personally i think if it is ever proven that lance doped, that the seven tours where as a result of cheating, then it will probably be the last nail in the coffin for cycling..
for a long time whatever you think of him, lance has been a symbol of optimism either in cycling, or in the cancer community... those that are knocking him now, where probably celebrating his performances 9 or 10 ago, and if they wherent who where they celebrating, ullrich? pantani? Riis? vinikourov? zabel? cippolini? Basso?
wether you like it or not, lance has been a positive symbol.. the idea that someone could recover from cancer and win the tour even once.. for those who doubt now, where were they in 1999?
in all likelehood that first win, he doped.. but then so did 90% of the peleton, as it did in 98, 97, 96, and probably 2000, 01, and 02.. does he dope now, almost certainly not, and hopefully, its now 90% of the peleton who dont and the 10% are gradually being caught...
yes its reasonable to have doubt.. we all have doubt about many things... i watched ricco climbing like a lunatic in the giro.. initially i thought wow, then doubt crept in.. am i happy that he was caught.. absolutely not.. i wish that that performance was genuine.. theres not a cyclist who raced prior to 2009 that we cannot have some doubts about, but im surprised that lance gets attacked with the tenacity that he does, and that the likes of jalabert, or robert miller, or sean kelly, roche are all held in such high esteem..
sometimes you have to sit back and take cycling for what it is.. accept its faults, but just rely on the fact that the teams, the authorities and hopefully the riders are doing everything they can to make sure that the results we see, are results that have been acheived genuinly through sporting achievement and courage, determination and skill and not through cheating.. sure, we all have doubts.. but we have to just get on with it, and try and drive forward...
the problem around here is that there are people who will take every opportunity to question, to detract from what we are really into cycling for, and to spread the D word whenever they can.. am i amazed by cavvys recent performance.. in a word, yes.. do i think he's doped.. no.. but then again, if he was caught next week would i be surprised.. probably not.. nothing surprises me anymore.. i still find it impossible to beleive that vinikourov would have had a blood transplant during the tour, as someone said at the time, its akin to driving at 60 in a 30 mile zone with a police car behind you, sadly the facts seem to speak for themselves.. does it make my memories of him any less.. nope.. am i going to question everytime someone performs brilliantly.. nope.. cos ive got beleif that things are improving..
its not up to us to put lance on trial.. thats down to the labs, the uci, his team, whoever..
personally im going to stick around here and see how things go, but at the moment every single thread turns to doping within about three posts.. its neither productive nor constructive and its going nowhere... for cyclingnews im guessing as they are mods here, they have a duty to make sure that things arnt appearing in the forum that would degenerate or whathaveyou, so ultimately some form of censorship is bound to happen.. whatever youve heard of freedom of speech aint true..
lets just get back to cycling.. forget this talk of banning people, but lets also not have a doping war..