Lance Armstrong: Who hasn’t cheated?
American-born, Lance Armstrong’s confession that he doped and cheated his way to fame has left many hearts devastated including myself. Millions of people might have predicted that the long-time king of the racing bike was going to let the cat out of the bag in an interview with TV host Oprah Winifred. Notwithstanding, they were still countless die-hard fans of the all-round rider who could never have imagined such a shocking revelation from the Texan hero who once survived testicular cancer, then stunned the world by winning the Tour de France. Yet as we all know, the irreversible damage has been done; all his seven titles have been disqualified and withdrawn; sponsors have all quitted with dismay, and the dethroned Armstrong is now left without anything except ignominy – a long face to carry around.
From hero to zero
Ever since the United State Anti-doping Agency, USADA first raised the alarm that there was a smokescreen behind Armstrong’s unbeaten world’s records of seven consecutive times win of Tour de France between 1999 – 2005, I have vehemently refused to think that the athlete might have taken any performance-enhancing substance. Might be this was simply because of what I had read years back from his book, “It’s not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life”, published in 2001 after his dramatic comeback from chemotherapy. That is, that his unconquerable performances in all his competitions where thanks to the capacity of oxygen his lungs can hold, which according to medical experts was extraordinary. That is to say while the other competitors easily run out steam or energy to cycle for a long distance, Armstrong had more than enough fuel in his tank to keep him going.
With the medical explanation now considered as bogus, when Armstrong finally opted to take part in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, I couldn’t be indifferent or hold back my breathe in case the unexpected is hatched out. As I was once told, the apple never falls far from the tree. It has happened, as we all know he had been a big cheat for all these seven years that he successfully won millions of hearts, encouraged lots of young generations to fall in love with cycling, and not to mention the millions of spectators and TV viewers that turn out or turn on TV to watch the Tour de France each year. It shall be hard to all these sundry spectators and young riders to forgive him, especially those cyclists, which he had deprived them from becoming winners in this world prestigious cycling tour.
Stone him or save him
If we look at Armstrong as any ordinary human being that has misbehaved and then admitted his misconduct, not as a professional cyclist since once as a thief, always a thief, I think we can still accept him as one of us. After all, how many of us can boldly boast that they have never cheated in life. Think of the story in the Bible, “Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery” that describes a woman taken to Jesus Christ, the scribe by the Pharisees because she was found guilty of committing adultery. According to the laws then, that woman was supposed to be stoned to death for her crime. Logically, Jesus Christ said: “Let him without the sin, cast the first stone. In other words, meaning that any one of them that is guilty of not committing any crime should throw the first stone at the woman. As it turned out, none of them threw a stone and Jesus Christ eventually saved the woman’s life. Obviously, it takes a thief to catch a thief.
Therefore, we can’t stone Armstrong today because he has admitted being a cheat. If we look at ourselves in a mirror, surely we will find guiltiness somewhere for something we’re yet to air or have been bottling it from others for ages. Since Armstrong has told the truth and shamed the devil by admitting his errors and seeking forgiveness, it’s up to us now to accept or reject his apology. Take a moment as you read this article think of it: “Who is well? Who isn’t a cheat?”