Late last week, Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey on national TV that he did take the performance-enhancing drugs that helped him win seven Tour De France championship titles – a fact that was evident even before the TV interview was broadcast. Those who’ve been following the sports scandal weren’t surprised by Armstrong’s confession – as well as the fallout resulting from it.
Doping in professional sports – including biking – has existed for decades, with those choosing the easy path to both fame and fortune, while ignoring the consequences that result from taking performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong and other athletes should have never taken that path – one that is similar in some respects to Faust selling his soul to the Devil in exchange for both knowledge and pleasure. And like Faust, athletes like Armstrong who take performance-enhancing drugs will eventually regret their actions – and not just when their physical health takes a turn for a worse, in ways not unlike the physical decline suffered by chronic drug addicts who are dependent on illegal narcotics.
As for Armstrong, there’s no doubt that the scandal that has permanently tainted his career will haunt him for the rest of his life – and perhaps cause him to realize the true meaning of the famous Roman proverb that has already brought down so many public figures, including Armstrong’s fellow athletes whose reputations remain tarnished: “All glory is fleeting.”
And Armstrong’s fans? Whether or not they continue to support him is a question that has yet to be answered – and one that won’t be answered anytime soon. In the meantime, Armstrong’s fans – including today’s youth – is still grappling with the ugly reality that’s already damaged his reputation, probably for good. And perhaps we should feel more sympathy for those fans, the true victims of a lie that hid the bitter truth – and like so many throughout history, one that eventually had to fall apart.
John Lavernoich is the author of the novels Code Name: Chameleons (published by iUniverse/Writers Club Press) and Chameleons To The Rescue (published by Lulu Books/Highroad Books), and the recently published short story e-book collection Tales Of The Psychiatrist (published by Booktango), as well as various non-fiction articles and short stories that have been published in print and on the Internet — to learn more about Mr. Lavernoich and his writing achievements, please visit his official website (http://johnlavernoich.sharepoint.com), as well as his pages on Windows Live Spaces (http://cid-ef88d131988ab38f.profile.live.com), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/john.lavernoich?ref=name), MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/jlavernoich), Twitter (http://twitter.com/JLav65), and WordPress (https://johnlav.wordpress.com). Mr. Lavernoich also maintains his own video channel on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/JLav65?feature=mhsn), his own Author Spotlight page on Lulu Books‘ website (http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Highroad), and his own Profile Page on Amazon Studios‘ website (http://studios.amazon.com/users/59488).
©2013 John Lavernoich.