Lance Armstrong is a victim of society

Adam Semple Columnist

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    If I read another status update about how Lance Armstrong is a shameful a–hole or another news article articulating so specifically how Mr Armstrong achieved this monumental deception of mankind, I’ll have another rum.

    The point is though, I’m sick of it and I’m sure you are too.

    Lance Armstrong was a victim of our society and our culture.

    He was a victim of our culture in that, like every other sportsperson that has felt the pressure of ‘success’ and victory from a very young age, a weight from family and friends and the public bearing down on his shoulders.

    He caved in early.

    I’m going to repeat myself here, Lance Armstrong is a victim. He is a victim of a society that immorally valued success.

    He is a victim of a greedy, consumerist society that promotes us all to strive for an extra $10k (in his case $10m) annually, to upgrade our car or wardrobe.

    For all you people out there that didn’t see what happened coming, you are the ignoramus. You are foolish and you have been living in a state of unconsciousness.

    If you ask me ‘why?’, I ask you this.

    If all of Lance’s close competitors tested positive in drug testing, how possibly could Lance Armstrong have been clean? You honestly believe that he was not just better than them all, but much better, even though he was disadvantaged?

    So he was clean but smashed all the drug takers?

    You have been absorbed in mainstream newspapers, you generally accept what society tells you, you don’t question what is too difficult to hear the answer.

    Honestly you believed that he could beat Jan Ullrich and Iban Mayo and Marco Pantani? You thought an innocent clean Texan man could annihilate ‘The Man Of 52 Percent Hematocrit’ Marco Pantani?

    Is our society as stupid as it has ever been? Please god almighty, give me strength!

    Yet Marco Pantani is our hero and a legend, but Lance Armstrong is a disgrace?

    Marco too was a victim, but he suffered much more than Lance and the other ‘legends’.

    Pantani knew there was more to life than ‘winning’ and being profusely rich. He searched for what he wanted in the wrong direction though, and it got the better out of him.

    Eddy Merckx is the greatest cyclist of all time and he has admitted to taking drugs, he also tested positive. He is a hero though. A legend. The best. Such a nice and humble guy. I wish I could take him home to my parents.

    Lance Armstrong was infected by a cancer that was embedded in the fabric of sport well before he entered the game.

    He saw that everybody was doing something and decided to make it an even playing field.

    I’m not saying this is morally correct, nor that it’s okay that he lied to us for so long, but it’s the public persecution, the vindication, the mindset and disgust that the world at large have for a man that should be considered no worse than any other drugged up sportsperson, convict, or hoon that crashed and killed a pedestrian.

    All of these people are directly infected by a rotten and diseased society that considers success as the person crossed the line first, who crushed another man to make a dollar, greed, and nothing else.

    I know there are people that would rather be a poor nobody than a loaded drug cheat.

    We are the ones who cheered him on. We gave him props for beating other drug cheats and you never thought it was odd. He lied to us yes, but our society and our culture made him do it.

    Society has a bent and twisted view on what success is. Success isn’t about being compassionate and generous and selfless and happy anymore.

    We portray success as the pop-star with an ‘gorgeous’ body and face, find a recording deal to create an auto-toned pop song, infused with offensive mind-numbing lyrics, and produced by a team if people that know how to make all of us idiots tick.

    What is success if it isn’t compassion or generosity?

    Success isn’t about money, greed, or crushing our competitor, but we seem to think it is.


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    The Crowd Says (54)

    • February 4th 2013 @ 5:47am
      Robert said | February 4th 2013 @ 5:47am | ! Report

      BS. This would be true if he had only doped. He didn’t – as the cycling word knows & the reasoned decision of the USADA proved. He pushed (think of Dave Zabriskie in particular) & harrassed & hounded out of the sport those who criticised doping. That’s LA’s crime; & that’s why he deserves what he’s getting

    • February 4th 2013 @ 6:17am
      Luke said | February 4th 2013 @ 6:17am | ! Report

      Could not disagree with you more Adam. Armstrong is the furthest thing from a victim you can get.
      While it hasnt really been confirmed when he started taking PED’s, in 1996 when he was diagnosed with cancer he admitted to doctors treating him that he was taking PED’s at the time. Thats nearly 20 years ago now and its fair to say society has changed a bit since then.
      Also there were plenty of people in the media who tried dishing the dirt on Armstrong over the years. In case you missed it, Armstrong would bully, harass, threaten to sue and finally sue anybody or media organisation who tried to print an article alleging drug use on his part. Sure there were some in the media who believed he was clean but there were plenty who didnt.

    • February 4th 2013 @ 6:20am
      David Huntsman said | February 4th 2013 @ 6:20am | ! Report

      Well, a lot of us didn’t believe he was racing clean from the start, thought he was a jackass who didn’t represent the sport we knew and loved, and are glad to see him toppled. Everything else is just sophistry.

    • February 4th 2013 @ 6:49am
      AndyMack said | February 4th 2013 @ 6:49am | ! Report

      Sorry Adam, but this is terrible. A victim??? Really???

      I read this whole article waiting for the punchline but it never came.

      A cheat, a bully and a liar. He should be in jail.

      The only victims are the people who were clean who finished behind him. Any thoughts for those hard working honest people Adam….????

    • February 4th 2013 @ 7:23am
      Curly Jefferson said | February 4th 2013 @ 7:23am | ! Report

      100% bang on! Thank you Adam for putting into words everything that I think & feel on the whole situation (and these pop stars dont even have the “perfect” bodies any more). Dave Z, bullied? Really? He was juiced to the gills at CSC! You will get bullied racing 4th cat here in the uk if you allow it. So much hypocrisy, David Millar loved name dropping Lance when he was in the “go fast gang”, calling his cell on xmas day blah blah, he was out training! etc! Remember none of them admitted to it until both barrels where wedged under their chins!
      I’m not a Lance fan boy but I found him to be more charismatic & giving to his fans at the time than I have seen from Cav & Wiggo, I can only speak as I find.
      Perspective, forgiveness ( I love my Jacques Anquetl tshirt).

    • February 4th 2013 @ 8:48am
      Boba said | February 4th 2013 @ 8:48am | ! Report

      To the author – Lance Armstrong is not a victim of a corrupt, materialistic society – he is its champion. Lance Armstrong gamed the system and now appears to be gaming you. You need to reconsider using an “Armstrong as victim” line to support your social commentary – Armstrong has never been a victim, he has always been a perpetrator. He used his position of power to slander and libel his critics . He ruined people’s lives. He corrupted people and institutions. He is a cheat. A liar. He is a vexatious litigant with a team of lawyers and PR advisers and money to burn. He simply has no integrity and it is almost laughable you would ask us to pity him.

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