Article on Lance Armstrong



Paolo

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August 30, 2005 | 9:25 a.m. ET

Why I don’t believe Lance Armstrong (Keith Olbermann)

NEW YORK — Did cycling hero Lance Armstrong use the performance-enhancing drug “EPO” in 1999? As he’s rewritten the record book at the Tour de France, has he been doping? Is he a friend to doctors of dubious repute, and a patient of one? We’ll never officially know.

There were no medically reliable tests for EPO in 1999, and there can be no official results of any retroactive testing. Legally, those results reported in the French sports paper L’Equipe last week exist in the same kind of twilight zone as the leaked grand jury testimony of baseball’s Jason Giambi about his own steroid use: they’re probably true, but they’re legally invisible.

And finding guilt within the current climate of uncleanliness in sports — Rafael Palmeiro’s test, Barry Bonds’ absence, Mark McGwire’s deafening silence, even the positive test of Ben Johnson in 1988 — is not enough. You can’t say: this guy cheated, this other guy won’t deny he cheated, these other guys look like they’ve cheated, therefore Armstrong should be presumed to have cheated.

No — you have to call this one on personal integrity. And if you asked a million people about Lance Armstrong’s personal integrity prior to the French report, all but about five of them would’ve said it was his strongest asset, well ahead of his cycling skill.

But I’m afraid they were mistaking a combination of extremely good publicity and the panacea for public reputations — cancer survivorship — for genuinely good character.

Five years ago, the people who make television commercials — much of the membership of the SAG and AFTRA unions — went out on strike. What Lance Armstrong did then has always made me doubt him.

getCSS("3053751") ARMSTRONG ACCUSED OF DOPING
UCI investigating drug allegations
French come to Lance's defense
Olbermann: Why I don't believe Lance
TSN: Armstrong was lucky as hell
VOTE: Did Armstrong dope at Tour?


The whys and wherefores are probably irrelevant to you. Suffice to say that about 40,000 people appear in television commercials every year, and The Los Angeles Times concluded that barely 5,000 of them get enough work to call it their “living.” The strike was to protect the guy who stands behind the counter in the fast-food ad and doesn’t say anything and you see him for three seconds and he wanted $429 for his trouble instead of $419 (the average income of a member of SAG is less than $7,000 a year. You read that right).

Anyway, before the strike started, the leaders at SAG and AFTRA sat down and looked at the very realistic problem of celebrities in commercials. They were very realistic about it: Michael Jordan was not taking away very many opportunities from rank-and-file members. And very few ads for Staples would suddenly go from 23 striking actors to Michael Jordan pitching post-it notes. They weren’t happy about it, but they realized that to try to enforce the strike on the Michael Jordans of this world was self-defeating. So, they said, to the sports stars and the other non-actor celebrities, if you want to honor our strike — thanks. We appreciate it. If you don’t — well, we’re not pleased, but what can we do? Please just don’t make a stink about it.

Immediately, three prominent athletes said they would honor the commercial actors’ strike. They would not make commercials. They knew they didn’t have to go out with the rest of the crowd making $4,768 a year, but they felt honor-bound.

They were Andre Agassi, Lance Armstrong, and Tiger Woods.

Guess which one actually didn’t make a commercial?

Agassi.

Woods explained that he’d made his commercial out of the country, so he didn’t think he was crossing the picket line. This suggested that Mr. Woods didn’t spend a great deal of time in class while majoring in business at Stanford (or maybe he’d spent too much time).

Armstrong’s explanation was more direct, but no less shabby. He was a cancer survivor, after all, and had a family to feed. That he had been diagnosed in 1996 and had recovered sufficiently to win his first Tour de France in 1999, and lock in his first multi-million dollar ad campaign earlier than that, and that those striking commercial actors making $7,000 a year probably included a few cancer survivors and a lot of families to feed, didn’t seem a factor to him.

Ever since then, I have had my doubts about Lance Armstrong.

This is not a piece of pro-union dogma here. This is not a question of a guy crossing a picket line. This is a millionaire, being given a pass to work by a union full of guys making $7,000 a year, saying no, he wouldn’t do it — and then going and doing it anyway. Even greed and self-interest here was acceptable — but a pretense of self-sacrifice followed by greed, was not.

And that’s what Lance Armstrong did.

In point of fact, had he and Rafael Palmeiro wagged their fingers simultaneously before Congress last St. Patrick’s Day, and I had had to choose one and only one of them to believe, I would have taken Palmeiro.

I hope I’m damned wrong about Armstrong. I hope he’s just a louse, not a juiced louse. But since I already know he’s tested positive for lousehood, I’m afraid I have to prepare for the probability that he’s also tested positive for juicedhood.


 
So the guy doubts LA because he made a commercial. LOL. Contracts require obligations. Not to mention LA felt very greatful to those who stood by him during his cancer treatment and recovery. I.e. Nike, Giro, and others. I don't know what commercial(s) he made, but give me a break.
 
azdroptop said:
So the guy doubts LA because he made a commercial. LOL. Contracts require obligations. Not to mention LA felt very greatful to those who stood by him during his cancer treatment and recovery. I.e. Nike, Giro, and others. I don't know what commercial(s) he made, but give me a break.
if he had obligations,why did he say he would not do it in the first place?
You are right about one thing though, he is a puppet for nike,giro etc....
 

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