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I first heard about the fact that Lance Armstrong was possibly doping a few years ago and I was like oh surely not. He wouldn't do that. He wouldn't... would he? I started having doubts more in his innocence once others were coming out.. When George Hancapi came out about it, I was devastated.
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I remember waking up early on weekend mornings to watch the Tour live with Thomas and staying up late to watch a recording of the live show from earlier that day and rooting for Team USA and then Team Discovery. I remember Hancapi, specifically watching his loyalty to his team and more specifically his team mate Lance Armstrong. He literally would ride his ass off to help his "friend" take the yellow jersey....and then continue to help him defend that yellow jersey.. Race after Race, Year after year. When Hancapi made this statement:
"The doping controls were not very good, and we came to believe that we needed to use banned substances to compete at the very highest levels," he stated. "While I understand that the choices we made were wrong, I understand why we made them and why, at the time, we felt justified in making them. I do not condemn Lance for making these choices, and I do not wish to be condemned for the choices I made."
I knew that it was true, and started to get a sick feeling about Lance as he continued to deny his own guilt, in my opinion turning against his friend and trusted teammate. Time kept going by and the more I thought about the more nauseous it made me feel. I felt like I had been wronged, personally affected by his horrible decisions. Because I was rooting for him. I was here thinking of their trials/struggles, and hoping like hell he would prevail yet again... and he did every time. Amazing that my guy was winning... Now to know that he was nothing but a cheat as I had already came to the conclusion before he made it public... FINALLY!
I think this is another thing that upsets me so much is his denials, I loved this man and he let me down... Not the first time someone has let me down and we all make mistakes. I make them daily probably. I try to live and learn from mistakes and if I wrong someone I always "man up" and say I am sorry, and mean it!
He absolutely knew his fan base, he absolutely knew he was cheating and he absolutely lied about it for years!
I am pissed, and actually a bit heartbroken over it. I started riding a bike after watching my first Tour De France and seeing Lance Armstrong take the Yellow Jersey for US Postal Service. I know how hard it is to ride 32 miles (my longest bike ride). I could only imagine riding 100+ miles through unimaginable mountain heights and across terrifying cobblestone... the competition is fierce and I could see where a temptation might come and how like every human bad decisions could be made in most any situation, but not if you are a role model. Not if you are a super athlete with many cancer patients/survivors pulling for you... and not when your teammates are coming clean do you ever be as cowardly as he has been. He makes me sick, the man I once thought OMG he is so cute, he is an awesome athlete and role model for a sport that I enjoy.
Some may defend the fact that he did finally come clean and maybe he needs credit for having the "ball" to do that, but no its too little too late in my opinion. One to many lies. He gets paid to do this, it's his job. I would be fired if I did drugs at work, right? I don't think I could sweet talk my way back to a normal situation with my employer. It's not like I could say I am just trying to level the playing field so my co-workers don't do a better job than myself.
I didn't invent the culture, but I didn't try to stop the culture, and that's my mistake, and that's what I have to be sorry for, and that's what something and the sport is now paying the price because of that... Did you feel bad about it? No. Did you feel that you were cheating? No. At the time, no. I viewed it as a level playing field. I looked up the definition of cheat. The definition of cheat is to gain an advantage over a rival or foe. I didn't do that. I viewed it as a level playing field.' - Lance Armstrong
Oh well, what's done is done. I hope he has to re-pay some folks a bunch of money and I hope he never gets another endorsement for anything else. I agree he shouldn't be in triathlons and such because you never know when he may be cheating.
Maybe I am being harsh, but again I am angry, down right mad that he even done it, that he lied about it, and that he is just now coming out about it...it all pisses me off. I haven't watched much of the Tour since I can't help but feel that whoever is winning is probably cheating. I do honestly believe that the majority of those men are not cheaters, and I see them get all mangled up and leave so much of themselves out there on that race, that I hope one day they get the sport cleaned up and get the trash out of it. It truly is an amazing sport.