Wally Beckwith writes from Paris: The International Cycling Union (UCI) has stripped wonder-pedal Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.
|Lance Armstrong peace drug test|
The UCI says it has to go along with America’s US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) claim that it has sure-fire evidence that Armstrong was involved in ‘the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme’ in the history of sport.
It don’t stop there: the evidence against Armstrong runs into hundreds of pages and so everyone from his shoe sponsors to the guys who supply his wrap-around sun-glasses is dumping him. The latest plug-pulling comes from a Texas insurance company demanding the return of $7.5 million worth of bonuses.
Start with the reality: the Tour de France, along with other sports, is full of performance enhancing druggies. The go-faster stuff is so common-place that many of the runners up (bikers-up?) can’t take Armstrong’s titles in case it’s shown that they too were doing the same thing. So the determination to clean up sport from drug users got tougher, the science got better (although not perfect) and the punishments more draconian.
|Ben Johnson drug tested|
In theory, that should be that. The occasional failed test. The occasional bust. Sport gets clean. But what’s clean? Why shouldn't athletes take PEDs – performance enhancing drugs?
|Pressure by sponsors|
- Armstrong Stripped of All Seven Tour de France Titles (bloomberg.com)
- Lance Armstrong stripped of Tour de France titles (thesun.co.uk)
- Armstrong officially stripped of seven Tour de France wins (velonation.com)
- Armstrong set own fate by turning against Floyd (roadcycling.com)
- Lance Armstrong Stripped of Seven Tour De France Titles (celebuzz.com)