Imagine becoming a professional triathlete at the age of sixteen, winning countless major titles, including the Tour De France seven times, later being diagnosed with testicular cancer, with a 65-85 percent chance of survival, but pushing through and becoming a cancer survivor. This is the life of former cyclist and triathlete, Lance Armstrong, a role model to many. However, things have changed recently that will most certainly alter some people’s perception of Armstrong.
In early August 2012, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced that Armstrong had been taking steroids, EPO blood transfusions, and banned performance enhancing substances. As a result, Armstrong has now been stripped of all seven of his Tour titles, and banned from professional cycling for life. Armstrong says that he denies any sort of activity with using steroids and claims that he passed a number of blood tests.
The use of these performance enhancing substances and steroids are not just a problem for Armstrong, it’s really much bigger than that. A number of other former cyclists and athletes have taken steroids and other substances to increase their performance level.
Some critics have said that the issue isn’t the athletes breaking the rules, but rather the rules themselves. If doping and steroids weren’t banned in the first place, would the athletes still use them to enhance their performance? It could all really depend on the athlete themselves and their current physical condition.
In a poll on Facebook to see what people now think of Armstrong as person and athlete after this being announced in August. Ten people said their perception of Armstrong as a person and athlete changed after things happened and they don’t look up to him as much as they did before. Three people said they are very disappointed and this is a problem that needs to be dealt with. Two people said that this event did not pertain to them.
Is the real problem Armstrong and other athletes taking these banned steroids and transfusions, or the fact that Armstrong and many others are continuously denying any sort of activity with these substances even after fifteen medical records proving that he did?
This just shows that a very inspirational athlete and person can change their self image with just one just event. It seems that people, not only athletes, are disappointed with what Armstrong did and their perception and feelings have changed toward him.
Not only is Armstrong a professional triathlete, he was an inspiration to many people, someone they looked up to, which he has now lost.