Family Matters

Lance Armstrong: How to Talk to Your Kids About Cheating

Why would someone celebrated as a hero break the rules? Lance Armstrong's decision to stop fighting antidoping charges prompts parents to parse right and wrong

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Bryn Lennon / Getty Images

Lance Armstrong in action on stage 18 of the 2009 Tour de Franc in Annecy, France, July 23, 2009.

On Friday morning, my sports-addled son was reading the newspaper. As I was hustling him, his friend and his sister out the door to camp, he asked, What happened with Lance Armstrong?

Deep breath. While this was not as tricky as distilling the birds and bees, it still required some fancy footwork. Did Armstrong dope or didn’t he? What did it mean that he’d decided to stop fighting the allegations that he’d used performance-enhancing drugs to propel him to his Tour de France success? How did a guy so revered from both athletic and philanthropic perspectives fall so far? I’m sure I wasn’t the only parent faced with addressing whether the greatest cyclist of all time had cheated and, more importantly, why. This wasn’t just about sports; this was about cheating in the quest to be the best. This was about right and wrong. It was a conversation that transcended wheels and spokes.

With the crew buckled in the car, I launched in, explaining that, for starters, it’s Armstrong’s word vs. the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s. Many people, of course, interpreted Armstrong’s announcement that he would no longer contest the accusations as a tacit admission of guilt. (And yes, I defined the word tacit.) Then I talked about the pressure and drive to succeed that prompts some star athletes to take steroids or hormones or the blood booster EPO, which Armstrong is accused of using. Then I talked about why that’s wrong. Pretending you’re something you’re not is always cheating, and that goes for situations that have absolutely nothing to do with sports or competition.

(MORE: Which Drugs Is Lance Armstrong Accused of Taking?)

Complicating the situation, of course, is the Livestrong factor: my kids know several people who’ve battled cancer, and I told them it’s particularly sad that Armstrong, who had a 50% chance of surviving testicular cancer when he was in his 20s, finds himself with his reputation in ruins even as he’s raised nearly $500 million in the fight against cancer. It’s disappointing this is happening to a guy who’s done so much good far beyond anything he ever accomplished on two wheels.

Which brings us to yet another lesson: people make mistakes. No one’s perfect, and people make bad decisions every day. Most of those bad decisions don’t wind up as headline news, but occasionally — Joe Paterno and the Penn State debacle come to mind — they do.

It’s hard to understand how someone who is publicly celebrated as a hero could break the rules. We teach kids from an early age that cheating is wrong. But all around them, they see examples of athlete role models — Marion Jones, Mark McGwire, Tiger Woods, the list goes on — doing it in sports and in life. The message: Cheating is O.K. if you really, really want something and if you think you won’t get caught.

The response from my kids and their friend? Silence. Then they were scrambling out of the car, eager to start their day at sailing camp.

Had I not made an impression or were the kids just excited to navigate a catamaran? For some perspective on how to further parse the situation, I reached out to Larry Lauer of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports at Michigan State University.

(MORE: After the Sandusky Verdict, Lessons for Parents)

Lauer also works as a sports-psychology consultant and has counseled everyone from professional athletes to a 9-year-old hockey player. To all of them, he says: Think about the consequences of how you will eventually be viewed because of your actions today. “It goes back to what’s important to you,” says Lauer. “Do you want to be known as a cheater or someone who does things the right way? You need to think about what you value and how you want to be known.”

With younger kids, he says it’s best to keep it simple: If you cheat, you could get caught and you’ll have to suffer the consequences. Teens can go a little deeper, musing not just about the importance of doing the right thing but also pondering how in our digitally plugged-in world, perception is reality. “The court of public opinion is no longer just beat writers,” says Lauer. “Tiger Woods went from being one of the most respected athletes to one of the least respected in a few days. You can do one thing and ruin your credibility.”

That’s why Lauer’s wife shot down his idea of naming their baby after his favorite baseball player, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley. Nothing against Utley — he seems like a great guy; his foundation campaigns against animal cruelty — but you just never know. Says Lauer, who ultimately agreed with his wife: “You’re better off just not going there.”

MORE: Why Are Parents Less Likely to Take Little Girls Outside to Play?

49 comments
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Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton

Jason, you are arguing that the process is unfair.

To The Max is arguing that Lance is guilty.

The article isn't about the author's kid asking "what happened to the USADA process," his kid asked "what happened to Lance Armstrong?"

Which do you think is more important to teach to your kid, the technicalities of USADA's process, or cheating vs. fair play?

