I think Lance Armstrong deserves his seven Tour de France titles.
As a disclaimer, I do not support doping. I also don’t claim to be an expert on bicycle racing or Lance Armstrong’s life, but I think I know enough to have an opinion on his recent ordeal and maybe give a new perspective on it. I owe any and all knowledge I have on the subject to my father who is a cycling enthusiast.
Every cyclist in the Tour de France (or at least every racer who hopes to place) dopes. To tell Armstrong that he doesn’t deserve his titles is to tell most of the racers that they are disqualified.
So why strip only Armstrong of his titles? Yes, he won first place seven times, he survived cancer; these two facts combined makes him the most significant bike racer in the 21st century. But just because he’s an easy target doesn’t mean he should be the officials’ only target. That’s just taking the easy way out.
So why do cyclists dope? Why not do the race clean? The expectations are humanly impossible. Race viewers expect the cyclists to perform at a certain level. With the intense heat and the incredibly steep mountains, racers can’t bike at such high speeds. Doping is necessary to entertain the public.
I have asked the question, why don’t all of the racers just stop doping? But I guess that’s the answer; viewers would no longer be entertained.
It’s sad that bicycle racing has come to this, and it’s sad that Armstrong has to pay the price for it. But it’s also sad that he’s the only one who has to. If Armstrong wanted to stay on the team, he had no choice but to dope.