Lionoah

IT Professional

If you believe Lance Armstrong, you probably believe O.J. didn’t do it.

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It seems to me that one of the cardinal errors of humanity is pride. To actually believe that our particular lump of flesh is somehow better than the next. To really imagine that our set of genes makes us in some way shape or form special, or better than the next. That we are the evolution or mutational next step. It manifests itself all the time, from the politician who lies about Vietnam war service – Richard Blumenthal – to the tales of Catholic pedophilia and foot-dragging. It is all based on pride, and I might add that my writing this blog here is also an expression of pride; I truly believe that whoever reads this gives a darn about what I think.

So anyway in my daily reading, I read yet another story about Lance Armstrong and his alleged use of performance enhancers. Now I must admit that years ago, I thought Lance Armstrong was of the greatest athletes of our generation. While never really a cycling enthusiast, I remember vividly when Greg LeMond won the Tour de France three years in a row. Then there was Miguel Indurain, and Jan Ulrich and some other less notable athletes. Once I came to Germany, Lance was just getting his feet wet as the greatest of what has proven to be the prime example of a dirty sport. As his successes grew, I could again turn my focus like so many others to a wonderful athlete in cycling.

Of course, around this time there was a growing suspicion in the sports world that there was something fishy with all the records being broken. There was baseball, and the enlarged heads of home run hitters signaling to the world that these guys were in fact superhuman. In American football, there was a new kind of athlete altogether: the sumo wrestler who could run 40 yards just as fast if not faster than someone literally half his size. In the Olympics, only the losers are above reproach – think about Usain Bolt. One of the most famous, suspected and alleged cheaters is Barry Bonds, but he has kept quiet and subsequently blackballed from his sport. Which brings us to the new O.J., Lance Armstrong.

I remember when the rumors and the suspicions started to surface in the early part of the century when he won a few titles. Those suspicions were ignored, and thrown aside because we had no idea what to do with them. Then he left the sport because he was sick, and returned even better. Oh what a joy the was to see the power of the human spirit. A funny thing happened though…all of Armstrong’s contemporaries started getting caught. Not only competitors, but teammates, and team leaders and champions in the Olympics and other sports. Every single one of them to my recollection denied usage of performance enhancers. I foolishly believed that only the most accomplished did not use, feeling as though the others used because they were less talented or needed the edge to compete with the best.

Of course today, we know. We know the different types of cheating, and that there is a form of cheating which will only be discovered 5 years from now. We know that one of Armstrong’s samples apparently tested positive in a French lab for EPO. He has denied everything, and considers himself a once in a generation athlete. He has not been proven guilty, but the evidence is overwhelming just like O.J. Armstrong continues to deny, and he rides on…secure in the fact that he will never be caught.

Beyond reasonable doubt

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