I was going to write something about cycling and Lance Armstrong and doping. Then I wasn’t. Then I was. Then I wasn’t... and, well, you get the picture. In the end though it pretty much boils down to this:
- From what I saw on the telly and read in magazines at the time (‘the time’ being the ‘90s through to, uh, well now really), I decided that I never much liked Lance Armstrong as a rider or as a person. Time has not changed my opinion.
- Why do we expect individuals (in any sphere of life) who are clearly driven by an overpowering need to win to be morally incorruptible?
- That said, although every professional cyclist wants to win, not every professional cyclist is, was or will be a cheating, lying ego-maniac.
- Why do we think that there are not also cheats in other sports? Especially ones with more money involved?
- Why do corporations think its okay to walk away from individuals and teams without acknowledging their own duplicity? Why do they not accept responsibility for leading positive change?
And finally, fundamentally, cycling is a beautiful sport. You don’t need (false) heroes to know that to be true. You just need a bike.
But hey, if you did need a hero, you could do a lot worse than choose Fiorenzo Magni, who died recently aged 92.