The End Of “Heroes”…The Persecution Of Lance Armstrong.

Came across the following story on MSN.com this morning;

USADA to ban Armstrong for life, strip Tour titles

After years of persecution, unannounced surprise testing (all which came back negative), various accusations by publications and individuals and a recent two year federal criminal investigation, which yielded no charges, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which has as of yet produced no physical evidence and based on hearsay, will strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles and ban him from competing for life.

Though an eloquent man can express himself without vulgarity this is an instance where nothing drives the point home like the occasional 4 letter word…….

This is bullsh*t!!!!  Where is the “effing” physical evidence?? Does the “burden of proof” now fall to the accused??? Are we now all guilty, based on hearsay, until proven innocent????

“If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and — once and for all — put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?”

Lance Armstrong has had enough. The mental and physical toll of fighting all the accusations over all these years has finally wore him down. I wish the guy would continue the fight to clear his name but what kind of life is it where you work so hard to achieve something great but then constantly have to defend your accomplishments?

“The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right.”

The full Lance Armstrong statement can be found here; http://msn.foxsports.com/cycling/story/lance-armstrong-statement-not-fighting-us-anti-doping-agency-charges-082312

Why is it we can no longer believe in heroes? What is it in our beady little brains that, rather than celebrating the possibility of further greatness in human achievement and looking to someone as example of how good we can be, we instead look to that example as making the rest of us look bad….and follow the pack mentality of dragging someone down to wallow with the rest of us in the mud?

I am not a naive person. If there were a shred of conclusive physical evidence produced then verified by a second governing body I would accept that Armstrong did cheat. But this has gone on for so long and he has been investigated by so many different organizations. And he has passed through it all.

Yes, Lance Armstrong has made a lot of money from his achievements. But what has he done? He started the Livestrong organization to help those with cancer. And he has been an inspiration, not only for those with cancer. But for many who have a dream of accomplishing something. be it cycling or other challenges in life. Not the actions of a cheater.

Lance Armstrong has beaten a cancer that he was only given a 10% chance of living through. Why can we not believe that someone who worked to overcome such an event can apply the same discipline towards his sport?

He is a personal inspiration to me by what can be achieved through discipline and hard work, coming back from the very depths of struggle (near death) to achieve the pinnacle in the most grueling test of human fitness and endurance in the world.

You go on and believe that there are no more heroes….

Lance Armstrong will always be a hero to me.