What to do with a Lance Armstrong photo?

boyandarmstrong

My moral dilemma of the afternoon is a prized photo that has followed me around for a number of years, shot by my AJC colleague Brant Sanderlin.

larmstrong

In the picture, a desperate 11-year-old boy named Samuel Douglas, wrapped in an American flag, urges on his hero Lance Armstrong during an uphill pull during a Rome time trial, part of the 2004 Tour de Georgia.

The photo sits in the office, next to a Sarah Palin movie bill. The question is, what to do with it? The young man and his passion were real. It is the cyclist who turned out to be fake.

On an opposite wall hangs an autographed photo of Levi Leipheimer, another cyclist, who has also confessed to engaging in doping as one of Armstrong’s wheelmen. The Los Angeles Times says Leipheimer, 38, has been suspended by his current team.

A bad day for people with heroes.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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124 comments Add your comment

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Van Jones

October 11th, 2012
3:44 pm

billyBobjacket, so I have a few folks here that say you wear ladies undies. You deny it and have been inspected many, many times confirming that you do not, but a few of us still say you do. So, based on your logic, doesn’t all that lace chafe your man parts?

UGA89

October 11th, 2012
3:46 pm

He was tested more than any other cyclist and not one positive test…
I believe Lance.

GaBlue

October 11th, 2012
3:46 pm

I think it’s part of the natural human condition to seek heroes, somebody to look up to, somebody who wows us by being better at something the way we wish we could be. Somebody stronger, smarter, more courageous, or incredibly talented. It’s our way of looking up, of confirming that it is possible to be something better than what we are. Everybody does it at some time in our lives. There’s no shame in it.

Of course, the REALITY is that all humans are merely human, no matter how high the pedestal upon which someone else has placed them. Every man falls, somewhere, some time. Then people are doubly angry, because they want to believe in a purity of spirit that does not exist.

EVERY hero, in the end, is still just a man, woman, or child. Let it go and find another. It’s okay.

Exrider

October 11th, 2012
3:46 pm

Well, Ben, you said it for me.

They all dope and they have for decades. ALL of them. Lance is the best to have ever ridden and he accomplished what he accomplished after cheating death. And with only one nad.

RobbE33

October 11th, 2012
3:50 pm

Answering should”ve stopped with KHC’s initial post.

billyBobjacket

October 11th, 2012
3:52 pm

Van Jones: If you have 26 people willing to swear under oath with nothing to gain, there is an internationally recognized and accredited agency that is charged with determining whether people wear ladies underwear, they undertook a multi-year investigation with plenty of other evidence, and I was smart enough not to be wearing ladies underwear the few times anybody in an official capacity looked (or was rich enough to pay them off if I was), then a REASONABLE person would conclude that I probably wore them on occasion. What the #&!! do you think the burden of proof has to be…the guy isn’t going to jail, he is still a gazillionaire, and there are enough numbskulls like you who still worship him…

JIMBOB

October 11th, 2012
3:53 pm

billybob,

if the mass media is going to cover for Obama, it’s only fair that it does the same for Lance. Unless it’s racist, of course.

billyBobjacket

October 11th, 2012
3:58 pm

I guess I should have realized that I was on a blog with a bunch of liberal democrats who are used to swallowing whatever lie their celebrity heroes feed them and then deny wrongdoing when it is alleged, and once it is proven just say “Oh well, it didn’t matter, he/she did a lot of good anyway…” If left up to you guys, Mike Vick would still be the Falcons QB, Elliott Spitzer would still be the NY AG, etc.

I'll take it!

October 11th, 2012
3:59 pm

I will take that photo if you really wanna take it down! :)

Duh

October 11th, 2012
4:00 pm

Inject it with HGH – see if it gets bigger!

bob the cat

October 11th, 2012
4:01 pm

In one of the years Armstrong won you will have to go down to 5th place to get a guy that has yet to be caught to give him the yellow jersey. Armstrong wasn’t alone, just the target with the best prize.

GaBlue

October 11th, 2012
4:04 pm

billyBobjacket,

I’m wondering why you concern yourself with what other people “swallow.” Why do you care? Are you going to tell the good folks here that you’ve never looked up to anyone? Never had a hero of any kind? Or do you allege that you have, but that none of these people have ever sinned, fallen, or failed in any way? Or have you, like everyone else, had to reconcile your admiration with the reality that there are no unflawed people?

