Armstrong’s Scandal Once Again Thrusts Steroids Into The Mainstream
Photo courtesy of MCT Campus
Lance’s recent case has caused for a steroid icon to come to his support, Barry Bonds. Bonds stated “I think if it wasn't for him, U.S. cycling wouldn't even be here. He was the greatest cyclist of all." When asked if he believed that Lance was a victim of a steroid witch hunt Bonds replied by saying “I don't know what they're doing, all I know is I love him. He's a great athlete." The “witch hunt” concerns are always present when a new steroid case is presented. With the increased media attention garnered by athletes steroid allegations have become a popular item of coverage that plagues all sports channels. The massive coverage of these events always leads to heated debates regarding innocence or guilt.
Any steroid controversy is a muddled affair. Within the allegations is a heated battle of “he said, she said.” The athlete initially denies ever having knowledge of doing such acts while the prosecutor and media hound said athlete with questions and allegations. The whole ordeal is extremely ugly and even if the athlete is proven innocent, they come out of the controversy never quite being viewed the same. MLB all-star Ryan Braun recently had his steroid case overturned due to the mishandling of a urine sample. We as sports fans will never be able to definitively tell if this is the truth or if his legal team just found a loophole and that is the downside of scandals like Braun’s and Armstrong’s. In a world with so many media outlets and ways of expressing personal views to the public, people are always skeptical of any decision that is made. Even if the athletes are proven innocent their legacy is forever tainted and the doubters will always feel that they somehow snuck one by everyone.
The contributions made by Armstrong cannot be argued. He is easily the most recognizable cycling figure in America and he made the sport what it is in the states. Before his inspiring story and run of victories did 80% of Americans even know what the Tour de France was? He also has been the leader of the Livestrong Foundation which has teamed with Nike and caused widespread positive effects in the fight against cancer. It is heartbreaking to see such an inspiring figure’s legacy tarnished by such a poisonous event. Lance Armstrong is a man who fought against all odds and triumphed through all the hardships. He was one of the good guys, someone we could have our kids idolize and feel good about it. Now he will forever be looked back on with skepticism and doubt. Whether you believe the charges against Armstrong or not, his name will eternally be chained with the daunting asterisk that now plagues many sports icons.