LANCE ARMSTRONG: THE SPOTLIGHT SHOULD SHIFT

2013-01-23 04:45

Famed Cyclist Lance Armstrong’s admission to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs in all of his victories is a huge disappointment to all sports lovers and especially to cycling fans and cancer survivors. He set a very poor example for our children.

Although his philanthropic efforts have done well for many, particularly for his foundation, his lies, deceit, bullying and manipulation cannot be forgotten and condoned.

The different cocktails of drugs he used gave him the incredible stamina to dishonestly win seven consecutive Tour de France titles. This structural and sophisticated doping rota assisted him to control and dominate the sport by his wins.

The usage of performance –enhancing drugs by sports people is motivated by multifaceted factors like avarice, materialism, sponsorships and fame. And since sports has been commercialised the life ban on Armstrong is appropriate in order to keep sports drug - free, fair and ethical.

The spotlight must now move away from Lance Armstrong and focus on the suppliers, US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), and other regulatory bodies involvement. If Armstrong is really sincere in his confession and apology, he should name the ring masters involved in helping him to cover the administration of these drugs for so long.

In order to effectively respond to drugs and doping in sports Armstrong needs to provide clear information about the doses, steroids, diuretics, stimulants, masking agents, hormone and metabolic modulators and other performance-enhancing cocktails used by him and his fellow riders. He also needs to disclose the methods used to conceal detection of these drugs.

Lance Armstrong may well have a weak point and his shocking activities are worthy of our opprobrium, however we most definitely must act in a human fashion and not subject him to mental torture.

Unfortunately, Armstrong should accept the constructive criticism levelled at him, the way people think about what he did and the life ban.

Armstrong has reminded us that he too, although having mastered cycling, is still human and vulnerable to the whims of his ego and desires. We all make mistakes that we regret, but as we expect forgiveness from our Creator we too should demonstrate compassion and let the man live his life which for him will never be normal again. A human being conscience will not let him forgive himself.

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