The fact that so many people are emphasizing the unfairness of the process over whether or not Lance cheated is pitiful.

andrewrt
andrewrt

There still seems to be blinded support for Mr Armstrong which is baffling given the information available. Just repeating that he passed "500" tests is playing into the PR machine that is Lance Inc. If you want a the facts with plenty of references please read this article by a sports doctor - http://www.sportsscientists.co...

This is a great article as it moves the discussion sensibly on to the implications of what has happened and why it affects all those that have any interest or participation in sport both amateur and professional.

Rufus
Rufus

Firstly let me correct, Lance Armstrong is not the greatest cyclist of all time. That statement is made by people who do not know much about cycling, in this country that is especially true,  most people don't now a cyclist other than Armstrong. Armstrong was the best Tour de France cyclist ever, but that is the only race he concentrated on out of dozens of races, the title of the best cyclist universally  has gone to Eddy Merckx.

 Lance Armstrong could have chosen arbitration, but then the testimonies

of 10 of his teammates including Hincapie, Levi, Vande Velde,  Zabriskie etc and dirty laundry would have

been public. He chose the best way out of it, blaming the USADA's unfair

process and continuing to proclaim is innocence.

It is not that he did not test positive, in 1999 he tested +ve for a

steroid for which he produced a post dated script. In an interview

earlier this summer, Hein Verbruggen, the former president of the UCI,

said that in 2001, when he was still leading the organization, he

received notice that one of Mr. Armstrong's drug tests during the Tour

of Switzerland had come back with values that were "higher than normal"

for the banned blood-boosting hormone Erythropoietin, or EPO. Mr.

Verbruggen hasn't spoken of the Armstrong test before. If Tyler Hamilton

is to be believed it was swept under the rug and UCI got a big donation

from Armstrong. In 2004, researchers from a French laboratory that had

performed Tour de France drug tests, working on their own, retested

dozens of preserved samples from the 1999 Tour. They were testing for

EPO, which hadn't been detectable at the time.

According to the French newspaper L'Equipe, six of the samples that

belonged to Mr. Armstrong showed the presence of the blood-boosting

drug. Due to procedural issues the results were not admissible.

USADA has said that the have samples from Armstrong's last tours which

are consistent it doping, but as Armstrong never chose to contest it, he

results are not open to public. Cheaters are ahead of the system, Marion Jones and Bjarn Riis and Frankie Andreu and Jonathan Vaughters who never tested positive but admitted doping. USADA system may not be perfect, but they are not a court of law. With regards to the subject of litigation vs. arbitration, the age old

argument is that arbitration is cheaper and faster; and although

arbitration allows less due process than litigation, it still allows

“adequate” due process according to our courts. The legal experts in this country have legislated

that arbitration is an adequate means to resolve conflict and provide

due process in some circumstances, including anti-doping cases.

If USADA's process were to be similar to a court of law, little would get done. It

would take at least 10 times their resources and years to prosecute one

case, besides it is not that the evidence would not be made available

to Lance if he chose arbitration. USADA is 58-2 in arbitration not because

it is a kangaroo court as Lance alleges but likely because they chose

carefully whom they prosecute with solid evidence.

Lance's continuing association with known PED specialist Michele Ferrari, all other cyclists on the podium during his wins

implicated in doping, 10 of his prior tour mates prepared to testify

against him, and other numerous accusations make it almost impossible

that he was clean. Lance was able to bully, threaten, file suits against

his accusers to shut them up but finally USADA was able to put a collar

around him.

If anyone who needs accolades it is the USADA.

Scotch_n_Wry
Scotch_n_Wry

LA has never denied doping . He has always maintained that he never failed a test - ie he has never been caught  . Take a fresh look back at his interviews from 7-8 years ago and I bet you will have a different perspective on what he is saying .

bzelbub
bzelbub

Look Lance Armstrong, is a witch we tied him to a chair and he drowned therefore he was a witch. Look Armstrong, is a witch we threw him in a river and he swam. Twenty years of this crap. And other than a lot of money and time wasted, all that has been accomplished is that somehow Lance Armstrong, is smarter than all drug tests. We can't actually prove it so we will take his desire to stop fighting with us as his admission of guilt. Because we wore him down.

 I will now donate more money to his charity, since I trust him more than a so called watch dog agency who has never competed in anything.

sam veal
sam veal

Probably the most important answer we can give our kids to a question like this is:

In America, a person who is accused of a wrong is first considered innocent and entitled under our constitution to confront his or her accuser in a proper court of law, through examination and cross-examination of the facts and evidence put before a jury of his or her peers who will then decide his or her innocence or guilt.

