He won the Tour de France a record seven times. Yet his name is missing from the record books because he “cheated.” He used something called “performance enhancing drugs.”
What a farce. Let’s break it down.
When your body is the tool of your trade, anything you do to make that tool perform better is – by definition – a performance enhancer.
Drugs are chemicals. Anything the human body is capable of digesting, injecting, inhaling or absorbing is either a chemical element or a chemical compound.
The whole argument about PEDs is ridiculous.
Aspirin and Motrin enhance performance by reducing inflammation.
Protein drinks enhance performance by providing the body with readily usable sources of amino acids to aid in the repair of overused muscles and to help build more muscle.
Gatorade is a drug that enhances performance by providing a mixture of water and solids that enhance the cell’s ability to process toxins.
Hell, WATER is a drug, (chemical formula H20), that enhances the body’s ability to perform. (Just watch what happens to athletes who perform without it.)
Literally everything an athlete ingests, injects or absorbs is chemical and will have some sort of affect on his or her performance.
There is no objective scientific way to draw a line and put “Performance Enhancing Drugs” on one side and “everything else an athlete eats, drinks, injects, inhales or absorbs” on the other side.
Lance Armstrong survived testicular cancer by using drugs – “performance enhancing drugs” – and then used his superior athletic ability combined with a world-class competitive spirit and the best drugs money can buy to win the Tour de France seven times.
He then leveraged his experience, fame and extraordinary will to win into creating a foundation that raised a half a billion dollars to fight cancer.
But wait – he cheated!
He did not cheat – even if he took the drugs.
For an act to be cheating, two things must be true:
- The act must violates the rules and
- The act must give the athlete an unfair advantage.
Armstrong certainly violated the rules of cycling, but it didn’t give him an unfair advantage since all his competitors were violating the same rules by using the same or similar PEDs. In other words, he beat the rest on a level playing field, even if the height of the field was elevated by certain chemicals which a supra-legal body decided athletes weren’t supposed to use.
The rule he broke was both arbitrary, (exactly what is and is not a PED?), and universally ignored in his sport. Armstrong was the fastest drug-aided cyclist amongst hundreds of other drug-aided cyclists.
Lance Armstrong’s mistake was that he didn’t confess once his career was over.
If I was Lance, I’d come clean now. America forgives scoundrels who don’t raise $500 million for charity. America will readily forgive Lance. We need people like him, regardless of what kind of chemical compounds he used on his own body to help him survive cancer and the Tour de France. Lance Armstrong is a hero.
Get over it, America.