Friday, August 24, 2012
I must preface my thoughts by saying that I have always had a soft spot for Lance. I became a serious cyclist over twenty years ago to raise money to fight cancer - long before Lance. Along the way, I became knowing of the 'cancer industry' in this country - an industry of researchers, companies, and money-raisers, dedicated to 'pursuing' a cure for cancer, rather than actually finding said cure - a result that would kill the golden goose.
While I long-ago stopped raising money, I nevertheless cheered Armstrong's TDF victories. I cheered him knowing that the probability of him being clean in such a dirty business was almost nil. But just like in other sports, as long as the owners and sponsors get a free pass, I say why penalize the athletes (performers) caught in the middle of a system and public that demands winning at all costs.
The greatest indictment is not against Armstrong for cheating, but against a medical profession and drug industry, starting and ending with doctors, who have steadfastly facilitated the hypocrisy (I say pimping) of their profession, including Armstrong as a spokesperson for fighting a cancer directly resulting from his (Armstrong's) admitted doping, in his pre-cancer early professional cycling years.
He was dirty, in a dirty business (still) and he is well on the path of exposing his failings, and paying for them, like every other hero. The full measure of his sacrifice is yet upon him.
If I saw him today, I'd still shake his hand. Clean or dirty, that boy could ride.
James C. Collier
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