Oft A Champion of Cheating, Armstrong Appeals For Fair Play

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Opinion: cue the violins, soften the lights, make sure you have some tissues to hand: Lance Armstrong wants us all to feel sorry for him. He got a deal more raw than others and doesn’t think it serves sport well to look back 15 years and in doing so expose a man who cheated and cheated and cheated and cheated and lied and lied and lied and lied. What relevance to swimming? Everything

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Opinion: cue the violins, soften the lights, make sure you have some tissues to hand: Lance Armstrong wants us all to feel sorry for him. He got a deal more raw than others and doesn’t think it serves sport well to look back 15 years and in doing so expose a man who cheated and cheated and cheated and cheated and lied and lied and lied and lied. What relevance to swimming? Everything

Comments

Waterslug

Why oh why did the BBC give Mr Armstrong airplay? He should be condemned to silence until such time he’s prepared to step up, take full responsibility and stop crying “poor me”.

belgium_kangoo

IMO:

I’m totally against doping of course and for the harshest punishment on anyone involved …

… BUT Lance Armstrong is right in this case =s

Everybody should be treated equally !! All of them banned from sporting alltogether,end of story ! Why is he the only one to pay ???

Ian Ulrich and bjarne rijs who admitted after many years of doping for their respective tour de france wins were NOT stripped of their titles because of prescription …

How can you take antidoping seriously when they target one man (even if rightly so of course) while forgetting the real world of doping (in this case nearly every top 20 rider of those Tour de France). The whole system was broken , not just one man ! We’re trying to make an example, and it’s not serving the sport !

Also I laugh at antidoping … they are useless anywayz these days : When one gets caught he either has a light sanctions or walkaway (cielo anyone …) …

Swimming Mom

I am against cheating of any sorts, whether it is doping or three illegal dolphins kicks in the breaststroke start. I have a feeling that those three dolphin kicks might have assisted in previous WR’s.

Markus

Thanks for the interesting editorial. Well, I am afraid that doping still pays off pretty well, despite the fact that Mr. Armstrong has been caught cheating:

With Doping:
You have at least a little chance to become a champion
A lot of media attention (e.g. BBC Interviews)
The risk of being caught is close to zero (see WADA statistics about doping cases compared to number of samples)
If you are successful you may earn good money and pay lawyers to sue anybody that tries to stop you
The worst thing that may happen to you if you get caught is to quit the sport (which you have to do anyway without doping, see below)

Without Doping
Hardly a chance to win anything on international level
Absolutely no media attention
Very difficult to make to the elite team level in your country
Very probably to be forced to quite the sport as a pro athlete

ITR

I am against doping as well but I totally agree with belgium_kangoo. Also, there is way too much money in Tour/Vuelta/Giro so the participants are gonna try everything in order to win. Swimming is the same also. Suppose you swim for 20 years, you are a world-class athlete, but if you don’t win an Olympic gold you are gonna be no one a year or two after you retire. Barely anyone is gonna remember you. Doesn’t matter how many Worlds, PanPacs, Europeans you won, you need an Olympic gold medal to stay “alive” and maybe get enough money to live off of. It’s just my opinion but that’s what I see unfortunately. Many times swimmers sacrifice everything (even some of them don’t go to college after high school but I guess that’s mainly in Europe) and got “nothing” in return. But oh well, swimming is still an amateur sport overall…

Craig Lord

Hi belgium kangaroo – of course he’s right… my thought runs deeper: rich indeed of a man so steeped in cheating and lying to now suggest the world he wants is a fair one after all … he should have arrived at that long years before he did and not because the wind was blowing. And on other points, he was not right at all.

KeithM

I agree with Craig.

There may be some substantive points in there. But coming out of his mouth it has no substance… carries no weight.

He is more than just an athlete who doped to succeed:

1. He benefited massively more than anyone else.
2. But most of all for me it was his behavior and the lengths he would go to in order to cover up his lies. The intimidation and threats. His conduct makes clear there is more character issues there than someone who gave in to the temptation to cheat or became subsumed by a prevalent culture of cheating.

I’ve read the accounts of admitted cycling cheats like David Millar, George Hincapie, Rasmussen, etc and I can have some sympathy for them and their situations, even though ultimately they too are diminished by the choice they made to cheat. If you read up on the Festina Affair of 1998 it was clear that Cycling went beyond the tipping point. When the Festina team were kicked out of the tour, the riders on the other teams expressed solidarity with the Festina team… (contrast that with the reactions of competitors to Cielo’s slap on the wrist). In order to compete at the highest levels in cycling you have to be accepted on to a team, likely as a domestique riding on behalf of the top rider. Often if you didn’t dope you didn’t ride because if you couldn’t take that step they didn’t want you on the team.

But Armstrong’s Everestian ego is always getting in the way of me having any shred of empathy for him or his justified public shaming. Moreover, it wasn’t just sports fans he let down it was cancer sufferers the world over. Maybe they should look at his recovery as more of a testament to Doctors and the breakthroughs of medical science… the real heroes here.

Craig Lord

Josh, you’ll be doubtless be keen to note that shameful is a term appropriate for Armstrong and just because ‘these cyclists use a ton etc’ doesn’t make it right.

Not necessarily so.

In Xanadu did Khubla khan a stately dome decree. ( Something like that).

I will require a thousand times the opiates of Coleridge to write a thousand times less fantastic stuff.

The gifted need less PEDs I think.

Will

If pro athletes do not include honesty and integrity in their values when they are chasing honors and reputations, cheating will still be going on and on. More and more Armstrong will be created.

Distant

Who cares what he has to say and who he is about to rat on to try to make himself look like a victim. I’m on board with the last posting about this guy being condemned to silence. He could benefit from a little old fashioned aa. Everything about his self pity wreaks if an addict. I am an addict in recovery. I know what it looks like.

belgium_kangoo

Hi Craig,
don’t worry I’m not trying to say Armstrong was right 😉 just that he is right in saying he has been targetted much more than other doped.

that being said, he deserved what he got but the others should get the same treatment !

As long as very harsh punishment are not inforced, doping will continue. You need to ban them from the sport at the first offence ! no second chance, no redemption no nothing !!

anywayz, people target cycling but let’s be realistic, I fear all sports are rotten to the core at some degree.unfortunately. To most people, money and glory at any costs means more than honour … I just pray that my swimming heroes are clean =s I don’t wanna be disappointed again (i was cheering for Armstrong back in the days and really was hoping he ran clean =s)

But yeah going back to armstrong, antidoping will only be taken seriously once they deal fair and harsh punishment !

Craig Lord

🙂 Amen to that belgium-kangoo.

Craig Lord

Quite so… they should all get banned for life for serious offences… no-one at that level can play naive, it seems to me… they know what they’re doing, far more so than any teenager from China, Russia or elsewhere who finds themselves a pawn in a wider game in a sport like swimming. best, Craig

Craig Lord

Josh, I understand the thought but many are also brought up with values that tell them ‘don’t cheat’. I think in a sport like swimming it takes it too to throw your thought so far forward that the perception is left with ‘most cheat’. I don’t hold with that and I think it lets those who do chat excuse themselves far too lightly.

Lane Four

Josh, can you please give me some examples of those who are obviously cheating?

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