Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: October 25th, 2012
Should Lance Armstrong have been stripped of his titles?

In the wake of the report released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that implicated famed cyclist Lance Armstrong in a massive doping scheme for his team while competing in the Tour de France, the Tour director has stripped him of his seven titles. And removed him from the record books.

This news is not dissimilar to when Penn State was stripped of its titles from 1998 to 2011, following the scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky–allegations that shook the college football giant to its roots.

The move by the NCAA had the same effect on the late Joe Paterno’s record as the UCI’s has on Armstrong–effectively leaving both of them without the hard-won wins and victories of veteran careers.

But as many cried foul in the wake of NCAA decision, just as many are wondering about this one: namely, is it fair?

After all, Armstrong has not pled guilty to doping or coercing fellow teammates to dope, which the report accuse him of. And isn’t everyone presumed innocent?

In a court of law, yes, we are all presumed innocent. But this isn’t a lawsuit. It’s the result of an investigation. And cycling’s governing body has accepted the USADA report and is taking action it believes appropriate.

But some say Armstrong is a scape goat; the Tour de France has been fraught with accusations and suspicions of doping for decades. Armstrong, it would appear, had just taken it to a new level.

One thing that has become abundantly clear, however you view these two events, sports at the collegial and professional levels need to be cleaned up. And if the only way to do it is by seizing upon those who break the 11th commandment, then so be it.

What’s the 11th commandment? Thou shalt not be found out. 

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2 comments on “Should Lance Armstrong have been stripped of his titles?

  1. Keith A. Neal on said:

    As far as I am concerned this whole farce is a witch hunt. Lance passed every know drug test they used. He should be able to keep his titles, just like Coach Joe P. should have.
    It is a dark time in our sports history when the governing group are after the small guy’s that did so much for their sport.
    Who will be next? Our wonderful high school coaches?

  2. Actually, it’s not similar at all to the Penn State scenario, where hundreds of football players were stripped of their accomplishments due to the misdeeds of their coaches off the field.

    Lance Armstrong has been found, by a preponderance of evidence and witnesses, by the governing body of his sport, to have systematically cheated. Two options were available. One was to sanction cheating during the Lance years, rehabilitate Floyd Landis and HIS titles, and reset cycling. The other was to vacate all titles by proven cheaters and say the integrity of the sport continues.

    The Tour chose the latter.

    Lance’s problem is he got greedy…wanted that record.

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