Tour live updates: crash in last 3k knocked out tour leader in stage 19 today. Overall standings remain the same, but Lithuania’s Ramunas Navardauskas survived the crash winning stage 19.
Almost two years ago, Lance Armstrong’s cycling world came tumbling. Every one was shocked—at least we were at the shop. His eight yellow jerseys, an idol to endurance athletes everywhere, overcoming cancer, the face of one of the most effective cancer publicity campaigns ever—all came down when we heard that he was actually using EPO.
Does this one fact about Lance make him irrelevant in all he’s accomplished? At least it seems that way since the news in 2012. I haven’t heard a thing about him since the doping scandal cooled down until this article was posted on esquire.com this week. Which made me realize that there’s no way around it: the Tour du France has been a sporting event riddled with drug use from the very beginning. In July 7th’s article in Esquire (August 2014 issue), John H. Richardson wrote the following about drug usage in the race.
In the 1920s, they took cocaine and alcohol, and in the 1940s, amphetamines. In 1962, fourteen of them dropped out because of morphine sickness. Between 1987 and 1992, use of the blood-oxygen booster called EPO may have killed as many as twenty-three riders.
Richardson has really hit the nail on the head in his article and I recommend the read. Lance Armstrong has been made into a martyr for the sport, lost the cancer organization he founded, survived cancer, etc. He has done as much for a sport and a cause as one can do in a lifetime.
Many athletes do drugs (performance enhancing or not), but not all achieve greatness. Lance, not only achieved but inspired. If an example had to be made, he is the most qualified. In my opinion, just one more great gift to the sport of cycling.