I have a confession to make right now in front of the world. I used to be a huge Lance Armstrong fan. I have always admired athletes who have overcome adversity and gone on to great things. Armstrong was certainly one of those athletes. In 1996, he faced an advanced stage of cancer and was only given a 40 percent chance of survival. 3 years later, he not only was cancer free, but was competing in races and starting an unprecedented run of Tour De France championships. You really have to admire someone for showing that much grit and determination in overcoming a life threatening illness.
In the later stages of his career, allegations came out that he was using performance enhancing drugs and I pretty much brushed that aside as just being jealous talk of his rivals who wanted him to fail. I mean, Lance Armstrong taking drugs? He is the God of cycling. There is no way he could be doping up. But more allegations came to surface, including members of his own cycling team who described some of his practices with certain banned substances. The snowball was starting to build on Armstrong and he finally had to admit that he did indeed use performance enhancing drugs. Finally the truth came out and so did the number of years of lying to cover up his image and successes.
I still admire Armstrong for bouncing back from his medical issues to compete and race at the highest level in cycling. But I cannot admire him for the way he went about in winning all those races and his conduct towards his critics. There is a reason why certain drugs are banned in racing. It gives the cyclist an unfair advantage and is probably not safe to take either. Cycling is a very grueling sport and using performance enhancing drugs to aid in recovery gives an athlete a totally unfair advantage. I am not sure why the racing commission did not have stronger rules and more drug testing procedures to catch these athletes from taking banned drugs. But the bottom line is that Armstrong cheated and lied on his way to the top. He ruined the reputation of many of his critics in the process and costed some people millions of dollars. That is a bunch of crap and what makes me a former and I emphasize, former fan of his. A great championship does not have to get an advantage by cheating. He just has to use his God given talent and work harder than everyone else. I lose total respect for those who take shortcuts to the top and step on other people.
This kind of stuff not only goes on in sports, but is very common in business. There are many people who cheat, lie, steal, do whatever it takes to make it to the top of their professions. Many succeed but eventually they will get caught. It is only a matter of time before the truth comes out. That is the lesson to be learned from this Armstrong story. I hope this serves as a good example for anyone who is thinking about cheating and lying to advance their career. It will come to a screeching halt someday. How can anyone feel good about themselves knowing that they got where they are by cheating and lying? Do you even have a conscience? Whatever happened to doing it the ethical way by earning it through hard work and taking advantage of your opportunities? It is sad but there are more and more Lance Armstrong types showing up these days in society.
20 years from now, people will remember Lance Armstrong as a cheater and not a great champion. That will be his legacy in my opinion. And one that he greatly earned!