I took a lot of crud for not being properly outraged at the revelations that Lance Armstrong won his 7 Tours de France by doping.
Sorry, I still don’t care.
It’s not about Lance (nor his bike). Of course I’m disappointed — it was fun to think that, among all the drugs and scandals, there was one guy who didn’t. Now everyone says there wasn’t. It has a feeling of inevitability, as if no matter who competes, they they win, they cheated somehow.
It’s about a sport that is so swamped with money that absolutely nobody can stop people from using drugs to win in it. It’s about a massive contradiction in which we demand “clean” sports, but we also demand winners in those sports to be every faster, ever stronger, and ever more supernatural in their ability to achieve those levels without performance enhancers.
At least one team sponsor feels as I do — Rabobank in Holland (click) has withdrawn from the sport, not just over Lance, but over frustration with the whole mess. The sport is irredeemable, it says, so why bother?
Cycling is a great sport. As long as all it involves is riding your bicycle from here to there, with no money involved and, perhaps, even only minimal bragging rights, it might be possible to keep it clean and tidy and fun.
Throw money, millions and billions of dollars, into the mix, forget it.
And, no, it is not the only sport where this is an issue, just the only one I made the mistake, for a while there, of caring about.