blybo wrote: I'm sure there many people in cancer treatment and research circles that would pretty uncomfortable with the self appointed poster boy of the fight against cancer being proven a fraud and a cheat... If that ever happens. Livestrong has undoubtedly done much good over the years, I just hope if his image is tarnished the fallout doesn't spread further outside of cycling
I'm not so sure. Livestrong has raised what? Several hundred million dollars for cancer research. People in cancer treatment and research circles would likely be grateful for the attention and funds raised to date.
I find this discussion interesting. I follow about half a dozen cycling forums outside of this one, yet I'm not what I'd call a "serious cyclist" Yes I ride a bike every day, and yes I ride lengthy distances on weekends, but I don't race, I don't own a TT bike, I don't hang out at Cafe Racer etc.
One thing I have noticed across every single forum that's ever discussed this is that it seems quite fashionable for what I'd term "serious cyclists" (or those that consider themselves to be such) to pile on as much anti-Armstrong sentiment as they're capable of typing/tweeting etc. You very rarely ever read of any of these "serious cyclists" admitting to the benefits that the dominance of Armstrong in the TdF brought to cycling - or at least I haven't noticed this. Like it or not, Armstrong is still the only cyclist that half the toothless bogan population of Australia have ever heard of.
I cycle. I follow cycling. Armstrong was a big part of getting me interested enough to stay up and watch the telecasts from Europe that have improved across the last decade or so.
Did he dope? I don't know, but he beat a lot of contemporaries who were on the gear, so chances are he probably did. Do I give a sh1t? Is there anything to be gained by pursuing him now, other than another sorely un-needed black eye for cycling?
I'm quite sure I don't understand the aggressive and spiteful sentiment directed toward him though, when others who have either been caught out or admitted doping after they'd ended their pro career (Ulrich, Bruyneel, Riis, etc) seem to be viewed quite differently. Is that just because Armstrong was successful? Is it because he's a fairly brash Texan? Or is it that foible of human nature that motivates us to want to tear down the tall poppy?
There's been a lot written about this, and a bloody sight more to come I suppose. Nothing good will come of it. I wonder what the most vocal anti-Armdstrong critics will do (if/when) the day after he's proven guilty of whatever charges might arise. Who will they turn on then?
Having said all that, I'm no big fan of Armstrong. I'm sure he'd be a fascinating individual to meet, but I'd rather meet Cadel or any one of the young Aussie blokes tearing it up these days. Australian cycling is in great shape at present. Who knows, maybe some of these young blokes started into riding due to the interest fuelled by the TdF record that Armstrong carved out?