigger problem is the racing? Something else isn’t right and it’s being ignored, there is a bigger picture of tradition that dictates the action and that of the riders trying to keep up. It doesn’t work. It’s too brutal there are no super heroes just well trained athletes that can’t keep going, the stress, the pressure, the fame, the money – you can’t do that to humans and not expect a bad result. It might not end so badly for some, at least those that walk away, but also those who are not ‘caught’. Lance knows what he needs to do. It should be done by him at all costs and everyone and everything named. It has to end.