Julie Vance
Julie Vance

I expect to read such a poorly written article on HuffPost, but I'm saddened to read something as bad as this on Time. 

VoodooChyld
VoodooChyld

“Pain is temporary … if I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?” — Lance Armstrong

Marion Jones passed hundreds of drug tests and she later admitted to doping. He's dirty and that's why he chose to quit, if he was clean he would have fought till the day he died.

Susan Nunes
Susan Nunes

The title of the article should probably be changed.  It makes it look like Lance is giving advice to kids on how to cheat.

To_the_max_naturally
To_the_max_naturally

Did you know that blood doping increases performance by up to 15% - that being said how can a person beat others "clean" who are doping - its just not possible when the differences in elite sports come down to seconds (15% gives you minutes). Lance was exceptionally good at doping because he learnt about it when he had chemo treatment for testicular cancer! They use EPO after rounds of chemo to rebuild the red blood cells more quickly. Wake up America and smell the roses - LA cheated - yes every single tour title was collected using drugs. An exercise physiologist calculated that Lance would need to have a Vo2 max of over 100 ml/kg/min (a measure of aerobic capacity) to do some of the climbs he did during the tours - lets compare that to an Ethiopian or Kenyan marathon runner (oneof the most adapted race on earth) with 3% body fat, born at altitude, run all their life and a world champion with a Vo2max of 90% - how then can LA do this you might ask - Drugs, drugs and more drugs - testosterone to help recover, EPO micro dosing with blood volume re-infusions, cortisone etc etc.  The fact he didn't fail a test is not suprising considering what he knows about cancer - the information he learnt from the top doctors in the USA on cancer treatment allowed him to have an edge over his competition. Now dont give me the argument that he is a special athlete no ones that special - in fact most elite cyclists are special but theres a limit physiologically - if he was special he would have a certain gene variant that would provide him with a higher than normal red blood cell count - which only comes from a small population in Norway.

Anyway the bottom line is why would anyone from pro peloton dob on Lance? THe USADA has testimonials from 10 team mates. They wouldnt they dont do as this is an unwritten rule in the peleton - dont ask dont tell - especially not team mates from a winning tour de france team. The fact is he is the worst offender because he lied and got away with it - He has played America and the world for all he can and become a rich man on a lie perpetuated over 15 years. It is sad because he didnt have the guts to own up and show his true courage - he is weak and has ruined many lives to continue to live the lie and the belief of many cancer suffers.

Bottom line - Lance is a smart man, and he would have been a talented athlete without the drugs but he chose the wrong path and should receive the penalty he deserves. I believe all athletes caught cheating using drugs should be banned for life its the only way to ensure that fewer athletes will take the chance to enhance their performance using PED's.

Jason Brandt
Jason Brandt

 It's not what you know. It's what you can prove in court. READ A BOOK.

pedalfreak22
pedalfreak22

They were going to prove that in court using corroborated testimonies of 10-12...maybe more witnesses including substantiated witness accounts of his butt buddy and fellow doper George Hincapie.  Read the memo.

pedalfreak22
pedalfreak22

That's the whole idea about arbitration, didn't you read the memo?  Your Lance and his lies, disgusting.

Ryan Winstanley
Ryan Winstanley

The USADA was hoping it would be able to. This opportunity has very cleverly been taken away from them! I believe in innocent until proven guilty but innocent because the opportunity to prove him guilyy has been removed? Not so sure.

biker27
biker27

Would not have become a hero if did not cheat . May not have heard of him if didnt cheat as he may not have won tours. Personally all the top riders took enhancers so he still won on a level playing field.

himanshu sarda
himanshu sarda

biased! totally undeserving article...if there is anything you are teaching your kids is believing in whatever newspapers say...may be he did use the drugs but until there is any proof for it one should not just believe anything. Maybe you can teach your kids to reason out the facts, they will much better off rather than jumping on to conclusions.

http://blogmarauder.blogspot.c...

 

Derek Kerton
Derek Kerton

Terrible article. Starts with the presumption of guilt. That's very unamerican, and inhumane.

500-plus drug tests,and the USDA still has nothing but heresay. No proof, yet they continue to persecute Armstrong.

