Challenges/ Cycling

Is Lance Armstrong Still A Hero?

Hey guys! I really enjoyed reading all about your pre and post workout routines the other day – you all have some great ideas, and I’ve found some things to add into my routine, ie: foam rolling.

Today in the September Healthy Living / Fitness Bloggers Writing Challenge we’re discussing how we feel about the Lance Armstrong situation:

Is Lance Armstrong Still A Hero?

English: Cyclist Lance Armstrong at the 2008 T...

English: Cyclist Lance Armstrong at the 2008 Tour de Gruene Individual Time Trial, 1 November 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is going to make me look old …

During my undergrad, Charlie Francis (Ben Johnson‘s coach), was invited to do a lecture during one of my Theory and Methodology of Training classes. At the end of his lecture there was time for a question and answer session, so of course we asked him about the use of IOC banned substances by athletes. He was very candid and admitted that there is big money on the line for elite level athletes which draws them towards doing things that may or may not currently be illegal. He indicated that the secret was to do performance enhancing things that the IOC cannot test for and that performance enhancing drug use is rampant in the sport of sprinting. In all honesty, I believe that my dear old Lance is also guilty of doing performance enhancing blood doping, too but I also believe many of the other athletes in those races did as well, only they were better at not getting caught.

(Blood doping is a performance enhancing activity used in many endurance sports that involves boosting the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream in order to increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the athlete).

In my eyes, Lance is still a hero for all that he has done to promote living an active life, and raising money for cancer. Besides, he’s still pretty cute too:

Lance Armstrong at the team presentation of th...

Lance Armstrong at the team presentation of the 2010 Tour de France in Rotterdam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is Lance Armstrong still a hero?


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  • Stephanie
    September 3, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Great question! I want to believe that Lance didn’t dope, but I don’t know how realistic that is anymore (given what you’ve said – it seems rampant in cycling, so what are the odds he’s clean?).

    I don’t know the science, but I wonder from a purely physical standpoint just how much benefit an athlete like Lance gets from blood doping. I mean, even clean, he’s still a pretty fantastic athlete. He also clearly has the mental fortitude to compete in something like the Tour de France, and that’s something drugs can’t really touch.

    From an honesty and integrity standpoint, not being upfront or coming clean about whatever has been done, that’s probably the issue I would have with Lance (assuming he DID dope, that is – if he’s telling the truth, obviously that’s not an issue). But that doesn’t make his strong physical performance worthless.

    I will always love the Nike commercial he did years ago where his tagline was “I’m on my bike busting my ass…what are YOU on?” That tagline, adjusted a bit to apply to running, got me through the last few miles of one of my marathons!

    • Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader
      September 3, 2012 at 9:35 am

      I totally agree with you, Steph. Whether extra blood cells helped or not is irrelevant, he still had the mental and physical toughness to push his body to it’s extreme limits. As anyone who has ever hit the wall at mile 20 knows, there’s a tremendous amount of pain involved in racing at those levels, whether drugs are involved or not. Outside of sport, he’s done a lot to inspire otherwise inactive people to become active, which makes him a true hero to me.

  • Kayla in the City
    September 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I have mixed feelings about this, while it is unfair to people who did not use performance enhancing drugs, it is also hard to say if he still would have been a great athlete without it….

  • Sana
    September 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I wonder if her cancer treatments had anything to do with the blood doping? New Post:

  • Cindy
    September 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Clearly I live under a rock, b/c I hadn’t heard of this at all, so forgive my uninformed opinion. 🙂

  • Melissa
    September 3, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Here are my thoughts:

  • sheslosingit101
    September 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Hi there,

    I can relate to the lure of using performance enhancing drugs, as noted in my post, “Can I Take Steroids?”

    Here are my thoughts on Lance:


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