My thoughts on Lance
"Lance is banned for life and stripped of his TDF titles."
At this point I do not believe it is a matter of guilty or innocent. Like VeloNews put it, it's a matter of "Does it really matter if he cheated?"
With so many different opinions out there, I believe it's a matter of how you view the situation. I have grouped people's opinions into three categories.
What the Livestrong has done for cancer research and awareness, trumps the debate over his guilt. This is the impressive part of what he has done with his iconic status and ascension to the top of a sport. This is what we truly need to look at in regards to whether or not his guilt really matters.
Those who view the situation in this way will tell you that what he did off the bike is far more impressive that what he did on the bike. After all, this is what REALLY matters when looking at the broader spectrum in life.
2) Sport - Guilty
Building a sporting empire and legacy on a foundation without integrity is wrong. The financial gains, fame and endorsements have been falsely awarded in this situation.
If you are a competitor and someone comes in and tries to take away all that you have built through decades of hard work. If you have overcome cancer, ridden hundred's of thousand's of miles on the bike, if you have overcome overwhelming odds, beat cheaters, passed 1000's of tests and you have done all of this truthfully, do you fold?
Those who sit here likely will tell you that you don't fold and you fight tooth and nail, just like he did to win those tour titles. Folding is his own admission of guilt, regardless of the system that is in place.
3) Sport - Innocent
Lance passed 100's of tests, he overcame cancer to beat the best cyclists in the world, he was a world class triathlete before and after his cycling career. These are all arguments that point to the fact that he was just THAT GOOD.
USADA was on a witch hunt to take down the man at the top of the sport and all of this was truly a personal vendetta of those in charge over at USADA.
Regardless of your personal opinion of the man himself, I think you can all agree that what he has done for those with cancer is far more than anyone else, in another position, could have.
It's time to learn from this, clean up the sport for and preserve it for the future and move on...