This is now my fifth post on the Lancegate. In the past I have always said one more and Im done. But this shit will be around for awhile. So why do I write more? Cuz I have changed my stance on this all.
I always start these rants by asking myself the question: Am I still a fan of Lance?
Today, before I answered myself I had to think way longer than before. Its not a no brainer like in the past. Then, I think "kinda". Then, after I think more. About all the lies. About all the years of wins wiped out from his use of drugs. All the time spent in front of the TV or computer cheering for Lance and the US squad to win. All that. I guess I have to say: yes.
You say Lance was a doper. He sure was. You say he lied. They all did. The "others" got off the hook for blowing the whistle. Lance still has not admitted and maybe will never.
The only difference between the others guys and Lance is that Lance has or had way more to lose.
So now, one by one his sponsors pull. He's getting sued. And whatever else.
Does he deserve it. I think so. But if your going to throw pitchforks at him you need to also throw them at George, Levi, Tom and the rest. Are you prepared to do that?
Don't tell me its different with them. That's bullshit. Its exactly the same. They had a choice. If there is a difference, its that Lance won and "they" didn't. By "they" I mean all the dopers in that era. Not just the US guys.....
So way back in the day, when USADA announced they were going after Lance there was quite the backlash toward them. I was part of that. Now, the truth is out, Lance is busted along with others. Good job guys. You got the bad people. At least the bad people ten years ago.
So here's what else you guys did......
You took a US sport that was heading in the right direction and shoved back into the dark ages. Ten years of work down the drain. You pulled up the past, and your beliefs now just happen to be true, and now the average joe on the street thinks badly of our sport.
Really. Think about it. Was defaming Lance worth that? Was all those dope busts worth Rabobank pulling out of cycling? Levi most likely retiring. I wonder what kind of conversation the rest of the dope boys will have in the peloton next year? Every damn day I fire up my computer and see another 5 articles about what sponsor dropped Lance today is very hurtful to the sport. Really, I could care less about Lance's finances Whatever happens, I think he will be fine. Im sure the haters are pumped to see Lance's image hit rock bottom. But the sport is tanking with him weather you like it or not.
Its the sport that takes hit after hit day after day that makes me sick to think about it.
Who's fault is this, the riders or the media? Yes and yes.
I hear that this was needed to clean the sport. I call bullshit. I hear all the current riders say" we need to ride clean". Well, no shit Sherlock. I get a kick out of some current pro rider who gets a 5 paragraph article on Velonews, and then posted on Facebook on how they think this sport needs to clean up. Wow, you think? That rider is so insightful. So here is my stance on all this and please feel free to re print this anytime: I think the riders who doped are bad. I think all riders should race clean.
See how smart I am?
We all know the sport is not as bad as this all shows. Or is it? I guess we would like to think that this stuff is so 8 to 10 years ago. Its would never happen to that extent today. And if that is true, then all this is for naught Do you think there is a 25 year old pro rider somewhere thinking " I better not dope cuz Lance got busted". My personal opinion is no, there is not. But I could be wrong. I hope the USADA and other organisations put as much time and money into who is doping today as they did in who was doping back then.
I, for one, have the strong opinion that this should of all been handled differently. Its so after the fact its silly. And the price the sport is paying here in the US is not worth it. No way. Its almost like nobody cares who is doping today but what the hell were you doing in 2004. The one good thing that might come of this is the ability to blow the whistle on your buddy. Yeah, like thats going to happen. The only way that works is when someone gets busted and is forced to take someone down with them. Again, would make for some interesting conversations in the group. I say mike them up like they do in the NFL.
Back to my question Am I still a fan of Lance. Yes. By default. If Im to stay a fan of all the current riders involved in this then I need to stay a fan of Lance also.
And I need to stay a fan of them to stay a fan of cycling.
I wish this could all just move on. Its tiring. My change in stance: at first it was leave Lance alone cuz he's innocent. Now, its leave Lance alone cuz I love cycling.