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If Armstrong Doped, What Was it Worth?
Things aren’t looking good for Lance Armstrong. The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) banned a trainer and two doctors associated with Lance Armstrong for life today in a precursor to what may be a landmark decision regarding Armstrong’s continued eligibility.
So, if the answer is that Lance DID dope, I think the question should be, “Was it worth it?”
In a field of cyclists who were basically all doping, Armstrong was at the top. For seven straight years he dominated the Tour de France like nobody has or probably ever will. Will all of Roger Clemens’ pitching records be stripped because he used performance-enhancing drugs during the steroid era? But I’m getting off-topic.
If all of Armstrong’s records fall, it was probably worth it. It has to be. If the price of winning 7 Tours de France and having the pulpit from which to grow the Lance Armstrong Foundation is to have those titles stripped later on, don’t the ends justify the means?
Millions of dollars for programs for people affected by cancer. Millions of people inspired by Lance’s story of survival. Are those people any less alive now that it comes out that Lance probably doped? Will the support for cancer survivors have been undone?
For a man who looked death in the face, I would imagine the ends justified the means.
In a sport where everyone was cheating, Lance Armstrong probably did too. And it helped him to do immeasurable good for the field of cancer research.
And while fair play in sports is something I think is REALLY REALLY REALLY important, I think that, for Lance (IF HE DID DOPE) the resulting contribution to cancer awareness surely justified doping at a time when “everyone was doing it.” If that’s how this thing goes down, he’ll have to live with that. And I think I’ll be good with it.