Years of denying claims and allegations of abusing performance enhancing drugs has reached an end for the world’s most famous sports cyclist. The highly publicized and now infamous Lance Armstrong doping story reached a definitive conclusion on Monday, when the iconic athlete admitted his guilt to the Oprah Winfrey show, whose episode will air on Thursday this week. The tragic details can be simply translated into an axiom or truth that is relevant to all people: drug addiction, in any form, destroys lives, legacies and what it takes from a person cannot be recovered.
In a conventional sense, Armstrong was not a narcotic abuser; he did not go to destructive and morally compromising ends to obtain and support a heroin, crack or prescription drug habit. But he was a substance abuser. Using the word “candid” would be an understatement when describing the interview Armstrong gave to Oprah Winfrey. One story reported that “the confession to Winfrey was a stunning reveal, after years of public statements, interviews and court battles in which he denied doping and zealously protected his reputation.” The admission of Lance Armstrong doping to win Tour de France titles at any cost reveals the length and complexity of the operation that veiled so many people’s eyes for so long.
Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005, which have all since been stripped within the last year, along with any standing and eligibility in the world of professional cycling. Along with the destruction of his own career, Lance Armstrong doping affected teammates, friends, associates, and even Livestrong, his philanthropic creation to help those people fighting cancer. Coming clean so to speak, Armstrong has seemingly been forced by the wreckage of his past to confront his actions and finally take responsibility. This is the first step towards a sobriety of life that admits powerlessness over the temptation to abuse any substance.
Addiction By Another Name
PED use and abuse is incredibly prevalent in the world of professional sports. Some athletes will go to any length to successfully use, and then vehemently deny and go to extreme lengths to cover up their transgressions. Fundamentally, PED use is no different than drug addiction; both situations employ self-destructive and self-centered desires in order to obtain a result that works against the person. One has to only look at the wreckage of lives in the wake of revealed truth. Championships may be won and records may be broken, but when it comes at the cost of addiction and cheating, what took years to accomplish takes only few words to destroy. Hopefully, Armstrong’s admission to PED doping will encourage others to come clean with themselves and save many years of destruction and tragedy due substance abuse.
Armstrong can certainly sympathize with his host, as Oprah herself has admitted to struggling with drug use in her past. Hopefully, the Oprah Winfrey interview will raise the awareness that addiction is manifested in many different ways and those on “top” of the world are just as prone to fall prey as those on the “bottom.”Tags: doping, drug addiction, Drug Use in Sports, Lance Armstrong, PED controversy, PED use, Sports Addicts, substance abuse