Lance Armstrong is the most popular American cyclist to ever have lived, but the International Cycling Union (UCI) has said it wants to make it as if Armstrong has never competed in the sport.
“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling,” said Pat McQuaid, president of the UCI after the ruling came down.
The organization revoked all of Armstrong’s seven Tour De France titles and banished him from professional cycling Monday, after consulting a 200-page report constructed by the United States Anti-Doping Administration. The report included 29 first-person narratives from a former teammate who allegedly saw him doping. This ends a chaotic series of months for the rider who lost many endorsements along the way.
Other riders, such as two-time Tour winner Greg Lemond, have stated the move had to be done to discourage other riders from doping.
The UCI is a serious organization that has a guilty-until-proven-innocent approach to doping cases. Major League Baseball on the other hand has an innocent-until-proven-guilty approach and has a lengthy appeals process when it comes to their substance abuse policy.
The MLB policy states that one violation is a 50 game suspension, a second violation is a 100 game suspension and the third is permanent suspension from baseball.
Baseball, America’s national pastime, has players who are under constant suspicion of illegal drug use. After the steroid age of the 2000’s that included the likes of alleged users such as Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds, people at games always think in the back of their mind, “Is that guy juicing?”
The League’s lenient policy towards offenders doesn’t reassure fans and skeptics that drug use isn’t readily practiced. Commissioner Bud Selig should follow McQuaid’s example and step up enforcement and instate huge consequences for those who consider steroid use acceptable.