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Opinion » Columns » Nirmal Shekar

Updated: February 23, 2013 12:35 IST

There were always questions regarding Armstrong's career and his
stupendous success but the wide sporting world and his cycling and
humanitarian fans refused to believe it. I was part of that crowd too.
I was never interested in cycling, but I became an admirer of
Armstrong when I read his autobiography. I recommended that book to
many people, including a relative who was a cancer patient. I had read
about the doping suspicion around his career, but I believed, that as
a cancer survivor who faced a life-and-death situation, he was
innocent. That he would be immune to the mindless money-making
aspirations that drives all the cheats in sports. His biggest crime
was towards cancer patients and his use of his illness for profit-
motives. An unpardonable mistake! He used some of that money to create
the Livestrong foundation, but that does not vindicate him. Surely,
Livestrong was another means for more money! And it brought some free
fame too!

from:  Meera
Posted on: Jan 21, 2013 at 19:12 IST

Lance Armstrong not only did let us down but also broke our hearts.there
are thousands including me who keep his poster on the wall above our
study table with a caption below "nothing is unachievable".the stripping
make us quite uncomfortable ironically because everytime in distress i
would look at his poster and say if he can i can .the world is suddenly
so gloom .but what is more disturbing is that why it took so late to
blow up the scam .i wish he would not have done so .without doping
atleast he would be somebody's hero.

from:  Pragya Pathak
Posted on: Jan 21, 2013 at 17:15 IST

One thing needs to be noted.caught or by volition celebrity confession either contrite
or for a fee is not unknown in the west.which means that at some of time the
candidate chooses to accept.it does cleanse.whom is the question and whether it
helps the system is another.be it clinton or nixon or conje or jefrey archer or now
armstrong the system does throw up such drama.what of the eastern hemisphere.do
we ever cobfront such elite.is it a cultural ethos or upbringing moorings.can be the
subject of serious dissertation.

from:  n vijayaraghavan
Posted on: Jan 21, 2013 at 07:04 IST

Boy, what an article, fantastic.

from:  Anusha
Posted on: Jan 20, 2013 at 18:37 IST

Armstrong was no sportsperson and we ought to treat him as such. To
credit him with victories he didn't deserve would be to a gross
injustice to all those who competed fairly against him. 'To be a good
sport' is not to let victory delude you to a point where you lose a hold
on all your morals and reference your dictionary to justify your acts.

from:  howard
Posted on: Jan 20, 2013 at 18:12 IST

Everyone seems to be rationalizing his deceit and fraud by claiming
he supported cancer patients. This is a very slippery slope, so what
is being implied here is: an average young aspiring sportsman can
blatantly and systematically cheat others as long as you shell out a
fraction of unethically made money to noble causes. We will do well
to remember that almost all who abuse system and others do help some
good causes but that does not absolve them of their sins. No one
seems to bother about many decent, hard-working and honest cyclists
whose medals have been stolen by Armstrong for years, should we
condemn these upright men to loose to a cheat?

from:  Manjunath
Posted on: Jan 20, 2013 at 11:22 IST

It is absolutely unbelievable. An icon who was believed to be a hero not only for his
invincibility in the sporting arena but also for his humanitarian efforts to help the sick, has so
easily swindled all of us who lauded him for the person we believed he was. It has all come
down to one big lie. I am so ashamed that I was tricked into believing something that was
never true.

from:  Audrey Misquith
Posted on: Jan 20, 2013 at 10:44 IST

What Lance Armstrong did was wrong.
However, let us not be in haste to judge him-each of has flaws-lets rather introspect into what we have become as people-look in the mirror- as the song goes.
Why?
As Indians we seem to love a hero and also love watching them fall-consider the amount of cheating in our society at every level before I we(I) judge this man

from:  t david
Posted on: Jan 20, 2013 at 05:07 IST

I still remember waiting eagerly to go back home from school, to watch
Tour de France live. All my friends thought it was quite meaningless
watching 150 or so skinny athletes cycle 200kms in the hilly terrains
of France. And yeah I rooted for Lance to win with his Team
Discovery. I watched the interview of Lance with Oprah last night but
embarrassingly enough I can't still hate the guy.
People talk about how he disgraced the sporting community and
the millions of people to fight cancer in hope of a better future. The
media takes too much pleasure in covering celebrity's fall from grace.
But this does not side track the fact that his LIVESTRONG foundation
has contributed 500 million to cancer research and sold 80 million
bracelets. This controversy might obliterate his image as a
sportsperson but his contribution as a human being should not be
forgotten. I sincerely hope Lance bounces back again form this slump
and epitomize the symbol of hope and resilience as he always has.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Jan 20, 2013 at 03:01 IST

