January 21, 2011
When you read “the piece” at that link, it includes:
“Is there anyone over the age of 10 who truly believes that a multi-cycle chemo patient with one nut is steaming all over the Alps without some sort of “unnatural” help?”
“We know that 15 of the last 23 Tour de France winners, counting Armstrong, have “doped” in one way or another. So when Sports Illustrated asks, “Was the miracle a mirage?” it’s indulging in a lot of sham naivete about the essential nature of Armstrong’s sport (and about sports in general).”
Did Armstrong read that before agreeing? Is that what he meant, or just to agree with the rant against Jeff Novitzky?
The first part of “the piece” claims that cycling the Alps day after day is as unnatural as taking PEDs – a big call I should think. After all, what is unnatural about human endurance? That is a hallmark of our species. Watching TV is probably a whole lot more “unnatural” than cycling long distances over mountains. The article paints a picture of cycling as the pre-eminent doping sport with an ingrained and long history of substance abuse. Fair enough, it must run close, but does that mean we give up all hope of a fair, level playing field? Or what does it mean? I have no problem with proposing alternative solutions, like legalisation and monitoring, but none seem to be suggested here. It’s simply: ‘here it is, how naive are you – or Sports Illustrated – to believe or hope otherwise?’
And it disses Jeff Novitzky, endlessly.
So does Armstrong agree with the article completely, or only in parts?
Maybe you’ve heard about Sports Illustrated’s exciting new Lance Armstrong feature. At bottom, it’s a story about a corrupt man who gets away with cheating because the people who’d ordinarily police it have decided to look the other way.
Which is to say, it’s a story about Jeff Novitzky, federal drug warrior.
Before we get to that, let’s remember that the history of the sport we’re talking about here is more or less the history of doping. From the end of the 19th century to the present day, competitive cyclists have injected, swallowed, or otherwise consumed for the purposes of performance enhancement wine, brandy…