Saturday, June 16, 2012

Come on everybody, get off Lance Armstrong’s back and give the guy a break. Don’t bitch, don’t moan and groan... leave him alone, after all he is a legend, a hero to millions of Americans, and millions of others the world over.

There can be no surprise at this.

The man has survived cancer, won multitudes of Tour de France titles - here is an athlete that has toiled long and hard, riding thousands upon thousands of miles in training each and every year in his quest to be the best.

The dedication it takes to reach the apex of cycling cannot be underestimated. It is not just about having the talent, though undoubtedly Armstrong was never lacking in that department. There are other elements at play too, not least the inner fortitude to take one’s mind to places it has never encountered before and gather up the courage to battle through near unbearable pain levels as one attempts to conquer the opposition, the heftiness of a bike, all those gears and some of the most fearsome mountain climbs known to the sport of cycling.

And through all of this Armstrong has taken on all-comers while being free from the use of drugs.

We know this because he has never failed a drugs test throughout his long and distinguished career. Not only that but Lance says he has never cheated, and far be it for any of us mere mortals more commonly known as the epitome of ignorance to question the legitimacy of his morals and values.

I mean, who do we think we are to question one of sports all time great competitors? This is a guy that was so good that he won seven Tour de France titles in a row
Hard work was how he achieved his hard fought success and fame, unlike so many others who garnered their success through the use of unlawful means.

There was Floyd Landis – head of the class for his industrial scale efforts on the drug taking front. There was Tyler Hamilton; banned. Michael Rasmussen – cheat. There was Alberto Contador; tested positive, but naturally he has no idea how said substance managed to mysteriously appear in his system. And, of course, there was Jan Ulrich, the man who was quite possibly the mightiest talent of all, caught taking untoward substances.

Some inordinately larges talents amongst that lot, for sure. To beat men of that calibre, who also decided to illegally gain an advantage through the use of artificial stimulation, all the while been drug free . . . wow, what a talent he is that he made a bunch of convicted drugs cheats look like weekend hacks through the use of nothing more than talent and hard work.

So, let’s get off his case and celebrate the great man’s achievements.

How ludicrous for anyone out there to suggest that Armstrong cheated. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest that he has at any time during his career taken performance enhancing drugs. Never mind that the US anti-doping authority have charged Armstrong with doping. Farcical, really, to think that such a paragon of virtue in the form of Lance Armstrong would be the latest target of USADA.

Apparently they have damming evidence to back up their case. Proberly a conspiracy - it has to be. I mean, don’t the authorities know who they are attacking. Please, this is Lance Armstrong we are talking about here. What a legend. Good God, leave the man alone. Seriously, he cannot be anything other than blameless. Ah, tall poppy syndrome. It has to be.

Blood, sweat and tears, that is all he needed. Because when you desire something badly enough you’ll push yourself through the pain barrier. No alp could or did hinder his progress into greatness. Drugs – HA, who needs them? Not Lance, that is for sure.

There is nothing quite like a steely determination to succeed and beat any challenge put in front of you, in a purely legal manner.

Besides, according to Lance, it is nothing more than a witch-hunt being executed against him by the USADA. This we know because Armstrong has never done anything wrong in his impeccably lived existence, so what he says has to be correct. After all, Lance’s word is reputable, how could he ever do anything wrong. Surely it is time a lot of us learnt to be less cynical and have more faith in our fellow men and women.

Instead of calling for his head, we should all be celebrating such a brave and courageous soul, someone who has beaten the odds and trampled over the arch enemy of deceit. Above all he is someone that has taken on men found to have had their performance enhanced by the use of drugs, and still triumphed.

Don’t bother listening to the likes of Landis, either, who has publically accused Armstrong of blood doping. I mean, he is a known cheat who denied taking drugs. Would you believe anything he says? Much better to believe Armstrong because he has never been caught doing anything wrong in his life. And we all know that if you have not been found guilty of something, then there is no way that your morals are anything but the purest. And being the nice chap that he is, I’m sure Armstrong chose not to sue Landis for defamation out of the kindness of his heart. Proberly all those training rides together that he fondly remembers that stopped him.

And forget the fact that Landis has claimed that he and Armstrong discussed blood doping on those long rides together. Like such an issue would ever be a topic of conversation for someone clean like Armstrong. For sure he would quickly bring to a halt any such talk. For, he is above that type of thing.

More likely the pair of them spent their time discussing Einstein’s theory of relativity, or the impact on 18th century Russia of the reign of Catherine the Great. Certainly, it is hard to comprehend there being time to discuss the merits of blood transfusions over EPO, or not.

In Armstrong we have a man that, drug free, has battled the best in the world – many of whom have tested positive to banned stimulants – and beaten them.

Put it down as a win for the good guys.

What makes his story even more remarkable was his famous battle with cancer. For two long years the man from Austin, Texas, fought a life threatening war against what turned out to be his greatest foe of all. That he survived was a mighty effort in itself. Then, after all he had been through he dragged himself back up and became the greatest Tour de France rider of all time.

You get your health back, so why would anyone in their right mind subject their body to potentially life threatening drugs?

Remember, too, that Lance isn’t like the rest of us who spend our time dreaming of money, fame and worldwide success. He is above all that sort of childish nonsense, so give the guy a break. Surely there is no reason for him to cheat, is there?

Just the joy of being able to compete again would be enough for him.

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