His effort to comfort the less blessed was based on a lie? the money is from lies?? really??

Imagine the volume of work he has done. The money and stardom he has
provided and rightly channelized to help people. You cant do a thing which he has done with a single one.

from:  Vishal Zade
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 19:10 IST

When a young fast bowler, fell victim to lure of small money, he was promptly prosecuted and sent to jail.But when another sportsman after making millions of dollars, admit with great fanfare about his follies to a world wide audience, he gets greater attention that what he deserves. In our country, Azhar was discredited and banned from international cricket for match fixing and making fast bucks.But it did not any way take away his unrivalled artistry on the cricket field, his sharp fielding abilities and the tons of runs he made against fiercest bowling attacks.Liewise, Lance will remain a cycling champion in the hearts of millions for years to come. However best, the media tries to shame him, the world will remember him for his feats and not many will care a hoot about taking enhancing drugs et all.
To a sports lover, he will remain a champion and he knows that while admitting his folly before a world audience.

from:  P.G.RAVIKUMAR
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 15:22 IST

I think Lance Armstrong is not only forgivable but his act of confession is laudable. It is rare for human beings to own up to their mistakes leave alone wrong doings and secondly a large part of the proceeds of those lies actually went for good work and I don;t think there should be any feeling of let down among cancer patients at all.
It is us who need gods and demons - heroes and villains - because we don't have the guts to be either. Each and everyone of us lies or hides the truth - definitely here in India - but how many of us actually do any good out of those lies and dishonesty of every day of our lives - and how many of us confess to those wrong doings however small.
The Livestrong foundation's stand is the right and balanced one. Articles such as Mr. Sekhar's don't add any value to either intellect or moral reasoning in any way.

from:  Anjali Noronha
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 09:57 IST

This man is a “Cheat”, and he should be treated as one. Just because he
is a white man, an American and is on a confession mode, doesn’t make
him “Pure”.

from:  Ganesh Gopalakrishnan
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 09:54 IST

excellent article.

from:  Shubham Gandhi
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 08:15 IST

Excellent !!!!!

from:  sunny
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 08:09 IST

You stand vindicated about your earlier column - at that point of time I did feel it was premature and said so in this space. Your instinct has been proven right and perhaps there is more that you knew but could not write that made you comment with conviction about Lance Armstrong's cheating.

Having said this, it is difficult to believe that most of sport today is not compromised one way or the other. Sport as a true battleground of two sterling individuals or two sets of pure teams appears to be a figment of imagination - would you like to write on this ?

from:  Saurabh Sharma
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 07:54 IST

Hero worship of any kind is bad. the youth of today has to move forward in their own way blind anchoring to icons should be avoided

from:  SWAMINATHAN
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 06:24 IST

Yes, we have "the hollow men" "the stuffed men" and our humanity is
defective. Knowing all that, we still have overwhelming grief, anger
and frustration and ask "How come Lance cheated us so long?". I
understand the so-called Biological Passport only finally revealed
that Lance was cheating from 1999.. we should do such analysis on all
our present and past sport heroes in all high endurance sports like
Usain Bolt, Michael Jordon, John Mc, Tiger Wood etc. Again, if we
found out they were all false heroes, what are we going to do? For we
adore and yearn for heroes around us! Is it not our fault - the fans'
fault?

from:  Yamaka
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 04:26 IST

You are right!! But you know what..unfortunately the world rewards only
those who are liers, Hippocrates and cheaters! If you try to be
honest..you end up losing..!

from:  Sree Harsha
Posted on: Jan 19, 2013 at 04:16 IST
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