What’s Next, Santa cheated on Mrs. Claus?
Earlier this afternoon, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency informed Lance Armstrong that he will be charged for the usage of performance enhancing drugs. If he is found guilty, Armstrong will be stripped of all 7 of his Tour de France victories. Armstrong has been given the option of contesting the charges, and if he chooses to do so, he will stand trial and then will put himself in a similar situation to Roger Clemens. Armstrong responded to the allegations by saying “These are the very same charges and the same witnesses that the Justice Department chose not to pursue after a two-year investigation, These charges are baseless, motivated by spite and advanced through testimony bought and paid for by promises of anonymity and immunity, USADA’s malice, its methods, its star-chamber practices, and its decision to punish first and adjudicate later all are at odds with our ideals of fairness and fair play.” Armstrong is taking the same hard-nosed stance as Roger Clemens, and only time will tell how it will play out, as it appears that we’ll have another case of a world-class athlete standing trial over PEDs.
Quite frankly, I don’t know if Lance Armstrong doped to achieve a competitive edge. At this point, I wouldn’t put it past anyone to take illegal performance enhancing drugs, and I’m certainly not naive enough to think Armstrong is innocent. All I know is that I couldn’t be more sick of hearing about it. We have reached a point where almost all of sports from the 1990’s to the present day needs to be marked with an asterisk. Two of the greatest baseball players of all time, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have stood trial for perjury charges, other greats of my generation like Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire will never be allowed into baseball’s Hall of Fame, and some of my favorite players such as Jason Giambi, Andy Pettite and recently Alex Rodriguez have admitted to their usage of PEDs. It is literally the same story over and over and over again and seems that at this point, especially in baseball, that the majority of players were breaking the rules.
Growing up and watching as a child, did I notice anything peculiar about the performance of my favorite athletes? Absolutely not. I loved baseball, watched in awe of the players and honestly didn’t care or think about what they were doing off the field with their personal trainers. I honestly believe that ignorance is bliss when it comes to situations such as these. If Mark McGwire choose to put chemicals into his body, will my knowledge of the occurrence effect his long-term health issues? I still remember 1998 like it was yesterday, checking the newspaper every morning for the McGwire and Sosa home run count. It all seemed innocent at the time, and forgive me if I still would like to think back on those memories without all of them being tarnished.
That brings me to my thoughts on Lance Armstrong. The man battled back from cancer to take not only the cycling world, but the entire sports landscape by storm. Everybody rooted for him, marveled at his story and wore yellow bracelets on their wrist. Lance Armstrong has done so much with his fame in the name of cancer research. For what it’s worth, Armstrong has also taken a number of drug tests and has received negative results each time. Like I said, I don’t know if he tampered with anything illegal but I really don’t care at this point. Must we bring down every single sports star in the last 20 years. The witch hunt needs to stop soon because for many 18 to 35 year olds like myself, all of our sports memories are being ruined one congressional hearing at a time. Leave Armstrong alone, let him continue to inspire cancer patients and lets start worrying about issues in our country that actually matter.