You SHOHLD have used this to teach your kids a very important lesson - and one you seem to need to learn yourself: one about

- kangaroo courts

- double jeopardy

- McCarthyism

- over-zealous prosecutors (such as the Duke lacrosse rape case)

- David v Goliath

Whether Armstrong doped or not is irrelevant to the key issues here. He passed hundreds of tests. The USADA does not claim to have any proof of his guilt...after years of investigating. He is "not guilty" yet they just keep on persecuting him.

We all need to defend him from endless prosecution, because brother, when its you or me that the system goes after, I sure hope someone will stand up for our 'presumption of inocence'. Clearly you're not a man on whom I can rely.

Typed on a phone, so forgive my typos.

pedalfreak22
pedalfreak22

You, sir, choose to romanticize Lance despite the obvious, and I think that's okay. This country loves to romanticize individualistic flair; we love our superman, batman, etc, that's fine--once a fan always a fan, huh? However there are also those who'd want to straighten things up. For there are cheaters who are good at cheating because, well, that's what they do; and there are prosecutors, over-zealous, super-mega over-zealous prosecutors who get a hard on on not stopping to prosecute good cheaters until the very end.

t1oracle
t1oracle

I'm guessing you're not super man. If you ever won at anything in life you probably cheated.

Derek Kerton
Derek Kerton

I "romanticized Armstrong"? Really? Was that the part where I wrote:

"Whether Armstrong doped or not is irrelevant..."

I don't care whether he cheated or not. He's not my personal hero. My entire point isn't about Armstrong's hero status, and in fact isn't even about sports at all. It's about a fair process for prosecuting our society's wrong-doers.

I cling tightly to concepts of "innocent until proven guilty", and double jeopardy. Persecution from any arm of the government to any individual scares the pants off of me.

Lemme ask you. What do you think is more of a threat to our Nation's way of life, your life and liberty: 

a) if Armstrong cheated in the past before retiring

b) if government-sanctioned bodies "get a hard on on not stopping to prosecute".

Follow-up question:

c) Has a prosecutor ever been wrong?

beaverorduck
beaverorduck

Gee - thanks for the great parenting advice Time.  What parent doesn't know to teach their kids not to cheat?

TimmyZ
TimmyZ

Sometimes we make poor decisions but we need to not be hard on ourselves and learn and grow from them.

NC doc
NC doc

I wouldnt beat around the bush. Cheating is not being true to who you are. If you have to cheat pick another profession that you are good at. Sports is RIFE with this stuff and thats another reason kids should be steered away from wirshipping overpaid muscle heads.

oilerspb
oilerspb

No longer fighting the allegations is the same as admission of guilt. Armstrong knows they can nail him this time for sure otherwise there's no way in hell he'd give up. By not fighting and calling it a witch hunt, he can try his luck with a PR campaign and avoid having every single detail analysed publicly. It's too bad, I was a fan back when he was doing the Tours, but as time went on, it became more and more clear that he was far from clean.

As for him never failing a drug test, that's irrelevant because they all knew how to beat the tests. Ever since it's been demonstrated in detail how the cyclists beat the test, they've been able to go back and prove that he was indeed doping.

Rip Fin
Rip Fin

Actually, stopping his fight isn't an admission of guilt, it's him deciding defending his past glory isn't worth spending more millions on.

The only reason to claim drug test results are irrelevant is because they serve as proof the accusations are baseless.  That is why this is a witch hunt: the USADA is ignoring physical evidence so they can continue to go after Armstrong with a "he said/she said" attack and use their own rules to guarentee a win in which they sit as judge, jury and executioner where they don't actually have to listen to the plaintiff.  I mean, they've been ignoring everything he's said for years because they believe he's guilty and nothing he says will ever change that no matter what evidence exists that supports him.  The fact of that is staring you in the face, but you and others still insist that grandstanding agencies couldn't possibly be wrong.

oilerspb
oilerspb

no, the fact that is staring me in the face is the one where the USADA now has a bunch of failed drug tests from Armstrong along with others who can back it up. Continuing to go after him is not a witch hunt, it is their job. The cases against people like Barry Bonds has shown that it's actually quite difficult to nail people for doping. That Armstrong has chosen not to keep fighting shows that they can finally prove a case against a high profile athlete. This is a huge win against doping and hopefully really reduces the number of cyclists who think they have to dope to win.

t1oracle
t1oracle

Until you are in Lance Armstrong's shoe's you can only speculate. Also, they didn't have mandatory drug tests in the 60's and 70's so that's not comparable at all.

t1oracle
t1oracle

Way too complex. The talk should have went "Some people are incredibly hateful and jealous, and when you are the best at something sometimes these hateful people are relentless. At some point you might just want to live your life and stop fighting them. That is what Armstrong did. He choose his life over his legacy."

