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Wed, June 19

Lance Armstrong a doper?

Christophe Ena, file/The Associated Press<br>
Lance Armstrong, left, of the United States, makes the final ascent towards Luz-Ardiden during the 15th stage of the 2003 Tour de France cycling race between Bagneres-de-Bigorre and Luz-Ardiden, French Pyrenees. In 2003, Armstrong was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, ESPN's ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality.

Christophe Ena, file/The Associated Press<br> Lance Armstrong, left, of the United States, makes the final ascent towards Luz-Ardiden during the 15th stage of the 2003 Tour de France cycling race between Bagneres-de-Bigorre and Luz-Ardiden, French Pyrenees. In 2003, Armstrong was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year, ESPN's ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality.

Lance Armstrong used to be one of my heroes.

I competed in cycling road races some 25, ... err, nearly 30 years ago (wow!), alongside the brother of Olympian Alexi Grewal, who won the gold in 1984. I seriously can relate to the rigors of cycling - particularly after a certain 97-mile Copper Mountain-to-Leadville, Colo., race in the early '80s.

It was from those experiences I watched Armstrong. He would win - and decisively.

In recent years, though, Armstrong's halo started to show wear. I would not believe he doped, not Lance - the (now former) seven-time winner of the Tour de France.

"How could someone who survived cancer stoop so low?" I thought.

All of this is, of course, assuming that recent media reports and Thursday's Oprah show are true: A televised confession by Lance Armstrong?

What was his motivation? Why confess now? What about all of those emphatic denials? Is it to overturn the World Anti-Doping Agency's lifetime ban from sanctioned events?

And, it could come with consequences. Some sponsors, et al, may want some money back, the AP reported.

In addition to being stripped of his seven Tour titles and losing nearly all of his endorsements, he also was forced to cut ties with the Livestrong cancer charity he founded in 1997.

What's worse is he was allegedly the ring-leader, the pusher - forcing people to do it or they were off the team. That is why we hear quotes from former teammates saying Lance "ruined" people's lives.

I don't know. It goes to show Armstrong is a mere mortal. No one is above the rules/law.

If he did it, he should have come clean a long, long time ago. What price for victory?

Your thoughts?

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