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Cycling community split on Armstrong after doping admission

Posted January 15, 2013

— After years of denials, Lance Armstrong's sudden admission this week that used performance-enhancing drugs while capturing seven straight Tour de France titles has split the cycling community.

"I think Lance did wrong. There's no doubt about that," said Skip Flythe, owner of Flythe Cyclery in Raleigh.

"He did a lot after even getting cancer and struggling with it. I consider him still an idol," said Jesse Farnham, a North Carolina State University student and cyclist.

Armstrong came clean about his doping during a Monday interview with Oprah Winfrey that is scheduled to be broadcast Thursday and Friday and her OWN network.

The confession was a stunning reversal for a proud athlete and celebrity who sought lavish praise in the court of public opinion and used courtrooms to punish his critics. For more than a decade, Armstrong dared anybody who challenged his version of events to prove it.

The cyclist was stripped of his Tour titles, lost most of his endorsements and was forced to leave his Livestrong foundation last year after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a damning, 1,000-page report that accused him of masterminding a long-running doping scheme.

Before his interview, Armstrong apologized to the staff of Livestrong, which raises money for cancer survivors.

Lance Armstrong Armstrong reviled by some cyclists, still supported by others

The International Cycling Union, or UCI, issued a statement Tuesday saying it was aware of the reports that Armstrong had confessed to Winfrey. The governing body for the sport urged Armstrong to tell his story to an independent commission it has set up to examine claims it covered up suspicious samples from the cyclist, accepted financial donations from him and helped him avoid detection in doping tests.

Flythe said his customers already are questioning him about the Armstrong posters that hang behind his store's counter.

"Several customers have asked me to take them down. Several have asked to purchase them," he said. "I'll just have to see what the public says. I'll do whatever they want me to do with them."

As for why Armstrong decided to confess now, Flythe said he just doesn't know.

"I wish that he just kept quiet," he said.

18 Comments

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  • superman Jan 16, 6:28 p.m.

    Not only did he do something wrong but then lied and said it wasnt true. Shows a total lack of character and morales. I think most of the time you can mitigate a mistake by telling the truth when you are confronted with the evidence. His family must be very ashamed of him.

  • archmaker Jan 16, 1:16 p.m.

    sllenterprises - yes, armstrong DID do something wrong. he sued people who accused him of cheating and he won and took their money.

    that's wrong, plain and simple.

  • comitatus1 Jan 16, 11:15 a.m.

    Armstrong is merely the best cheater in a sport full of cheaters.

  • sllenterprises Jan 16, 11:01 a.m.

    Lance Armstrong didn't do anything wrong because we have all used performance enhancing drugs! You call it Gatorade or Powerade, I call it an unfair advantage to anyone drinking only water!! We all use advantages in our everyday lives from our looks, our height, our money, who we know, etc! How many Senator's kids have gotten off of legal charges just because of who their daddy was? Armstrong is no different than the rest of us so please get off of your high horses!! This man almost died from cancer so drugs or no drugs, he won a bicycling contest because he is a beast at what he does!! Babe Ruth was an alcoholic while playing baseball so he was drunk when hitting, he as using a performance enhancing drug too! Strip him of his titles and legacy!

  • dontstopnow Jan 16, 10:49 a.m.

    I could care less what this person did or did not do. We hold these atheletics up on pedestals to often and let our children use them as role models even more often when they are just human beings and subject to error like us all. Our children should have role models at home to follow, they are called "parents" but I read the news too so I know that is tricky for a lot of children as well. :(

  • Wiser_now Jan 16, 9:55 a.m.

    He lied. He thought he was above the law. In my mind, he does not get points for "confessing" on a TV talk show because he lied while under oath in a court room. He is not a hero. He is a man that did good things but then tarnished his own reputation because he got too full of himself.

  • archmaker Jan 16, 9:47 a.m.

    yes, so maybe all the stars of cycling "dope" and maybe that makes everyone "even." and who really cares - its not the doping that makes him a "fill-in-the-blank."

    its the fact that he sued people (and won major $ for lawsuits) who said he doped - that's what makes him a major "fill-in-the-blank."

  • superman Jan 16, 9:12 a.m.

    Saying it is ok for him to have done his dirty deeds because other people do or have done the same thing is childist and inmature. It is like your child coming home and admit they cheated on a test because "Johnny" did it too. Dont you think people have to be responsible for their own actions regardless of what others do? Maybe he started the doping and others had to join in because of what he was doing.

  • NoRespect Jan 16, 8:27 a.m.

    I'm not part of the "cycling community", but what he did was morally and ethically wrong. However, "everyone did it", or so it seems... In order to compete at the highest level against other dopers, then... he joined in.

    I guess I'd give him a pass, but what he did was deceitful and reprehensible. Continuing the lies through into his retirement has seriously affected his credibility.

  • dirkdiggler Jan 16, 8:18 a.m.

    "Cycling. It's not a real sport anyway." ~Bartmeister

    Have you ever even been on a road bike? I would have to assume not, given your statement.

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