“Did you at any time feel that you were cheating?”
Disclaimer: I don’t think I really have that much to add to the conversation about the Armstrong doping reveal, but I just feel like venting about it a tiny bit. I’ll keep it short.
I never really understood the outrage about doping in sports before. Every time there was more news of a baseball player using performance enhancing drugs, my reaction was always “well, figures” and I moved on. I suppose now that it’s because I was never too invested in the sport, so I didn’t care to know much more.
But with Armstrong, I wanted to know. I have always loved watching the Tour de France, have been fascinated by the beauty of the peloton. Now that I’ve started cycling much more myself I have an even bigger love for the sport. And Armstrong is, quite simply, the face of cycling. A hero for some, and undoubtedly a legend.
When Armstrong’s doping was first revealed, I was not surprised, but I was sad. I wanted to believe in the legend. I wanted to believe that humans were capable of what he and his teammates accomplished. And maybe they are, or close to it, but that’s something we just don’t know.
What we do know is that drugs can make people accomplish incredible things, and act like total and complete jerks.
So, I watched Part I of the Oprah interview, and was both horrified and devastated by the details. The direct intimidation of Armstrong’s teammates and threats to kick them off when they wouldn’t participate. Lawsuits against people who knew the truth and had the audacity to tell it. And then, there’s the vastness and complexity of the doping methods. Back dating prescriptions are one thing, but secret mid-tour flights to Spain for blood tranfusions? This is like serious, gross, novel-worthy conspiracy stuff.
And to further lighten things up, here’s a little fun to keep you occupied in for Part 2 of the interview tonight, if you can stand anymore (I’m not sure my stomach or my heart are strong enough). Hey, it’s more early morning training-friendly than a drinking game.