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A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lance Armstrong is a dope

I like riding my bike.
There's nothing too scientific about it.
Hop on and go someplace.
Not that many years ago I would ride into work in Royal Oak from Rochester. Coming home at 2 in the morning was a bit tenuous, considering that bars let out about the same time. I did my share of dipping and dodging.
Performance enhancing drugs? That was not my style. Other than the occasional Gatorade or cool bottle of water.
So I have a bicycle in common with Lance Armstrong. Although mine was a Schwinn and I am sure his isn’t.
Thankfully, two wheels and a chain are about where it ends.
No blood-booster EPO, testosterone or blood doping. No Tour de France victories, either. Not one, not two and certainly not seven.
No lying thank goodness.
That is probably what is so infuriating about the entire Lance Armstrong saga.
He lied and lied and lied. Continually for years. Redundantly with vehemence and venom. He had the gall to sue people who dared tell the truth. Armstrong ruined lives and careers with such smug indignation.
It is a darn shame because the Lance Armstrong story was one we wanted so much to believe. Someone who battled all the way back from cancer to win the world’s most prestigious bicycle race seven times. It was the stuff of Hollywood. It was a Fairy Tale ending in spandex seven times over. It was a tremendously inspirational story the likes of which were difficult to believe.
As it turns out, we should not have believed it.

Oprah: “Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?”

Armstrong: “Yes.”

Oprah: “Was one of those banned substances EPO?”

Armstrong: “Yes.”

Oprah: “Did you ever blood-dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?”

Armstrong: “Yes.”

Oprah: “Did you ever use any other banned substances like testosterone, cortisone or human growth hormone?”

Armstrong: “Yes.”

Oprah: “In all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?”

Armstrong: “Yes.”

So what is the damage report? Mostly to Armstrong himself. He’ll forever have that Scarlet Letter on his forehead, and it is not an A for adultery. No, it is an L for Liar. Who will ever believe him again no matter how innocuous the subject?
If Armstrong says the sky is blue, you’ll glance skyward to confirm. If he says the sun is shining, you will do likewise. If he says he is not doping, you’ll look around the room for vials, needles or whatever.
Me, I'll just keep hopping on my bike once the weather warms up. I’ll keep dipping and dodging at 2 a.m. Two wheels and a chain. Thankfully, that’s about the only common ground between Armstrong and Evans.


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