Ryan Winstanley
Ryan Winstanley

BS. He did what was best for LA. Damage limitation. Protect the myth. If he could have beaten the charges he would have. He doesn't quit a fight he can win. Ever.

t1oracle
t1oracle

Armstrong has matured beyond that sort of thinking. He cares for his family now.

Gary McCray
Gary McCray

There was no admission of guilt tacit or otherwise.

That part of this story is a fiction made up by all of the media who are jumping on the Lynch Lance bandwagon.

He said that he was not contesting it because A. he didn't think the USADA had authority and B. he has defended himself successfully for long enough.

In our criminal justice system you only have to be found not guilty once, in sports, you are supposed to spend the rest of your life (and even longer) continuously getting retried.

The guilt here is in the powers that control the sports associations and the medias toadying acceptance of it as the final word more than anything Lance could ever have done.

pedalfreak22
pedalfreak22

But that wasn't a criminal case or a trial by jury.

LevonTostig
LevonTostig

Better still: how do you talk to your kids about an oppressive government doing everything it can to remove a nation's heroes?  Be sure to bring up the multiple drug tests he took at the time of the competitions and the, "guilty until proven innocent," policy adopted by the USADA.

Ryan Winstanley
Ryan Winstanley

The USADA was going to prove his guilt. Opportunity removed. Conclusion?

Lucia Matias
Lucia Matias

Witch hunting, anti-white people....560 tests, not one of them positive.

What people want? O J Simpson was freed for much less.  If we was black nobody would ever do it. It would be called racism...

Kasbohmc2
Kasbohmc2

The author is foolish to engage in the following equivocation:

"Which brings us to yet another lesson: people make mistakes. No one’s perfect, and people make bad decisions every day. Most of those bad decisions don’t wind up as headline news, but occasionally — Joe Paterno and the Penn State debacle come to mind — they do."

By equating cheaters with the age-old platitude that, "...people make mistakes.  No one's perfect, and people make bad mistakes everyday," the author casually lumps in cheaters with the 'everyone makes mistakes'-crowd. 

That is flat-out wrong-headed and misleading for a number of reasons.  Chief among those reasons is that cheating  is indisputably intentional.  For Lance Armstrong, his kind of cheating (and those of his teammates) was calculated at the scientific level.  Through careful calculation, he managed to figure out how to inject himself with drugs, and then evade detection by the anti-doping drug tests.  The author should not insult the intelligence of the reader by even attempting to label that pattern of behavior as a 'mistake.'  Most assuredly, it was not.

For another thing, how dare the author lump Joe Paterno in with those who 'made mistakes.'  JoePa (as he's commonly known) knew about Sandusky's inexcusable behavior around children, yet he did nothing!  He was not coerced or threatened into silence - JoePa had the chance to expose the blatant pedophile, yet made the conscious choice to let the matter slide.  That is not indicative of one who 'makes an everyday mistake.'  Like Lance Armstrong, JoePa made a careful, calculated decision.  A 'mistake' it certainly was not.

In short, the author should not be deliberately confusing 'making a mistake' with 'making a careful, calculated, deliberate choice.'  The two actions have nothing in common, and is terribly misleading to readers.

[On a sidenote, the best time to talk to children about cheating is BEFORE they enter competitive activities, such as sports.  If my child were ever caught cheating on a sports team, I would have him/her immediately pulled off the team.  That kind of behavior puts other teammates and other teams at an unfair disadvantage.  It's one thing to have an innate talent for a sport, but it's another matter entirely when that superiority is gained in an unfair and unethical manner.]

ianor
ianor

I think George hit on something with his last line: "Since that is the truth, it will be a blessing for the next generation."  

I think that echoes what Lauer in the article said and what we hear coming from the media at large - effectively: If you cheat you might get caught, therefor don't do it.

I think that misses the point completely.  If you cheat, you're being dishonest with others and yourself.  It's not a question of how you're perceived, as Lauer puts it, it's a question of what you are.  Why are we so afraid to simply hold people to the standard of honesty?  When did it become out of fashion to simply be honest with other people?

My guiding mantra is this: The truth needs no defense.  If you find your self searching for anything than the actual facts to back up your words or actions, then maybe it's time to take another look at your position and start considering the possibility that you may be in the wrong.  

Whatever Lance Armstrong did or didn't do, he has to live with himself, for better or worse.  There simply is no replacement for integrity.     

