I have been an outspoken in my dislike and distrust of Lance Armstrong in the past, and now that it seems like he will finally admit to blood doping and cheating in his sport, I am ambivalent about it.
It has been well known for a long time that most, if not all, of the top cyclists dope in ways that are illegal according to the rules of their sport. To me, this means that if you win, 7 major titles and you want your name to be clear, there had better be NO evidence that you cheated. This is especially important having come back from a serious cancer that left you on the brink of death. There is a mountain of evidence against Lance Armstrong, some physical, like his old samples, some circumstantial, like his close association and payments to Michele Ferrari, who was the leader in the blood doping field(and is now serving a lifetime ban from sports) and a lot of witness testimony. Despite all of this evidence, he continued to insist that he was innocent, that the evidence against him was wrong and that each one of the more than 20 people who accused him was a liar. It was so highly improbable that he could be innocent that I found it difficult to believe how anyone could think he was innocent.
I was always afraid that when his cheating came to light, it would hurt the people who have been involved with and motivated by his Livestrong foundation. Livestrong, which he founded, was created to “inspire and empower” cancer survivors and their families, and it has done exactly that for millions of people, who viewed him as a role model and a leader in the fight against cancer. I truly hope that when all of the evidence of his cheating comes to light, as well as his enormous effort to intimidate people into not revealing it, that it doesn’t send the message that cheating in pursuit of goals and dreams is acceptable. I hope survivors and families are able to take continued strength in the Livestrong community, despite the actions of its founder.