Limpag: Another icon disgraced by doping-A A +A
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I HAVEN’T watched Oprah since I was a bored college boy biding his time in between courses and the channel choices were limited.
And this Friday, like millions of others in the rest of the world, I’ll be tuning in to Oprah Winfrey’s show for what could be the most-anticipated interview this year, Lance Armstrong’s confession.
Up until the time when the former Tour de France champion refused to answer the charges against him filed by Usada in the middle of last year, I sided with Livestrong. I thought, after years of persecution, and years removed from the Tour, you can’t blame the guy by saying, “enough” when faced with the latest charges.
But, based on succeeding events, I think his refusal was his last ace. By refusing to face his accusers, Usada lost the chance to present its case and stacks of evidence against Armstrong.
Lance’s move backfired and Usada still punished him, calling him the biggest cheat of all time. UCI, the world governing body, followed suit and soon the most-storied cyclist in the history of the sport found himself alone, without any of his seven Tour de France titles.
Armstrong’s fight against cancer is still a remarkable story, but one overshadowed by his actions on the bike.
Makes you wonder, if Armstrong did it, and the Tour de France has troubles identifying who should get his titles because the second and third placers were also guilty, then the question left isn’t who among the rest also doped but who didn’t?
In Formula One, engineers tweak their engines to give their drivers that advantage that comes in milli-seconds, in Tour de France, the F1 of cycling, cyclists tweak their bodies to get the advantage that comes in seconds?
Even Armstrong’s motive for his comeback is now in doubt. He still faced doping accusations despite retiring from the sport and did he make that comeback, for a chance to prove that he was clean by racing free from doping?
Was that just one big PR stunt?
In the next few days, Armstrong will be vilified and he’ll probably face more problems.
But at least he’s made that first step by coming clean.
What’s next for Lance? A stint in jail like another disgraced icon Marion Jones, the former Sydney Olympics darling who was exposed as a cheat.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2013.