Dope

Lance Armstrong taking the Pete Rose approach:

As long as I live, I will deny it. There was absolutely no way I forced people, encouraged people, told people, helped people, facilitated. Absolutely not. One hundred percent.

His choice of words here is interesting even though his grammar is abhorrant.

Personal opinion: People who say “100 percent,” regardless of context, are attempting to blow smoke up your ass.

My thoughts on this whole “Lance Thing” are scattered. You may not care at all, gentle reader. Be assured though that Armstrong’s handlers care deeply what you think, and for good reason. His legacy is at stake and by proxy, so is his charitable foundation. In fact, in the New York Times article mentioned below, there is this sense that his people don’t care what his transgressions are/were since ‘his good acts outweigh his bad ones.’ Sounds like a sideways admission of guilt to me.

Interesting excerpt from the great NYT article on the subject:

Jay Coakley, a sociologist and the author of “Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies,” said that he had no doubt that Mr. Armstrong was guilty of doping, but that it did not matter. For athletes, he said, the line between performance enhancement and medical treatment has become so fuzzy that it is impossible to discern.

“Deciding to use performance-enhancing substances and methods has nothing to do with lack of morality,” Mr. Coakley said. “It has to do with normative structure of elite sport, and the athlete’s commitment to his identity as an athlete.”

Such a great insight. It leads well into an NPR story I heard days later that chronicles Katherine Hamilton’s decision to opt out of sports entirely:

“There is an untold story,” she said, “about all the thousands … who make a conscious decision, that are really great athletes doing the right thing, working really hard — and they just drop out because they’re just not willing to do the things to your body and to go down that road.”

In other words, athletes who don’t just say no to drugs, but no to sport[.]

Doping may be a (very) roundabout way to help cancer patients, but it’s also the apparent cause of other types of societal illness.

[Bruce Weber and Juliet Macur @ the New York Times via the Browser]

[image via correct-weight-loss.net]
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September 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading.

2 Comments

  1. shayne replied:

    that Katherine Hamilton interview was really interesting to me. when she was tearfully talking about dropping out of sports in college (and consequently withdrawing from school from loss of her scholarship)… i got choked up, too. what a hard and brave choice for a 19 year old to make. and so tremendously shitty to be forced to make that choice.

  2. Phil Bost replied:

    That was also my favorite part. Honestly the whole Lance thing is just tiring to me. I almost did a post exclusively about Hamilton instead, but narrative-wise, her story fit into the other article too smoothly to present her in isolation…
    Listening to her was definitely heart-wrenching. I’m very glad she ultimately returned to sport on her own terms. She’s the real sports hero in my eyes.

    Btw Shayne, thanks for reading. Feel free to comment any time.

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