Sports Briefs: Lie Strong

(Sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Chris: Lance Armstrong may have lied, deceived, misled, cheated, doped and bamboozled, but the good news is that he did not jump on Oprah's couch and profess his love to Katie Holmes.

Joe: Haven't seen the "O" interview, so it's hard to say what Lance might have actually "admitted to" or not. Some commentators who have not yet seen the interview either are forgiving, some are scathing in their righteousness. Neither are entirely correct.

Ralphie: I think it's good that he admitted to it. It's always better to tell the truth than it is to lie.

Brad: He definitely should not have used drugs. If he admitted it on his own, it would be a good thing; but if he just admitted it to avoid bigger trouble, then he didn't learn anything from his experience. But it is better to be truthful no matter what, I guess.

Ralphie: I used to think of him as a winner, but now, I think he's just a cheater.

Joe: Lance Armstrong is the greatest road bicycle racer of all time. Before him Merckx ('70s) and Indurain ('90s). Who knows what those other riders may have done to secure their consecutive wins.

Brad: I still think he is an inspiration for cancer survivors, because he didn't just sit home and not try. I think him using PEDs sends the wrong message to people, though, about surviving.

Ralphie: A lie is a lie.

Chris: Founding Livestrong and raising millions of dollars to fight cancer separates Armstrong from other athletes who have been guilty of or associated with performance-enhancing drugs, including discontinued Smurf chewable vitamins, which were easily detectable, since they turned one's tongue blue. However, it remains a possibility that the pharmaceutics Armstrong took caused his cancer. If that is the case, then Barry Bonds suddenly becomes a more likable fellow.

Joe: For those who would argue that, whatever the PEDs, they caused his cancer, science does not support that theory, since when he was winning the Race (1999-2005), he was announced cancer free two years prior in 1997.

Brad: He used his cancer to get people to like him, and then he gave them false hopes by being successful. He wasn't successful because he triumphed over cancer; he won because he used PEDs. No matter what the situation, it is wrong to use drugs.

Joe: Maybe some day medical science will credit Armstrong's PEDs (whatever they were and in whatever doses) as being partially responsible for his cancer's continuing remission. Who knows, he might win an award for inadvertently enhancing cancer research.

Brad: He shouldn't have taken drugs either way. He shouldn't have competed against other athletes that were not using drugs to win. Cancer or no cancer, he still shows poor sportsmanship.

Ralphie: He should not have taken them. He knew it was wrong.

Chris: I have to consider myself fortunate having believed Armstrong’s denials that he juiced (by which I mean “took banned substances,” as opposed to “enjoyed Jack LaLanne’s Ultimate Power Juicer”). History indicates that if I had questioned if Armstrong was hosting some sort of party or social mixer in his bloodstream, designed to attract red blood cells, I very likely would have received a court summons and been ordered to pay a large amount of money with many digits.

Joe: Lance's overcoming testicular cancer and the resulting charitable venture are testament to his true grit.

Ralphie: I'd be afraid to donate to his charity because I'd be afraid he wouldn't be responsible with the money.

Brad: The charity is a great thing and is bigger than Lance Armstrong. It will do good things, regardless of his personal actions.

Chris: Armstrong's admission and its effect on his charity may prohibit other drug users from opening charities of their own to fight their own side effects. The fight against dementia, Alzheimer's Disease or just forgetfulness in general could have received millions of dollars, had Roger Clemens not misremembered. And think of how much money Bonds could have raised to help himself, Megamind, the Kanamits and others with enlarged craniums.

Ralphie: I think it's time for him to just go away.

Brad: I think he should retire from sports and stay out of the public eye. Quietly working on charity work would be the best choice.

Joe: Go Lance go--in whatever you want to compete. Athletes in any sport look for edges in competition. In recent years society, driven by self-righteous commentators, has seen fit to chastise PED use. Sports owners, fans, and advertisers all benefit from the athlete's individual achievements. For those who used PEDs, the so-called "all-the-others" defense is disingenuous but understandable. Only the great ones fall from grace. Society is then content.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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