I watched a bit of stages 1 and 2 of the Tour de France yesterday and today. I was a cycling fan for decades and was a long-time Lance Armstrong fan-boy. (For those of you not keeping up with the joke that is pro cycling, Lance Armstrong came out of retirement and is racing in this year's Tour.)
I jumped off both the cycling and the Lance bandwagons a few years ago when doping scandals rocked the pro cycling world and Lance pretty much said nothing other than "Not me!"
Really, Lance? I was watching the preview shows on the Versus cable network that looked back at the key races and stages of your career. What struck me was not how glorious those wins were, but rather how almost EVERY PERSON of consequence in those years has been tainted, directly or indirectly, by drugs.
Here is a not nearly comprehensive list of the dopers and druggies who figured prominently on these shows and in Lance Armstrong's career - either as teammate or competitor - during the period 1999-2005 when Armstrong won his seven Tours de France:
- Jan Ulrich
- Floyd Landis
- Ivan Basso
- Tyler Hamilton
- Frankie Andreu
- David Millar
- Roberto Heras
- Marco Pantani
- Filippo Simeoni
Heck, he is even racing on a team - Astana - that was banned from 2007 and 2008 Tours for doping.
Now is probably a good time to state that Lance Armstrong has never been found guilty of using any banned drugs. But he has chosen to make a living by consorting with some of scummiest liars and cheaters in professional sports.
You'll forgive us Lance, if some of us are not convinced that you are, or ever were, scum-free.