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Tour de France legend surrenders.

August 25, 2012

After months of investigation by the Anti-Doping Agency, 7 time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong refused to further defend himself. His current silence speaks volumes, and brings to mind Mark McGwire’s infamous ‘I plea the fifth’ in front of Congress. Armstrong summed up this ordeal and how it caused discomfort for him and his family “Enough is Enough…”  Armstrong has been the face of professional cycling, and has dominated the sport for the better part of last decade.  The fact that Lance has refused to  continue to defend his name baffles me, and to me serves as an admission of guilt.  Armstrong has been retired from cycling for a few years now, so I don’t buy the notion that the investigation was “negatively effecting his family.”

This move from the Armstrong camp was simply damage control.  With reportedly dozens of witnesses lined up to testify against him, the Anti-Doping Agency was fully prepared to drop the hammer on the cycling legend.  Instead of risking losing everything, Armstrong has quietly backed off while maintaining his innocence.  His sponsors, including Nike have continued to support him.  Most of them siting the importance of his contributions to cancer research, rather than the possibility of his banned substance usage. “Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors…”

We will never know the full extend of Lance Armstrong’s cheating during his historic run of Tour de France titles.  It is fully clear however, that actions speak louder than words.  Lance’s silence has not only gotten him a lifetime ban from cycling, but his name and legacy will forever be questioned.  Now that Armstrong’s performance is tainted, where does it leave the sport of cycling? And how will they pick up the pieces and move forward?

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