Do We Let Lance Armstrong Back?

I’ve noticed Lance showing back up on my radar lately.  Whether it be reports of his lawsuit on google news, stories about training with American pros showing up on my facebook feed, whatever the hell WEDU is, and “The Forward Podcast” which I’ve listened to a few episodes of.  Besides all that Lance showed up on my porch the other day, well a giant cardboard cutout of Lance.  My old friend Snake was cleaning out his building and thought I might want this cardboard cutout, so in typical Snake fashion he left it on my porch.  Along with piles of bike parts.  Anyway….

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So Lance has calculated that his punishment in “Timeout” which are his words, is nearing its end and he wants to be back in the cancer fight.  It also seems to me he is trying to creep back into the cycling world now.  During his time in “timeout” Lance appeared to become an ultra runner and competed in some races and events, but now he seems to be focused on riding again and as far as I can tell WEDU is going to be a platform for endurance events.

I think the the first time Lance made a reappearance for me was when he showed up at Kalamazoo Michigan to support the cycling community after 9 riders were ran over by a murderer in a pickup truck.  7000 people turned out to ride with the club in support of the community and in honor of the slain riders.  This to me is the power of Lance, it doesn’t matter if he doped, obviously he’s still a hero to cyclists and he can still leverage his star power to help people.

Lance has been put through the ringer like no other doping cyclist with the idea being that today’s cyclists will see how even if they can get away with breaking the rules now eventually it will catch up with them. This sounds good, but I don’t really believe it.  Consequences need to be fair, consistent and timely to really make a difference in people’s behavior.  I feel like Lance’s treatment has not been fair consistent or  timely.  A lifetime ban when everyone else in the investigation was seemingly given a slap on the wrist, along with being stripped of his results?

Still as Lance creeps out of timeout he is facing one last huge hurdle, the Floyd Landis whistle blower case that is about to go to trial.  The US government wants 33 million, its entire 2001-2004 US Postal sponsorship money, back and in fact it wants 3 times what it paid to the entire team, and if that wasn’t enough it wants it ALL FROM ARMSTRONG?  Oh and hey good ol’ Floyd Landis is entitled to 25% of of it as the whistle blower who brought the case forward.  How does that seem fair?

I think it’s fair to say that I have rose colored glasses when it comes to Armstrong, he did a lot of bad things, treated a lot of people horribly, and did a lot of damage to cycling.  Still he did a lot that was good, and in my estimation did far more good for cycling in America then bad.  I want to see Lance let back in.

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About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
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10 Responses to Do We Let Lance Armstrong Back?

  1. Quan says:

    I’m undecided if it’s time for Lance to come back in, but I do agree that the punishment wasn’t fair. I feel that he got treated unfairly because he was a prick… but quite frankly, I think that it’s hard to get to that level without being one. Have you met any pro boxers lately?!

  2. Arend (netherlands) says:

    “a prick” is a qualification that most tifosi will consider an understatement. There has been some revenge in the proportionality of the punishment. However Lance is still insanely wealthy considering the crimes he has committed. Some financial corrections in his bank account are necessary to serve my sense of justice. In an ideal world Lance becomes a regular Joe that can attend amateur competitions as he likes. I hope Lance gets a job and this ban on participating in competition sports is lifted in a couple of years.
    (please excuse my English, i’m dutch)

  3. He lied and he lied and he lied. Lying is at the core of his being. Try reading his ‘autobiography’ now. It’s nauseating. This is not about cycling: in real world terms, competitive cycling is a trivial pursuit, as obviously corrupt and foul as Formula 1 or professional football (ie, soccer). It’s about setting himself up as some sort of moral example, (see his cameo in Dodgeball, or, again, his sickening ‘aw shucks’ autobiography) and the way in which he bullied to the point of destruction honest people who dared to question what was absolutely clear: that he was cheating.
    I was sure he was a cheat from the first time I watched one of his ‘great’ climbs, by the way. And, no, everyone was not doing it. A lot were, and he made it easier for them to do it, and even put pressure on those who didn’t want to to feel they to. He was chief bully and desecrator. If he wants to do American cycling, let him, but he shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near real world sport.

    • Matt Gholson says:

      I agree with some of what you say, lying came far to easy to him and he went well over the top. THe autobiography seems pretty horrible now for sure.

      In regards to EPO, I think that while not everyone was doing it, everyone that mattered was, except for the French maybe who after Festina faced far greater oversight and consequences.

      I obviously don’t have your keen eye since I couldn’t say for certain that Lance was using EPO until he admitted it, though I would have bet all the top contenders were.

      Finally I find your finally sentence to be somewhat insulting to American cycling and rather ignorant in general. Lance is far to old for serious competetive endurance “world” sport. What I want to see is Lance able to promote cycling events and raise money for cancer.

      • Yes, I went a little OTT. Sorry. I can’t remember which year it was, but he was at the top of a long climb, he’d broken clear of the peleton climb and he was talking to the lead rider as he passed him. Everyone else was gasping. It’s quite a famous bit of film. When I get back to my computer I’ll edit my comment to remove the (inadvertent and regretted) bigotry.

      • Ah. It seems that one can’t edit comments. It will have to stand, and continue to shame me. Once again, very sorry.

      • Matt Gholson says:

        Sir I accept your apology and will say that again I don’t really disagree with most of your statement. Before his fall from grace I was critical of Lance, often times telling friends and relatives that I thought that he was lying about his doping. Now that he’s mostly come clean I’m more of a fan. I still don’t think he is really that ashamed of his behavior, for instance referring to the last few years as being in “timeout” seems like a slap to those he victimized.

        At the same time I do feel like the punishment, while maybe not more then he deserved, was still out of line with what USADA should have been allowed to handout.

        Again, I appreciate your comments, and do not really feel like you meant any disprespect towards American cycling which is quite honestly weak compared to the European base.

        Thanks!

  4. Matt Gholson says:

    I definitely think Lance should pay back his salary from those days, and he offered to settle for 5 million and was rejected.

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