Fred sent us a message, under Betsy Andreu’s great article on LA and his ‘Tour of Redemption’ – a phrase that you may have noticed popping up all over the place since she coined it.
anyway, Fred writes:
“Jesus, you sound like a Tea party, it’s just sports! This happens every hour, every day in business, in banking, in politics, in the army, in almost every gym, 24/7, he did it, got banned, just forget about him, do not keep the flame burning, let him slide in to ambliviance!”
ok, not sure what ‘ambliviance’ is but if it’s anything like an ‘ambulance’ i’d happily let LA slip into it.
but the thing is Fred, is that LA is NOT slipping anywhere. Betsy, me, all the people who still have to go banging on about this sociopath have to do so because others keep letting him back in. you see?
CyclingNews and Darren Benson did it. Emma O’Reilly did it. Cristophe f&*%#@g Bassons did it.
he’s riding in events wearing a Mellow Johnny jersey with World Champion rainbow sleeves. he’s saying ‘well do i deserve the death penalty?’ and boo hooing to anyone that’ll listen. and he’s complaining about being financially crippled.
and no, we’re not just ‘picking on’ LA. get Levi out too, George, Hesjedal, the lot.
if it wasn’t for Betsy and others now pointing out the hypocrisy of LA, the selfishness, the madness, and the fact that this is indeed very much a Tour of Redemption – then where would the counter balance be? you’d just have LA using his still-massive media influence to contaminate the minds of people who lack the faculty necessary to think beyond the daily shopping list and what’s on tv tonight, into thinking ‘gee ya know what? that Armstrong cancer guy ain’t too bad after all…’
here’s something i wrote earlier in the year that i think is pertinent now (written before MacQuaid was deposed, in April):
…regarding Lance Armstrong: it’s not about crucifying, what happened to him was not the result of a bunch of goodie-two-shoes whingeing and whining and gleefully getting their way in the end, not at all. it’s about penalising those who break the rules and – and this is so critical to the future of racing – about stopping young riders from following them. (damn, i’m so cranked i went into bold!).
where right now is the guiding light in the peloton? in the UCI? in the management? it’s all still full of ex-dopers, current dopers and a governing body that is more concerned with sticking around for a pension and milking the golden teet than anything else.
‘but hey,’ people say, ‘let it go.’ why? so they can win? so the sport becomes their plaything? who is going to push for the real changes we need implemented to rescue the sport? sadly, it seems to be laying right now, that responsibility, on sidelined and isloated cycling bureaucrats, and a poorly organised and rather muddled bunch of normal cyclists, journalists and bloggers (and yes, i am calling myself muddled too, because i do not have all the answers as to what happens next, i just know that something must. and yet nothing is).
so yes, it was right also to go after the biggest cheat of them all – although the biggest, in reality, is up for re-election soon. and yet the sport stands by and twiddles its thumbs, because so many say ‘let it go.’ ‘stop whining.’ ‘shut up.’
and the riders? ‘well, the pressures of being a pro are terrible.’
give me a break.
Nicole Cooke had bigger balls than 90% of the male peloton. Inga Thompson too. on the male side, Graeme Obree, Pinotti, and erm… wait, all those names… escape me… there may have been more but they may have been too terrified to speak. then all the Cat 1 and other ‘mediocre’ pro guys who were seriously good but refused to cheat to get up a level. all the kids who walked away. balls like KingflippingKong, cos they left the sport they loved or had to opt for a career without the rewards their talent warranted. those that still rode did so because they loved it, but the dopers attempted to humiliate them because they didn’t cheat.
they were derided and forced out.
i don’t like Armstrong the cyclist, Armstrong the public figure, because he cheated, because he destroyed other riders’ careers and those of anyone who challenged him, and because he is the sporting Nixon.
lying, cheating and screwing over anyone in his way is so ingrained in him that he saw nothing wrong in it. his truth was The Truth. any means whatsoever was justified by the end. watch Nixon’s resignation and then LA’s speech on the Champs, and it’s just a mask the Texan needs and Dick is resurrected.
did he warrant ‘destroying’, as many have put it?
Nixon on the Champs…
let’s phrase the question differently – did he warrant having his public persona being exposed for what it was, a charade? did he warrant being stripped of his 7 Tour and other titles? did he warrant a ten year ban from WADA/IOC sanctioned sports? did he warrant having the fortune amassed through committing fraud taken back?
if that’s want you meant by destroying, then yes. without a pause, yes.
it would be great if LA went away and sorted himself out, repaired whatever damage has been done to his loved ones, especially his kids, and if he reached out genuinely to those he attacked so vociferously or donated half his millions to an independent drug test research facility, or something that would just do some good for the sport. but no, he’s knocking on the door again, glibly saying on Oprah that he didn’t call Betsy fat and that he doesn’t deserve a life sentence. hmm.
go, be good, get healthy, move on, best of luck to him. i wish him as a human no ill will, but his time here is over. along with The Others.
has to be.
‘has to be’. and yet there he is, on big time TV, still peddling his dope…