Despite his continued insistence that he is innocent of all charges made by the USADA’s that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the most prestigious event in the sport from 1999 to 2005, Lance Armstong has decided not to continue his fight to clear his name and will now be stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles.
He issued a statement on his website, Lancearmstrong.com, protesting his innocence but confirmed he will not fight the charges because of being weary of the doping accusations that have dogged him for years.
“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough,'” Armstrong said in his statement.
It strikes me that someone who had protested so strongly for years to clear ones name and retain the titles they vehemently attest to winning without the use of performance enhancing drugs or methods (such as blood transfusions etc) would now suddenly just give up the fight.
Afterall, this is a man who battled against testicular cancer, and came out the other side as a winner. This is not a man, if you believe the hype and his publicists, who simply “gives up”.
Perhaps the fact that the USADA were to present 10 of his former team mates to testify against his use of banned substances, including the blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO), steroid and blood transfusions, as far back as 1996 might have had something to do with his decision to discontinue his contest against the charges laid before him.
Now that he has chosen to simply accept the allegations that he cheated, he will go down in history, not as the superhuman cyclist who was a legend, unmatched and unequalled, but rather the image of yet another sports “hero” who cheated his way to the podium rather than winning on pure merit and sheer talent alone.
There’s an old saying my Mother uses always…..“There’s no smoke without fire”. True, but perhaps Armstrong would have you believe another one – “There’s none so deaf as those who will not hear”.