LANCE Armstrong might be the focus, but world cycling needs help from the International Olympic Committee and all connected bodies if it is to restore the sport’s image.
Lance figured things out many years ago.
He knew point blank that dopers were everywhere – he may even have known them by name.
If he and his supplier were able to quantify the effect of EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions, and they knew they were cheating and gaining an advantage, then they were just joining the unwashed multitudes, and that is Lance’s sole defence.
He was just trying to even up the playing field, the field of cheats.
Put yourself in Lance’s shoes. If he didn’t dope, he couldn’t win, or so he thought.
Some of his opponents were doping, or so he thought.
Some may not have been, but he couldn’t take the chance.
If he was to become rich and famous, he had to play the lying game.
He had to cheat the cheats.
He had to deny all accusations, keep taking steroids/drugs, and win!
It was obviously a conscious decision and he was the only one who chose to take that conscious decision.
You can see the snowballing effect, can’t you?
From, say, 2000 on, cycling stars start to get a whiff that Lance Armstrong, the greatest name in cycling, the cancer-beater, is a cheat.
So what do they do? They cheat right along with him.
No one says anything – not Lance, not anyone.
Some get caught, some come out of the closet.
And now Lance and his cancer foundation, career and freedom are all in jeopardy.
A sport that is endemic with drugs needs to be taken off the register of Olympic and world titles sports, and systems put in place whereby every cyclist who competes at world-class events signs a declaration that, should they cheat (drugs or other substances), they will forfeit all medals and prizemoney, be liable for criminal prosecution and be banned from the sport for life.
I would have a Supreme or High Court judge administer testing regimes with a committee of experts.
An amnesty period may have to apply.
But clean the sport up we must, and it should start with government, judiciary and sporting bodies worldwide.