In today’s era of dirty sports, we’ve seen our share of cheating athletes.
From Marion Jones to Mark McGwire all the way to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens – we have a ton of examples of cheaters who have ruined their reputations and also let down millions of idolizing fans because of their mischievous acts.
Despite countless examples, there is a new champion in the world of sporting cheaters.
Lance Armstrong takes the cake.
He is hands-down the biggest fraud in the world of modern sports.
Before the brainwashed Lance Armstrong fans kidnap me and beat me senseless, let me preface with a few things.
I know Armstrong has raised more money for cancer research than I will ever make in my lifetime.
That’s an amazing thing and that’s a feat that has helped millions of people and will continue to help millions more in the future.
I also know that Lance himself is a cancer survivor. I have people in my family that are currently being affected by this deadly disease.
It shakes lives – both of the person affected and the loved ones around him/her.
That he overcame the disease and got back to health is truly an awesome thing – something that is worthy of applause.
But with those things out of the way, let’s now get to the elephant in the room – Armstrong’s misdeeds.
Armstrong is now an admitted cheater – he doped to increase his performance in cycling.
With the aid of sophisticated drugs, he was able to better push his body to the extreme amidst the ferocious grind that is cycling.
He isn’t the only cheater – the sport is loaded full of them.
It’s borderline pathetic that seemingly no one has won the Tour de France in the past decade because almost all of the titles have been vacated or stripped because of cheaters in the field.
But where Armstrong separates himself from those clowns is in his response to the allegations.
Most disgraced athletes discovered to be cheaters do one of two things.
The first is they admit that allegations are true, but claim the positive test was because of a substance he/she didn’t knowingly put into his/her body.
The second is an outright denial followed by months and months of silence – a gag order designed to get people to forget the misdeed ever took place. This is a trick that usually works.
Armstrong did neither.
He acted in a different way – a way that tricked all of his fans. It was an action that enabled this fight to last as long as it did.
Armstrong fought back.
From the second his initial doping allegations were made public, Armstrong aggressively fought both the allegations and the people who made them.
He sued newspapers for libel – he sued organizations for millions of dollars, touting defamation and libel.
He attacked reporters with strong language – words the pierced honest and forthright journalists’ careers. They were also words that captivated his loyal, brainwashed following – making the cyclist an even bigger legend than he was before.
Making matters even worse is the fact that he won.
When challenged in court, judges ruled in his favor.
When tested repeatedly, he passed and was labeled clean.
Armstrong made millions of dollars because of lies.
His sophisticated drug ring, which, according to reports, saw the cyclist act as a “mid-level dealer,” was wildly successful.
It grew his brand and the pockets of both himself and his charity.
I, myself, was a customer.
I still have multiple Livestrong bracelets – the famous yellow bands that took our nation by storm and gave hope to people in a time where a lot of Americans are in need of a hero.
But guess what? It was all a lie – all a fraud.
Our hero is now exposed. His shield of invincibility is splattered in a million pieces.
The millions awarded to Armstrong were unjustly done so – they should be refunded to the newspapers that did their job and accurately uncovered the truth.
Whether the money will be returned remains to be seen.
The titles are already stripped, but what does that really do?
We can pretend Armstrong never existed in the record book, but we all know that he did.
The people employed by Livestrong who will soon lose their jobs when the charity goes under – those people will know that Armstrong is a real person.
Today’s media cycle is insanely short.
We believe in second, third, fourth and sometimes fifth chances simply because we forget a person’s misdeeds two days after they occur.
But to me, Armstrong is different.
I will not forget the things he did to defend himself – the actions he took to defend his name. The lies he stated to profit personally in the face of what were true allegations.
Now that it’s all exploded in his face and he’s the one left apologizing, I am not willing to forgive and forget.
I’m not willing to accept the shamed athlete back in my good fortunes.
Blah. What a crock.
Man, Lance Armstrong sure did see all of us coming.
But at the end of the day, journalism wins again – even if in victory, a heroic athlete has to see his legacy die a slow death.