Lance

So Lance Armstrong took PEDs?  No sh%t.  I remember reading an article about Greg Lemond about five years ago.  Here is one passage:

The uproar began immediately. Armstrong called LeMond a few days after the 2001 Tour ended. “You’re telling me you’ve never done EPO?” LeMond alleges Armstrong said, referring to the blood-boosting drug erythropoietin. “Your comeback in ’89 was so spectacular. Mine was a miracle, yours was a miracle. You couldn’t have been as strong as you were in ’89 without EPO.”

“Listen, Lance, before EPO was ever in cycling I won the Tour de France…because I had a VO2 max of 95. Yours was 82. Tell me one person who said I did EPO.”

“Everyone knows it.”

“Are you threatening me?” LeMond says he asked.

“If you want to throw stones, I will throw stones,” Armstrong allegedly replied. Later in the conversation, LeMond says, Armstrong promised to “find at least 10 people who will say you did EPO.”

“It’s my word versus his,” said Armstrong, reached by phone in St. Bart’s earlier this year. “But I’m telling you, his description of that call is 100 percent inaccurate. He was accosting me, screaming and yelling. He was not acting normal that day.” (In a deposition, Armstrong described LeMond as “like a drunk.”)

The article goes on about the war between the two but what intrigues me is the VO2 max.    Armstrong never had the same genetic gifts as Lemond.  It reminds of the sudden increase in speed by Florence Griffith Joyner decades ago.  She came from nowhere to became the fastest woman alive.   I was in school for my master’s degree in exercise physiology then and one of the professors told me, “That just doesn’t happen….ever…naturally”.   How well did Sammy Sosa hit home runs prior to the steroid era?  Yeah, Lance was always guilty and even worse, he hurt so many more people (like Lemond) in his denial.  Let’s not congratulate him for his confession on Oprah.  Here is a great opinion piece that says it all.   I will quote the first few sentences by Greg Couch:

If you are planning a heartfelt admission and apology, you do not float a trial balloon first to see if it will go over OK. You do not look for the softest landing possible.

You do not wait until there is nothing to lose by doing it, and every personal thing to gain. 

You do not plan to take down everyone around you.

Something heartfelt, by definition, cannot be calculated, hurtful and self-serving. But that’s just what Lance Armstrong’s lie has always been. And now his truth will be the same?

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