What's Happening in Character?

What’s the Worst Part of the Lance Armstrong Cheating Scandal?

Posted by Joe Mazzola on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 @ 12:01 PM

I was a big cycling fan before the sport got popular in our country.  And, back in the day, I was a pretty serious cyclist myself--I spoke the lingo, wore the gaudy jerseys, shaved the legs, rode custom racing bikes with “Campy Record” components and I had the muscled-up quads one only gets from logging thousands of miles in the saddle. 

My single most memorable day on the bike took place at a big event in Italy.  You see, I lance armstrong oprahwanted to personally experience what an epic day in the Tour de France might feel like.  So, on that one day, I rode my bike 130 miles in the Dolomite Mountains--and completed 17,000 feet of climbing along the way.  Needless to say, when I saw the “Arrivo” banner at the end, I was totally wiped out.  At the very same time, however, I was on Cloud Nine, knowing that I hung in there and did something pretty special. 

Well, with that as a backdrop, it should come as no surprise that I was a huge Lance Armstrong fan.  Like so many other of his supporters, I drank his Kool-Aid.  My gosh, this is the guy who bounced back from cancer, started a foundation to help and support others, wrote a great book called “It’s Not About the Bike,” and did what no other human being has ever done before—win what I consider to be the most grueling endurance event in all of sport seven times.  I still have my July 2000 issue of Sports Illustrated.  He’s on the cover, which says “Tour de Force:  The Amazing Lance Armstrong.” 

Well, Lance wasn’t so amazing after all.  Following  years of vehement denials, he just confessed to doping.  The guy I admired so much turned out to be just another dirty athlete, as well as an incredible liar.  The kicker is that I don’t even know what the worst part of the whole sad mess is.  

What do you think was the worst part of the Lance Armstrong case?

  1.  Was it that another hero turned out to be just one more fake?
  2.  Was it that he doped in the first place?
  3.  Was it that he lied about it for so many years?
  4.  Was it that he destroyed the lives of others along the way?
  5.  Was it that he let so many people down, like his fans, believers and family?
  6.  Was it that he severely damaged the Foundation he started?
  7.  Was it that he severely damaged the sport he claims to love?
  8.  Was it that he still hasn’t come completely clean?
  9.  Was it that his motives for coming forward may not be pristine?
  10.  Or was it that he reinforces the “do whatever it takes” mentality that is so destructive?

Share your thoughts on what lessons we may learn from this in the comments.

Topics: integrity, moral character, cheating, teachable moments