Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Lest we forget…

What a tumultuous weeks it’s been in the cycling world. After years of rumour and speculation, perhaps the single biggest sporting con of all time has been confirmed. Lance Armstrong, cyclist, World Champion, 7 time winner of the Tour De France, and cancer survivor has been unmasked.  He was at the centre of, and helped to mastermind the most effective doping programme ever to be unearthed in professional sport. He certainly didn’t act alone, and many others are implicated, but as perhaps the one cyclist non cyclists know, he has captured all the headlines.
Is it a shame? Of course it is, but some would argue, me included, that it could be the finest thing ever to happen to the pro peloton. We should never be ashamed of outing the cheats. Ignoring them will only encourage those trying to compete clean to join them. Surely no sport ever wants to go down that path.
What’s clear is that much needs to change.  Over the next few weeks and months, hopefully it will. What of the UCI? Implicated in taking bribesdonations from Armstrong and his entourage, and with a President who earlier this week labelled those seeking to expose the truth as ‘scumbags’, it surely has to take a long hard look at itself.
One statement made earlier this week stood out especially to me. Pat McQuaid, the president of the embattled UCI said earlier in the week “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling. Lance Armstrong deserves to be forgotten in cycling”. Whilst I’d agree with the first sentence, the second could not be further from the truth. Cycling should never forget Lance Armstrong. Remembering him should serve to remind everyone involved in this great sport that we can never let a scandal like this happen again. Pat McQuaid however could be easily forgotten by just about everybody.
Lest we forget…

1 comment:

  1. My dad was a keen cyclist and by the time I was ten my journeys home from school became Tour de France Stages (I was Jacques Anquetil). Every day I was the stage winner and at weekends I was the King of the Mountains. The BBC would show about 5 minutes of the Tour each Saturday and I would sit with dad waiting for the weekly update of my heroes.
    I remember the year after Tommy Simpson died the Tour was dubbed the “Tour of Health”, as a result of Tommy’s death and almost every year since the sport/pastime I love has kicked me in the teeth.
    This year is different. Why? Because we have proven that cyclists can be clean and win, because we have exposed our sport so much that there is no going back.
    I envy the boys who are riding home pretending to be Wiggins.

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