Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Fool and the Lance Armstrong Lie

How do I feel?




Let down.


Like everything I thought I knew about cycling has been turned inside-out.

Like I had a blind spot as big as the sun.

How did I idolise this fraud, this bully, this drug-enabling sociopathic creep?

How did I argue against all the evidence for so long?

These are questions I don't know if I will ever be able to answer to my own satisfaction, but in a post I did a couple of years back I argued strenuously that I believe in the presumption of innocence, and that until Lance Armstrong and his teammates were proven guilty I would continue to believe in them. The time has come to admit to myself (and anyone who may care what I think) that he and they have been proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

And that I was wrong. So very wrong.

It's surprisingly difficult to let go of twenty years of being a huge fan, but the terrible preponderance of awful evidence has made it a lot easier to do so. Suffice it to say, my LA posters and memorabilia have been taken down and I will be very careful about choosing my heroes in future.

I'd like to say that I'm sorry to any who I have offended with my foolishness, especially someone who probably doesn't give a shit what I think; Mike Anderson, a good man who was traduced and trampled by Armstrong's vindictive desire to crush anyone who spoke out against him, but who has risen above the slander and lies to make a good life bettering cycling right here in Wellington, and who didn't deserve being doubted by someone who clearly didn't know a thing about what he went through.

Luckily when I ride my bike all such regrets and concerns evaporate in the fresh breeze of a Wellington spring day, and I hardly think about drugs at all...

Thanks for reading, Oli


sifter said...

I don't think you should feel foolish or ashamed bro. Sad, let down and baffled are all fair game though. It would be a sad world if we couldn't have heroes, or trust, or for that matter, the ability to admit we were wrong about someone. It's a beautiful and wonderful sport, and sometimes sad and unpleasant. Your passion for it, warts and all, is infectious, and has made it much more for very many who've read your words.

Kia kaha.

Barrie Wallington said...

Berzin,pantani,Delgado,Riis,ullrich,Team once,gewiss ballan,freddy martens,contador,virenque,ugramov,basso. Maybe even hinault and indurain too.Now they were true champions, cheer up Ollie we'll all tune in next July,hopefully liggett has been sacked and the UCI has been purged by then. Just go for a long ride to remind yourself why you love cycling. Cheers Barrie Wallington

pedalare!pedalare! said...

Nice clear cut words Oli. Well said.


Hixy said...

That's far too harsh on yourself! Lance pursued everything 100%, including the PR, it was all very convincing. There's millions of us doing mea culpas right now ;-)

Farelli said...

Armstrong came and left, Bianchi stayed.

Anonymous said...

Keep your chin up, Oli! Good read & yup, you're not alone in having to rethink some things.

Get out there and ride that beautiful bike. Ahhh, I want wheels that sexy!