Lance Armstrong has won his final Tour de France yesterday. Much is said about how he is one of the greatest individual athletes of all time, which I am not sure I necessarily agree (or disagree) with. He has certainly dominated his sport for most of the past decade. He has been accused continually of doping, and despite having been tested hundreds of times has never once been found to have cheated. Well, that isn’t quite true; they’ve found him to have cheated a few times, but each time they were either making stuff up or just wrong. The only time that he has used illegal substances (in the competitive world) was when he was going through chemotherapy.
My question is, how many times are they going to test him now that he is retired? Is there a statute on how long they can invalidate his win? Or if he says, “I’m retired, I don’t want to subject myself to this nonsense anymore” will they just assume that it would have been a positive test? Or is there a chance that he’ll actually be left alone and not forced to fill a cup every other day?
His 7th win in a row at the Tour was a great accomplishment. Only Eddy Merckx has worn the maillot juane more times; 111 times to Armstrong’s 83. I will miss reading about his races, but it is nice to see somebody determine a good time to get out of the game and is able to quit while they are ahead. I am sure that he could still be competitive for another year, but if he wants a chance to recover and actually have a life that isn’t dominated by his job for a few years, who can blame him?