Mike Kueber's Blog

August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong – pariah?

Filed under: Culture,Sports — Mike Kueber @ 1:25 pm
Tags: , ,

As reported in USA Today yesterday, Lance Armstrong has decided to give up his fight against the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) finding that he used various forms of doping to win this seven Tour de France titles.  According to most pundits, Armstrong is declining to challenge the USADA finding in arbitration because (1) he would ultimately lose, and (2) the evidence that the USADA would present at the arbitration (including the testimony of ten individuals who witnessed Armstrong’s doping) would further soil Armstrong’s reputation.

Although I have been one of Armstrong’s biggest fans, I have believed for many years that he cheated.  I feel the same way about Roger Clemens.  Both are patriotic Texans, and it is part of their pragmatic, competitive nature to do whatever is necessary to win.  They are not going to sit idly by on principle while many, if not most, of their competitors cheat.

I don’t condone that behavior, but it is quintessentially American.  So let’s not treat Lance and Roger like pariahs.  Rather, they are us, and we are trying to get better.



  1. Disagree.

    They are not us-in almost any way-and they set very, very bad examples for our youngsters and their fans.

    I still (perhaps Pollyannaishly) believe that our public figures ought to be models for our/their public and NOT behave outrageously in public forums nor cheat.

    They truly are models–whether they like it or not. As long as they make their livings from the public and public appreciation and dollars, they need to BE careful and set high standards, not act like/be cheaters, gangsters, or reprobates.

    Bob Bevard

    Comment by Bob Bevard — August 24, 2012 @ 2:37 pm | Reply

    • Bob, I suggest we are in violent agreement. Public figures should attempt to be role models, and cheaters set a low standard. But my point was that part of what made Lance and Roger special was their drive to succeed at all costs, which traditionally has been a part of the American character. That character can stand some refining.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — August 24, 2012 @ 6:45 pm | Reply

  2. This should not take away from the fact that he has created a worthy organization to fight cancer. It is a sad day, though.

    Comment by Patrice Scott — August 24, 2012 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

    • Absolutely, Patrice. Although it is a cliche to express it this way, Lance is not perfect and has lots of human weaknesses. But as you noted, he has accomplished much good. Sounds a bit like Joe Paterno, huh?

      Comment by Mike Kueber — August 24, 2012 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  3. I admire Lance Armstrong for his drive and motivation and competitive fire! I think he is a great human being. The other stuff I do not care about, I just look at his great determination and try to emulate him in any small way I can.

    Comment by Kelly John Kueber — August 24, 2012 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

  4. […] a recent blog about Lance Armstrong’s decision to give up his fight against doping charges, two readers […]

    Pingback by Role models « Mike Kueber's Blog — August 25, 2012 @ 3:53 am | Reply

  5. No WAY! Lance does not represent my view of the American character nor the things that make humans wonderful. Lance is THE classic cheat. The only thing that makes him special is that he cheated so well and so long that he won seven Tours and many awards and accolades. All absolutely undeserved in retrospect. This man is a con and a scammer and a cheat. Do NOT pretend that Livestrong ameliorates any of it. It doesn’t. It only makes it worse.

    Comment by Bob Bevard — October 12, 2012 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

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