This might appear contradictory but I struggle to write about Lance Armstrong each time a new controversy blows up… yet here’s some words on the subject. Today’s allegations by Tyler Hamilton are the latest instalment of an ongoing saga. It’s not that the subject matter lacks ideas, angles to explore or it’s irrelevant to the sport. Quite the opposite, Lance Armstrong’s name reaches well beyond the sport of cycling and it covers everything from sport to business to law and more.
No, it’s the way everything goes around in circles. Someone accuses Armstrong of doping. We get the “most tested athlete” response from the man. Then cycling fans rally. Many loyal ones point out that no court and no sporting body has ever convicted him. On the other side fans dredge up a variety of circumstantial evidence. We go nowhere.
The passage of time
Few will wake up this morning and go “you know what, I wasn’t sure, but Hamilton’s swung it for me“. Reflection takes time. The editor of Bicycling, Bill Strickland, recently changed his mind but not after a lot of questions. Similarly time is needed for the US investigation to reach its conclusions and probably a lot more time is needed so fans can quieten down.
In the meantime today is seeing more angry moments where many fans turn on each other. I find the subject of Armstrong very noisy and divisive and can’t think of another subject in the sport that polarises so many people. As a result, it’s hard to explore the issues here because there are so few accepted facts. You could almost get philosophical and debate what constitutes the truth.
But like I say, it’s a big topic involving major names, the US government, the biggest races and more. Yet at the same time it’s such an elusive and divisive topic.