“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling,” McQuaid said at a news conference. “This is a landmark day for cycling.”
Well, if by “landmark day” you mean the day a bunch of hypocritical asshats acted holier-than-thou and took a huge dump all over the legacy of their sport’s biggest living star, you’re spot on.
Lance Armstrong has never tested positive for doping, not a single questionable urine sample was found during his entire cycling career. Yet, there are several reasons to believe he has used some performance-enhancing substances. Most notably, that during his prime, the practice was so widespread in the sport that it was practically impossible to achieve winning results without going along with it. This was of course a serious problem, and degraded the image of the sport in the eye of the general public, made lying and dishonesty standard practice and caused tons of grief as well among both fans and professionals. The fact that the cycling agencies and organizational committee of the Tour de France have managed to clean up their thoroughly corrupted sport is commendable, and took serious effort.
Which made it all the more concerning for them that right at the time people were starting to regain their trust in the Tour and the sport as a whole, revelations about the most prominent, successful and famous living cyclist sprang up, causing a public relations nightmare, setting their work (in the eyes of fans and even more so in those of the general audience) back for years, reaffirming everybody’s belief that cycling is sport practiced by animated vats of chemicals melded to muscle tissue, grown in laboratories, then mashed into a human shape and put on a bike for the world to marvel at. They might as well start wearing sponsoring by Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.
What’s important to remember though, is that the evidence against Lance does not consist of positive drug tests, but testimonies by former teammates all engaging in the exact same practices the UCI and USADA so vehemently oppose and accuse him of. In exchange for their testimonies against Lance Armstrong, none of them are getting punished.
So the reason Lance is getting treated like he was a Nazi hiding in Argentina? He was cycling during a dark time in his sport, and out of all these guys buckling under the pressure to corrupt themselves, he was still the best cyclist. Now all these hypocrites, both on bikes and in the unions, are saving their own asses and paychecks by letting the greatest of them take the fall. They are the ones who don’t deserve a place in cycling.
Lance his legend might be tainted, but he is still a legend.
Source: The Guardian