Once thought of as kings and queens of their sport, now viewed as just a bunch of dopers.
Sure, I bought into the whole Lance Armstrong phenomenon. I bought tons of those yellow Livestrong bracelets and have rocked one to almost every race I’ve ever run (and on those days when I was simply having a bad day).
I participated in special Nike-sponsored runs where tons of pavement pounders clad in yellow took to the streets of NYC with Lance at the helm. I even donated money to his charity as a way of securing entry into the NYC half marathon in 2010.
So yeah, I’m a bit annoyed. While not an avid cycling fan, I did admire how he battled his way back from cancer to athletic stardom. Eh, it turns out not so much–at least not according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
I liken Armstrong to so-called journalistic prodigy Jayson Blair who tuned out to be nothing more than a plagiarist.
They both painted a picture of something that wasn’t their own. Sad, but not a tragedy. The real tragedy here, in my opinion, is what will become of the Livestrong Foundation. Scandal aside, Armstrong has raised a tremendous amount of money in the global fight against cancer. But now people want their money back. They feel they have made donations based on a lie.
I am not one of those people. Maybe it is because in the summer of 2000 I watched my grandfather lose his battle with prostate cancer. Or because a friend of mine is currently fighting cervical cancer.
It could even be because I myself had a breast cancer scare last fall. These are the reasons why I cannot see shunning the Livestrong Foundation and what it has done for those with cancer in our anger against Armstrong.
So yes, I still see Livestrong as a viable charity. I also admire Armstrong for stepping down as chairman of the organization, proving that he does not want his reputation to further tarnish the good the foundation has done.
One plea: if you stop supporting Livestrong, please place your monetary support in other cancer charities like Stand Up to Cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure or Cycle for Survival. The fight must go on!