The new issue of Sports Illustrated hits newsstands tomorrow and features more negative claims against cycling superstar Lance Armstrong. The SI article challenges Armstrong’s claims that he cut ties with an Italian doctor who has been long accused of helping cyclists cheat. Armstrong spokesman Mark Fabiani calls the report “old news from the same old discredited sources.”
For years, Lance has claimed that he won his record seven straight Tour de France titles without cheating. Former teammates beg to differ and have claimed Armstrong was involved in blood doping. It is sad how many cycling greats have been found guilty of cheating. The first known case was in 1886 and since then, the sport has been marred by controversy. The list of champion cyclists found guilty of blood doping is so long, that I would need this entire website to list all of the offenders. So it is natural to assume Armstrong could not dominate the Tour de France for seven straight years with just his natural God-given ability. Nobody has ever destroyed the competition like Lance, and his recovery from cancer is one of the great stories in the sports world. The Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised over $60 million for cancer research and almost every American has probably owned his signature yellow Livestrong bracelet. For that reason alone, Armstrong’s charitable contributions will shield him from the criticism of many in the sports media. However, if the reports of his blood doping turn out to be true, all of hisTour de France wins will be questioned along with his legacy as the greatest cyclist of our generation. Then again, if every great cycling star is guilty of cheating, maybe Lance is just the best “dope” in the history of the sport.