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Saturday, 6 October 2012

Letter to ProCycling Magazine - 05/10/2012

Dear Procycling

Curious to read the letters page in this month's Procycling and see how many people are either a) polarised in their opinions, and/or b) missing the point. The defenders of the faith trot out all the usual clichés about 'Witch Hunts' and 'Inspiration' and 'Fighting against Cancer', blah blah. My perception is that Armstrong doesn't care much about other people's cancer. What he does care about is his personal wealth and image for which his Foundations are a vehicle. Livestrong.com is a profit making organisation, not a charity and Lance is as cynical as they come. Other's seem to agree with Lance that we should just forget about the whole thing and that it's 'Bad for Cycling'. Armstrong said recently in an interview that he thinks everyone should just 'move on'. I'll be sure to remember that if I ever find myself in court: "I think everyone should just move on, your Honour".

But to my mind, the issue was never about retrospectively stripping Armstrong of his Tour victories. Nor do I think there is any point in doing so, although USADA are simply following the existing rules. No, this is about Planet Armstrong's PR machine still trying to tell us that 2+2=5. It's also about the issue of secrets and lies and how they fester and poison the future as well as the past. Our sport is like a dysfunctional family in which all kinds of unspoken abuse has occurred. Until we completely lay bare the past of not only Armstrong, but the system that created and protected him, we cannot possibly hope to 'move on'. Armstrong should confess and apologise, not only to the fans but to riders like Bassons who he bullied out of the Peloton. The UCI should confess too and Verbruggen and McQuaid and others who presided over this sordid period should leave the sport in the hands of a new generation.

Perhaps then, we can have some closure.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to see that Ann Gripper, former head of UCI's anti-doping has the same view re 'moving on'

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