A Highly Uninformed Defence of Lance Armstrong
Yesterday the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) released a 1000-page report outlining the ‘overwhelming’ evidence of doping by seven-time Tour de France Champion Lance Armstrong.
Armstrong himself has already said he’s sick of defending himself against claims of doping after years of being pursued.
I feel for Lance. Defending yourself is hard work but it can be done with the right people around you, no matter what evidence is against you. Just watch My Cousin Vinny.
The best way to build a defence is not through ‘facts’ or ‘reports’ but through pure rhetoric, wild speculation and crackpot theories. I’m also a fan of speaking very loudly.
Really, for Lance, we also need to change what this debate is about.
So here goes.
To be clear, I have not read the USADA report. It’s just too long and reading is hard. The title alone is long: REPORT ON PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE WORLD ANTI-DOPING CODE AND THE USADA PROTOCOL.
I would have called it: GUILTY! GUILTY! HE TOTALLY DID IT!
The report also has no pictures! I didn’t even bother once I realised that. Luckily for my argument, no one else will ever read the report beyond the executive summary.
My defence of Lance is not to attempt to argue he never took drugs. This is a trivial point and the USADA have wasted a lot of time and money on pursuing this.
It’s whether IF he took drugs, he was right to have done so. On this point the case is clear. Lance was well within his rights to take any type of drugs. What’s more, not talking drugs would have been an act of pure madness.
The Tour de France requires riders to come in contact with lots of French people. As they say, France is full of them.
This alone is reason enough to take numerous types of drugs.
I’m not one for stereotyping whole nationalities but I am willing to stereotype vast majorities of a nationality to win an argument, especially when it requires no research or evidence on my behalf.
French people love garlic, hating Americans, poodles, alcohol and arrogance. They also like baguettes.
Spending any amount of time there requires anybody to take significant amount of drugs just to be able to handle the French.
If your chosen profession required you to wear Lycra all the time, you would take copious amounts of drugs. People look terrible in Lycra. Even relatively fit people look odd. It’s an unforgiving material and on men it presents shapes that are either confronting or hilarious. Sometimes both.
Real friends don’t let friends wear Lycra. If your job requires it, take drugs.
Being Constantly Surrounded by Lots of Other Men in Lycra
Anybody who’s taken an early Sunday morning drive knows a pack of riders in Lycra is one of the scariest things you will ever see. Like looking into the sun, if you stare too long you will do permanent damage to your retinas.
Even in Le Tour, where everyone is a super fit athlete, it would still be an incredibly traumatic experience. Imagine riding behind someone in Lycra for hours on end.
Facing this, I would have taken so many drugs I could have sprinted up the mountains non-stop. I would probably still be going.
Long ago, in ancient times, the bicycle was an enormous improvement on walking and a fine substitute for those who couldn’t afford a horse. Now, however, we have cars, motorcycles, scooters and Segways.
Cycling is hard. While many will argue it’s fun on its own, it’s far more fun when you’re on drugs. If I had to ride a bike just around the block, I would take a cocktail of drugs, let alone having to cycle across France.
I’m convinced cycling is actually an excuse for taking drugs. When someone tells me their partner is addicted to cycling, I just nod and wink.
The Tour de France travels through The French Alps and the Pyrenées and cycling over them has been compared to climbing three Mount Everests. The very idea of this tires me.
The minute I get on the slightest incline on a bike, I begin to roll backwards, even when pedalling at full speed.
Riding a bike up these mountains sounds awful. Why would anyone do it? I’ll tell you why, they’re on drugs, lots of them.
You need to be on them just to consider doing it, let alone to enable you to physically do it. Even on lots of drugs, I still wouldn’t consider doing it. I would probably just watch the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, eat some chips and have a nap.
Whether Lance Armstrong was doping or not is irrelevant. Anyone thinking of doing the Tour de France should start talking drugs immediately and never stop.
I challenge anyone to ride a bike, up a mountain, dressed in Lycra, looking at other men in Lycra, while surrounded by French people and not take drugs.
The defence rests. You’re welcome Lance.
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