As the old philosophical question goes, if a tree falls down in the woods and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? Common sense tells us it’s a tree. It fell down. Of course it made a sound.
Similarly, if Lance Armstrong won seven, consecutive Tours de France between 1999 and 2005, yet is suddenly stripped of those titles, did those races actually happen?
This latest news, shocking to some, inevitable to others, and draining to all, came across the wire late Thursday evening. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) will strip Armstrong of his titles after the man, once considered the most dominant cyclist to ever slip on spandex,decided to no longer fight the charges. As a result, Sports Illustrated’s 2002 Man of the Year will be banned from cycling for life. Don’t feel bad, Lance. Joe Paterno, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa also won that award. Besides, nobody reads that magazine anymore anyway.
So where does this leave us? For the longest time, Lance got a hall pass. His case is unique in that, unlike Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens whose careers were also marred by drug use, Armstrong eventually got tired of the legal battles. Also unlike Bonds and Clemens, people actually like him. Even though none of us gave a damn about cycling, we revered Armstrong as a national hero and cancer survivor. We always presumed his innocence, or at least we wanted to. Read more…