There has been a lot of talk about Lance lately, understandably. To me, this is further confirmation of something that I have suspected for a number of years and leaves me feeling somewhat sane. Lance doped to win. I once thought that I was the only person in the world who thought his story was too-good-to-be-true, and then over time, more and more people moved from that believer camp to, what I thought was, reality.
Now, that the majority seem to have accepted that Lance did in fact dope to win the Tour. Yet, I'm completed confused by the response in the media to the allegations and evidence that is unfolding. I feel that there are four primary 'personalities' trying to make sense of it all.
1. The Hater - Lance was a cheat, is a cheat and doesn't deserve and recognition for what he's done. He should have all of his wins revoked, and may in fact go to jail for perjury, which is what he deserves. There is no proof everyone was cheating, so he's as despicable as any of the other cheaters we've hated on or worse, cause he was the leader of them all.
2. The Patroit - Lance may have cheated, but so did everyone else. He is still the best Tour Champ in history cause all the others were cheaters too. He is America's champ and he was a extremely talented rider who beat dopers just as he would have beat them if everyone were clean. It sucks he cheated, but he's still the best of that time.
3. The Sympathetic - There are two Lance's here. Lance the rider, who cheated and Lance the person who has done so much for cancer research through philanthropic causes. Leave him alone. It's history, and now we're learning it's not so great history, but, who cares? Let's move on. The guy has done enough good to equal out the bad. Look, the guy didn't invent cheating, he just perfected it and beat everyone else on a level doped playing field.
4. The Believer - Testimony doesn't count as proof, at least not enough proof. I still think he was clean. He is the best Tour de France champ in history, and that's not going to change until someone comes along and beats him fair and square.
Edit: 5. The Indifferent - Don't care, and are done with it. Maybe are interested, kinda like a car-crash, but really, really, just want it to be over, and to be history. (Is that fair?)
I'll admit. Of those four, and I'm sure there are many more, I'm mostly a hater. So sue me. I don't understand why the same people who can hate on "Contadoper", Di Luca, Landis, "Valv Piti", Ricco, Rasmussen, Vino etc. etc. can not feel an even greater disappointment/frustration toward Lance.
I see him as a guy who has the worst possible claims of cheating against him including corruption at the highest level as he should have been suspended for two-years for both the Cortisteroid in 1999 and the Tour de Suisse positive that was "paid-away." That would have changed his history entirely had the sport held Lance to the same standards as everyone else. He actively encouraged doping and was exemplary of what we want out of the sport and it could be argued that although it existed, everyone else just had to keep up to Lance, both on the road and with the drugs.
So, I don't get why people don't feel the same way, and why the media overall, has seemed relatively forgiving.
Why do you feel how you do? Does it change how you feel about other "dopers"?