After weeks of build up to the supposed confession by cyclist Lance Armstrong it has finally been revealed that Armstrong had indeed been doping throughout his entire cycling career. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey he simply and explicitly explained what he had used to give himself an advantage (EPO, testosterone, cortisone and blood transfusions) and why he did it, believing he was leveling the playing field.
Armstrong’s seven consecutive Tour de France titles have been stripped and he has been banned from competing in any other cycling or triathlon competitions by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Yet, there are rumors that by speaking out truthfully about his drug use that this lifetime ban will be lifted, offering motive why Armstrong is deciding to bare his entire doping past. If his competitive eligibility is restored, it seems overall that his punishment for years of illegal doping and lies will be minor. However, he won’t be the first in a long line of athletes who have been caught doing illicit activities and suffered little consequences.
Though several years ago now, the Tiger Woods scandal continues to be remembered. The pro golfer was considered the best ever but after the news of his affairs with 15 different women he quickly gained several new epithets. True, Woods’ golfing days seem to be dwindling as his play never fully recovered after the affairs splashed across headlines, but he continues to receive money through endorsements. Woods lost many big name sponsors including Gatorade, AT&T and Gillette but he still has others like Nike and Rolex so though his net worth decreased from before he lost his sponsorships he continues to rake in the dough.
Baseball has been infamous for some time now for having players using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. One of the biggest shocks, though, was Alex Rodriguez. Like Armstrong, Rodriguez had always said that he would never use any drugs to aid his performance and was a star because he had a very successful career that supposedly wasn’t backed by doping. When Rodriguez’s doping was revealed in 2009, there was definitely a lot of backlash but he never lost any money and continues to play with the Yankees today. Also, it looks like Rodriguez still has a good chance of making it into the Hall of Fame like many of his doping predecessors.
All sports have their scandals but it is surprising how frequently they happen. It is disappointing how many of the biggest stars turn out to be cheats or jerks and ruin the reputation of their sport. There are plenty of good athletes out there who deserve to be in the limelight because they actually worked to be there and aren’t making a fool of themselves in their personal lives. Maybe if those athletes who do illicit activities had harsher consequences less of these types of people would be stars and those who would actually do their sport proud would get some deserved attention.