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James Francis
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Doped If You Do...

21 January 2013, 10:13
The cat is out of the saddlebag: Lance Armstrong admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs during his career. The world gasped in shock. So did I. In fact, I’m still absorbing this... Who knew so many people cared about road cycling?

I have to admit that I fall far outside the loop here. The only time I’m reminded people are paid to race bicycles is when the Tour De France swings by - and that’s probably because it seems really long. I still don’t know when that event begins or ends. It just kinda shows up, hustles a few news articles and disappears again. Then there is the Argus. But like the Comrades, I only know its there because it’s a local spectacle. Not unlike Bonang Matheba or Steve Hofmeyr.

Speaking of the Comrades, that is another sport I am totally clueless on. There are the marathons in London and New York, which I know of because they happen in London and New York. What these athletes do for the rest of their days is anyone’s guess. Where do they go? Do they take drugs too? Has Oprah got their numbers?

If you ask me, someone should give Lance an award or a fruit basket. He really brought this obscure sport into the limelight. Kids are probably already lining up to buy bikes, now realising that you can actually make a living through pedaling - other than selling ice cream. Mind you, those guys never pedal. They always push their cycles. Sounds like someone could use a performance enhancer...

Now a cynic could say that nobody actually cares about road cycling. We just like to kick someone who is down, especially when they did it to themselves. Maybe the world just doesn’t like a cheat. We will not stand for it - unless you are the government, a casino or the people who made the tomato sauce bottles smaller. And they never talk to Oprah.

No, I can’t accept that. What we have here is a proper, wholesome concern for the sport of road cycling. Lance’s crimes are incredibly damaging. Just think about what is at stake here. Who in their right mind would ever buy one of those bikes if they weren’t being paid to in the first place? It’s not as if the delivery guy from Wimpy uses one. Ever since the arrival of mountain and urban bikes, the speedy racing bicycle has been under threat.

How could you, Lance? How could you endanger this marvel of engineering, which demands such pristine surfaces that your only hope to get it up a hill in France is to inject some go-go juice? I really hope they don’t catch a doping F1 driver...
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