Unless…. you are unflawed? In that case, are you running for the Office of Hero? There’s a vacancy, I hear.

The Mirror

October 11th, 2012
4:05 pm

How about you keep him up as a reminder that lying is not tolerated by society in the long run, and that ultimately you will pay for it if people are determined enough.

Auntie Christ

October 11th, 2012
4:09 pm

cc
October 11th, 2012
3:30 pm

” If we’re going to believe these conspiracy theories then I guess we should also think that Obama’s a Muslim.”

. . . but Obama IS a muslim!
***********************************************************************

Considering the sorry history of the christians, from the slaughter of the crusades, the inquisition, enslavement of Black people, extirpation of the Native Americans, the holocaust, and other atrocities, and the hatred and intolerance you billy bob redneck ‘christians’ display here every day, with your misogyny, homophobia and war mongering, having a few muslims around might be a refreshing change for the better.

rico

October 11th, 2012
4:12 pm

What is more American than doping in sports? Cheating for success at sports or business is embarrassing, but that doesn’t seem to stop it from happening here.

AFDawg

October 11th, 2012
4:13 pm

The Tour de France is in a horrible position right now — thus no words from their governing body yet. If they strip Armstrong of his titles, they will be declaring the Tour de France a fraud because it will signal that there was a way to cheat the system. If they spent the time and money interviewing and investigating all of the winners the way they have Armstrong — they would all be declared cheaters (guaranteed). Remember, Armstrong never failed a test and has already been declared innocent on criminal charges. He’s being prosecuted on heresay — no proof whatsoever. Is it possible all of his accusers are collaborting? With so much at risk — absolutely! The sport of professional bicycling is now finished. If I were Armstrong — I wouldn’t give anything back until each and every winner is investigated to the same degree he was.

GG

October 11th, 2012
4:13 pm

I love when people say that he is innocent because he never tested positive. Tatyana Tomashova a famous Russian 1500m runner never tested positive either, but everyone knew (and now they know for sure after her admission) that she constantly used EPO. She was caught only because a DNA analysis of some of competition samples showed conclusively that there were inconsistencies in her samples.

Now as a far as the dilemma that everyone cheats…well maybe so, but those that get caught get punished. Contador was stripped of his titles, so was Landis and so was Tomashova. Every time you take a risk. Sometime you come on top and sometime you don’t. Armstrong took his risks and lost.

anonymous

October 11th, 2012
4:15 pm

Photographers, thier colleagues, have tremendous pride in their published works. Alas, personal bias inhibits their good judgment.

Find the boy, if you can, ask him how he now feels about that photo.

AFDawg

October 11th, 2012
4:16 pm

By the way — if you no longer want the picture, I’l be more than happy to take it off your hands.

AFDawg

October 11th, 2012
4:22 pm

GG, Tatyana was proved through laboratory analysis — Armstrong never has been. He’s been torn down by story telling. Whoever thought Dan Rather would try to bring President Bush down with forged documents — it was story telling. All I’m saying is that if you go after one competitor with this much time, money, and interviewing — then you have to do it for all of them. You’ve raised the bar now, so eberyone has to play from a level playing field. Obvioulsy they were out to get Armstrong, otherwise thye wouldn’t have gone to these huge extremes.

Pete

October 11th, 2012
4:23 pm

Keep the picture. I have a picture I took of Lance on one of his “victory” laps of the Champs-Élysées.He won. I was there. It is highly unlikely that any cyclist at that time at that level was not doping. Too bad, but it’s true. If they strip him of his Tour de France titles, the next person in line probably doped as well. And doping is not limited to cycling. Most sports at the top levels are highly suspect – look how big football players are today compared to 1965. And there’s Barry Bonds. Most sports have become ultra-commercialized and the rewards for excelling at the top levels are so great that it is not hard to imaging that people are willing to risk their health by taking these medications. Look at the big business of college football. Clemson this year eliminated their swim team because it was too expensive to compete at the Division I level – football and basketball take all of the money that is available. So it is not just cycling, or any one sport. It’s money.

Hamad Meande

October 11th, 2012
4:23 pm

I believe that everyone of Tour de France’s second place finishers to Armstrong was caught or confessed to doping, so let’s assume that basically everyone of means that competed in cycling at that time was doping. That still makes Lance Armstrong the best cyclist.

