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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sour Grapes Become Bitter Whines


I try not to blog much about Drudge stories that everyone here has already seen, this whole Lance Armstrong flap (hat tip: you-know-who) has me chafing. You know the story: American gets really good at cycling, gets really bad cancer, overcomes said cancer, gets good at cycling again, wins the Tour de France each year from 1999 through 2005, retires, and has his success blamed by his bitter European former competitors on wholly unsupported allegations of "performance enhancing" drug use. Yeah, that story.

According to this AP story,
Some spectators would shout obscenities or "Dope!" To some, his comeback from cancer and his uphill bursts of speed that left rivals gasping in the Alps and Pyrenees were too good to be true.

Armstrong insisted that he simply trained, worked and prepared harder than anyone. He was drug-tested hundreds of times, in and out of competition, but was never found to have committed any infractions.

I can't help but wonder if the root of the bitterness is due more to Mr. Armstrong's nationality than any actual concern that he's been juicing up. If Mr. Armstrong were from any other nation, what is the likelihood that there would be anything but parades and accolades for a man who has come so far and achieved so much? It's a fair question.

Memo to Tour de France losers: If there is a shred of proof that Lance Armstrong has used performance-enhancing drugs, bring it forward and let the chips fall where they may. Put up...or shut up.

Oh, and hey John Kerry, if Lance Armstrong becomes a politician it will be in spite of you. A love for cycling is about all you two share, sir. If Mr. Armstrong had emulated your Vietnam-era courage, he would never have mounted a bicycle again after his cancer.