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Akst: Say it ain’t so, Lance Armstrong
So this is what it comes to. After years of allegations that Lance Armstrong used banned performance-enhancing substances to win an unprecedented seven Tour de France bicycle races, the guy now says it’s just too much trouble to contest the charges any more, and the process isn’t fair anyway.
The sad thing about all this is that Armstrong, a hero to so many, took the easy way. Although the United States Anti-Doping Agency doesn’t have definitive blood evidence, it was planning an arbitration hearing and claimed to have more than 10 eyewitnesses who would testify that Armstrong used various banned substances on the road to his outsized performance on the world athletic stage.
Armstrong won’t have to face all that now—won’t have a full airing of the charges and the evidence, an airing that might very well have destroyed his reputation altogether. Instead he’ll hang onto the faith of the credulous. But in doing so, he’s sacrificed the respect of people who will look at all this and draw their own thoroughly damning conclusion that he should have stayed clean all along, and should have come clean now.