Sports Law Blog
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Tuesday, June 15, 2004
 

Armstrong Fights Accusations: The story of Lance Armstrong is one of inspiration and a man's triumphant struggle over a deadly disease to achieve the pinnacle of athletic achievement. But a lot of people think this story is tainted. In a book to be released in the coming weeks, Armstrong is accused of using the performance-enhancing drug EPO during his record Tour de France streak. The allegations come from Emma O'Reilly, who worked for over three years as Armstrong's masseur, physical therapist and personal assistant.

Armstrong, who is constantly tested but has never turned up positive for drugs, issued a statement on his website denying the latest allegations. In addition, his lawyers plan to file two lawsuits, one in Britain and one in France, for libel. I know nothing about libel law in these countries, so please let me know if you do.

I find the Lance Armstrong story to be one of the greatest in the history of sport, a real tale of the triumph of the human spirit. If these claims are found to be boundless, then shame on the writers and all of the critics (many of the French) that have derided Armstrong out of jealousy.

But if it's true...well, I will ask: Are there any true heroes left in sports? Armstrong will still be courageous for defeating a deadly illness and getting back on the bike. And his success will still have brought hope to millions of cancer payments. But it will be a falsity, a fraud. And you have to wonder if this is even worse than if he had never won at all.

So, for now we wait and see. I, for one, will be cheering Armstrong on in France and hoping against hope that these stories are baseless.





1 Comments:

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