The Armstrong Question
The only way to move forward is to acknowledge the past.
day asking, “Do you want to break-up with Vaughters? Circle ‘yes’ or ’no’”. Oh the drama! Why no one in Hollywood has optioned a reality show following the peloton I’ll never know...
But after several months of continuing to be on the fence regarding Armstrong, the 2012 Tour de France champion and Olympic gold medalist said this about the now discredited rider’s form during the 2009 Tour de France, “It wasn’t the same bike rider. You only have to watch the videos of how the guy was riding. I don’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth anymore.”
Wow Bradley that’s a strong statement to make! The disappointment is that it took months for you to say it and you only said it when it was completely safe to do so. Back in October Wiggo is quoted on RT.com as saying he was shocked at the amount of evidence produced by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Fast forward to January and he’s stating you could see Big Tex was a doper by watching videos of his 2009 Tour.
That’s the rub I have against Wiggins. He’s an amazing athlete with a cycling pedigree and resume anyone would die for. He’s an enigma - on one hand he says he wants nothing to do with publicity and then shoots a music video or gets on stage to jam on guitar. Plus, he’s not afraid to get sloppy drunk and allow photographers to document it. But up until recently it was: Don’t dare ask him about Armstrong and no taking questions from bone-idle wankers in the pressroom.
Whether they want to admit it or not riders like Cavendish and Wiggins need to address the Armstrong scandal so we can move past it. Until that is done and the marquee riders discuss it, these questions will linger like the stink from a dead fish. This has to be done only once and then it’s answered. One presser where those annoying questions can be answered and then that’s it. Done. From that point on if an annoying journalist dares to raise that topic again a quick, “I’ve already answered that” is all that’s needed.
To a certain point it isn’t fair that the burden of being spokesmen lies on them. They just happen to be very good at a sport; it doesn’t mean they have the ability to articulate a meaningful dialogue. However, for better or worse, we put these people on a pedestal thinking and expecting they have all the answers. If anything the Armstrong scandal should teach us to look closer to home of who we call true heroes.
A video made the rounds on the internet the other week. It’s the story of two brothers : Conner age 9 and Cayden Long age 6. Cayden has cerebral palsy. Conner competes in triathlons with his younger brother in tow behind him. The video is amazing and their courage was awarded with a “Sports kids of the Year” by Sports Illustrated. Kids like these are heroes and riders need to check their attitude at