In case you haven't heard, Lance Armstrong is returning to the world of professional cycling. The coverage hasn't been as big as I would have thought, and the reaction is pretty much just the opposite of what I would have hoped. I know that the only sport more tarnished by performance enhancing practices than baseball is cycling and that Flyod Landis didn't really do anything to help America's image. I understand the doubt, but I think we have a case of, the rest of the cycling world, who actually care about the sport outside the Tour de France, refusing to believe that arguably the greatest cyclist of all time is American.
Armstrong retired from cycling in 2005 after his 7th Tour de France Victory, a feat that is even more amazing due to the fact that he had fought cancer and returned to the world stage. He raised countless of millions through the Lance Armstrong Foundation, or better recognized as the LiveStrong campaign. Armstrong was also a key player in passing Proposition 15 in Texas which would allow for $3 billion to be allocated for Cancer Research.
Do you think he is doping, that he really isn't strong enough to come back and win again? Did you not think he was the first time?
Well he is about to try and prove a lot of people wrong, and we will be joining the 2009 Astana Cycling team. At this point he is planning to race in the Tour Down Under and the Tour de France, but is discussing other possibilities as well.
While others aren’t, I am excited. There is a lot of skepticism from the Cycling community and the public. Armstrong, just wants to race and just wants to show strength for other Cancer survivors. I think it is admirable, but the media and public opinion has a huge impact, not only on this quest but on his career and marketing as a whole. Luckily,Lance was ready for that. He had made comments that he would be "completely transparent" with the media or in otherwords would not hold anything back. To further feed the media's appetite and to show just how confident he is was reported saying that they could test him for "everything". Astana will be paying for the now famous anti-doping scientist Don Catlin to test Armstrong's blood and urine. Not only that, but Catlin will be allowed to freeze some of the samples for testing in the future.
If that isn't one of the most confident things I have ever heard, than I don't know what is. For everyone's sake, including the cycling world, his foundation, and everyone who has supported or benefited from him over the years I hope he is clean. We will find out when the test results come back which both parties said they would post online.