Today, it seems, is the end of the line for Lance Armstrong. I remember what I said—here, here, and here, on Twitter, and probably elsewhere too—that despite all the news reports and controversy surrounding USADA’s indictment of Lance Armstrong for engaging in a systematic pattern doping, he was still a 7-time Tour de France winner. Now, not so much.
Earlier today, Patrick McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Union (aka UCI) announced that the UCI was adopting USADA’s findings and imposing their recommended sanctions (strip all 7 #TdF victories, plus lifetime ban from cycling). McQuaid is the most senior administrative individual in all of cycling, thus, he and his organization were the only ones with jurisdiction or authority to take the action that USADA threatened. In a press conference from Geneva, Switzerland, McQuaid said this:
Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling.
So is this post my personal mea culpa? You could say that. But for the record, I never said that Armstrong never doped. He did. So did a lot of other cyclists. Some of them got caught; some didn’t. In spite of all the terrible things we’re learning about the 15+ year conspiracy led by Lance Armstrong, I still don’t believe that it was fair or just to go back in time and take away his #TdF titles. We set a very bad precedent when we turn back the clock to try and change something that is already done and decided. What’s done is done, and hindsight is always 20/20. If, when it’s all said and done, it’s brutally obvious that the guy was a scumbag, so be it.
Photo credit: Richard Masoner, Flickr