As more and more reports of Lance Armstrong doping when he was racing gets out to the mass media, I can’t stop but to think that all his creditability has just gone to waste. From his 7 Tour De France wins, to his amazing recovery from cancer. His silence (and his other backers) on the issue has not served its purpose on closing up this chapter of his life.
I,like many other amateur cyclists picked up cycling because of this man,winner of multiple tours, and with his involvement with Trek. I picked up my first road bike a Trek 1000 not because of Lance, but rather it was the cheapest alternative I could find. Most of us was inspired by him and tried to emulate him.But now with the reports of him doping, I find myself in shock and in disbelief.
Though he was never caught(at least that what was previously said)doping in the peleton. Let us not forget that during the 1990s-2000s doping was rampant in the sports as man and machine both tried their best to win championships and tours in return brand and name recognition. The lack of a reliable way of testing and rather lax punishment meant that riders would dope their way to victories. It is not about the price money, rather it was the fame and the multiple endorsements that could be gotten from sponsors should team and riders win.
However, could Lance and other riders be victim in this situation ? Could they somehow be persuaded into taking the drugs by their team managers ?The team managers could have wanted results in a faster(more illegal)way and thus decided that training plus performance enhancers would be a good way to let sponsors and backers know that they are producing results.Though it would have been some sort of mutual partnership between riders and doctors,there have been reports of riders such as Dave Zabriskie being forced to take EPO which leaves me wondering, who is in control of the teams? The riders? or the Mangers?