Nwvotes
Nwvotes

Were you surprised to hear that Lance Armstrong is not fighting doping charges and is banned from racing and stripped of 7 Tour wins? Vote at Nationwidevotes.com 

George McDowell
George McDowell

"Why would someone celebrated as a hero break the rules?"

You have it backwards. He was celebrated as a hero because he broke the rules. He could not possibly have won a single race without breaking the rules. Without breaking the rules, none of us would have ever heard of the guy.

So if you continue to hold him up as a hero, you are teaching the next generation that you must cheat (and not get caught) to get ahead. Since that is the truth, it will be a blessing for the next generation.

Commentonitall
Commentonitall

And I presume you have some proof to back up you obviously well researched thesis of him cheating (besides all the drug tests he passed).  I watched an episode on Discovery channel once about Lance and how it is his body works the way it does.  Turns out he is able to aspirate at a much higher and more efficient level than typical people can.  Hooked him up to machines, drew blood and did the full line of testing on him (he tested clean then as well).  It turns out he is a physical savant when it comes to providing oxygen to his body, which would explain his skill level at bicycling.  In nature there are those that possess skills others envy and because they envy that which they do not have they stop believing in it.  They stop believing simply because they can't do something some one else can and that's sad.  I would say to future generations to withhold judgement before all the facts are known, I feel that would serve them better than your "blessing."

Ryan Winstanley
Ryan Winstanley

"Turns out he is able to aspirate at a much higher and more efficient level than typical people can"

Turns out he is able to aspirate at a much higher and more efficient level than his closest rivals too. They were elite athletes who took performance enhancing drugs to boot. 

Why should the eye witness accounts not hold up as proof? There are eye witnesses willing to take the oath in court. If they're lying they could face jail. Murderers and rapists go to jail from eye witness accounts, why do they not count against LA? It's ridiculous to suggest that, because, he never failed a test he is innocent.

We simply don't known either way for sure. Objectively speaking, it doesn't look good for LA.

t1oracle
t1oracle

Just because someone is better than you at something doesn't mean they cheated. Even if you are an "elite." Did Einstein cheat on the theory of relativity? What performance enhancing drug was Mozart on? What about Nikola Tesla? He was so far ahead of his "elite" competition that people where still borrowing from his work over century after his passing. What performance enhancing drug was he taking in the 1900's that allowed to out think his peers so significantly?

Armstrong is a remarkable human being. Until you have facts proving otherwise you are unjustified in suggesting that he cheated.

Albin
Albin

Let's get real:  if he hadn't broken the rules, cycling competitively against a field of dopers, he would have been an also ran and never won any Tours, or even stages.  One can understand, having chosen competitive cycling as an athletic pursuit, why he wanted to win at it, and the existing reality demanded that he "do what it takes" to compete on an even playing field with the rest.  The rest were dopers. His achievements in a doped sport were on a "level playing field" and were genuinely impressive, on that basis.

That said, it was against the formal, as opposed to the nudge/wink, rules of the day.  All the competitors took their chances that one day the rules would be forcibly imposed on them.  The hammer has come down and Armstrong was under it, along with some other famous riders.  He's just stopped whining, which suggests there may actually be a new reality in sponsored cycling for the future, and he's just given up fighting it.  But the sport itself remains in disrepute for the period Armstrong and the other dopers competed in it, and remains in question today. My guess is Armstrong is willing to live with his breathtaking achievement on the level playing field of a doper sport.

Rip Fin
Rip Fin

 You actually have zero proof he cheated or broke the rules while winning the Tour de France seven times.  You want the truth to be that he is a cheater, but that isn't the truth.  In fact, no one knows the truth, not even the USADA, all they have is hearsay and no actual evidence that supports it, but have tons of evidence that doesn't support it.  Lance stopped fighting because he knows the fight will never end, and the USADA will keep trying to strip him of his legacy.  5 years from now, they'd still be fighting over this if he kept fighting it, and he's fighting an agency with deeper pockets than he probably has meaning whoever has more money ultimately wins.

Ryan Winstanley
Ryan Winstanley

I'm pretty sure it would have ended in a tribunal. LA found guilty. Forever a liar and a cheat.

By not standing up to the charges, it WILL go on forever. No one ever really knowing what happened.

DBritt
DBritt

The articles on Time and many of the comments seem to be presuming guilt here.  Granted that that's not an unreasonable hypothesis, but the truth is that we don't have the information.  The author makes a perfunctory nod to that possibility, but seems to dismiss it without consideration.  That doesn't seem right to me.