At some point in our lives, almost all of us have come across the little yellow band with the words LIVESTRONG written on them. Some wore it because it was fashionably cool, others because it helped charity and still others because everyone else was wearing one.
Somewhere in my house, in one of the drawers, that yellow band still exists. It is a symbol of good, indeed… a symbol of hope. That yellow band changed the lives of so many cancer victims… it gave them a chance but was it all built on a lie?
Today, the UCI - Cycling’s governing body, banned Lance Armstrong from cycling for life. Armstrong’s legacy, according to UCI president Pat McGain, doesn’t exist. Lance Armstrong deserves to be forgotten.
The decision clears the way for Tour de France organizers to officially remove Armstrong’s name from the record books, erasing his consecutive victories from 1999-2005.
Armstrong still hasn’t admitted that he ever doped. He will still say that he never tested positive. He will still say that the USADA was on a witch-hunt and he was the target. He will still say that the 26 people — including 15 riders — who testified that Armstrong and his teams used and trafficked banned substances, and routinely used blood transfusions are liars.
But at some level, you hope that he comes out with the truth for the millions of his fans or they will be forever be cursed to live in a black hole created by his lies. His 'never-ever-doped' stance needs to change, he needs to come out with the truth. At some level, it’s about himself – it’s about being able to sleep easy.
Santa Rosa-based cyclist Levi Leipheimer recently admitted to doping, and he felt that coming out with the truth gave him a sense of closure.
“Absolutely there's a sense of closure. In one sense, the story is still being told, this will always be a part of my story and my life. In one sense, everything is on the table. There's certainly nothing to hide from. The biggest sense of relief in all of this came when I decided to stop using performance-enhancing substances back in 2007,” Leipheimer told Press Democrat.
“For me, that was the biggest sense of relief because I felt at the time I can complete without doing this. I no longer have to deal with that stress -- trying to live in this alternate world where we are doing it but we are trying to act like we are not doing it,” he said.
There are many who will argue that he was the best of the doping era of cycling. And that may indeed be the case but that still doesn’t mean he wasn’t cheating. And it also doesn’t mean that he didn’t bully people either.
According to Tyler Hamilton’s testimony, Armstrong told him, “When you’re on the witness stand, we are going to f****** tear you apart. You are going to look like a f****** idiot. I’m going to make your life a living . . . f****** hell.”
He did that to many others as well and you can read about that here.
Really, the only thing Armstrong can do at this point is confess to everything. The truth and nothing but the truth can be his salvation. Everything else, at this point, is a mirage; a mirage that has fooled the world for years.
In his mind, Armstrong probably had a very good reason to lie, but there is a better reason to tell the truth. This isn’t about seeking an escape; this is about giving the sport he loved so much a chance of survival as well.
George Orwell, once said, that in a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act and Lance, it’s time for a revolution.
First Published On : Oct 22, 2012 18:57 IST