What bothers me about the whole thing is the denials. If he was doping, and I believe the evidence and statements by his teammates points to it, then why vilify the people charged with keeping the sport clean? At some point, why not admit it, and state “To win in this sport, you must dope, because everyone of my competitors was as well”.

At what point does cycling allow doping so that everyone is on the same playing field? At least they could be safer about using PEDs if they didn’t have to hide it.

Hamad Meander

October 11th, 2012
4:26 pm

Have you noticed that baseball players look like real human beings again now? The 1990s was the decade of the He-Mans in baseball – dudes so freakishly big and strong due to doping. Bonds, McGuire, Bagwell, and on – those dudes were not just eating healthy. I don’t think baseball as a sport has been hurt with players being tested……the infield fly rule and stupid playoff scheme has done more damage.

AFDawg

October 11th, 2012
4:28 pm

GG, Also — you’re comparing apples to oranges. Landis and Contador were stripped and suspended because they “tested” postive. Armstrong never did — not once. That’s a big difference than someone saying I saw so and so taking something out of his bag, and so and so said we should all be taking supplenments to be competitive, etc. This is why heresay never holds up inmurder trials. I want some concrete evidence — which no one has been able to produce.

rabblebabble

October 11th, 2012
4:29 pm

Yeah – what Ben said — it is a bit of a quandry, but you can’t deny all of the effort he put into training/etc…I mean, it’s not like he just hung out on the couch all season, got juiced, then cheated his way to victory… It is the culture within cycling that is at issue here — we are the USA, I mean – we are the BEST…and, as such – I guess we had the best doping program too.

Matthew

October 11th, 2012
4:30 pm

He’s not fake, he just had help, and truth be told the majority of his competitors had the same or similar “help”. If they were all clean, he just might have pulled off the same number of wins, just with slower times and slightly lessor stats. Keep it.

rabblebabble

October 11th, 2012
4:32 pm

anyone who knows anything about Lance’s personality type and the facts at hand is just kidding themselves if they still stand by his “didn’t do it” BS.

GG

October 11th, 2012
4:33 pm

She was proved by laboratory analysis only after those sample were retested with more modern methodologies. Not when the samples were initially provided. The USADA has also stated that they have old samples of Armstrong that have been retested and show he was doping.

When you introduce drugs in sports, they play-field is never equal. Drugs are not like Popeye spinach. Only that know the science of what they are doing get maximum benefits. Armstrong had the financial backing to have an army of doctors and scientists to be part of his program. Also because a drug works really well for an individual doesn’t mean it works that well for everyone. One person might get great benefits from a drug, while another person might get only a fraction of them.

The bottom line is that drugs will always be part of sports. I agree with the philosophy that you get caught you pay. If don’t get caught….good for you.

bubs

October 11th, 2012
4:34 pm

This whole argument about “ooh, they’re all doing it, so he should keep his titles” is a bunch of crap! Yes, everyone on the American team was doing it, but we haven’t proven that the riders from other teams/countries were doing it. Lance is a disgrace to America….the epitome of a cheating loser.

rabblebabble

October 11th, 2012
4:35 pm

think it’s about time I started my own line of yellow bracelets to compete with Lance’s “livestrong”… gonna be either “cheatwell” or “dopefiend”

Mad Dog

October 11th, 2012
4:36 pm

I’m with Van: he never failed a drug test.

chamblee54

October 11th, 2012
4:37 pm

1-s there anyone else who doesn’t think steroid use is a big deal?
2-The major sponsor of most sports telecasts is alcohol pushers.
3-Even if he did use chemicals to enhance his performance, that does not make him a fake.
4-It does not mean his ex gf should be called before the grand jury.
chamblee54

rabblebabble

October 11th, 2012
4:39 pm

I never failed a drug test either….winkwink nudgenudge.

EJ Moosa

October 11th, 2012
4:44 pm

The fault is with us. We should not elevate any man to the status of a god. For in the end, they shall all fail to meet our expectations.

rico

October 11th, 2012
4:44 pm

Anyone who has played any competitive sports at any level knows that cheating has and always be apart of most sports. Pushing, holding, tripping, flopping, etc. Same for business, really, just different techniques. You take any advantage that you think you can get away with and try not to get caught. Winning is the goal for most sports and business, not playing fair. Until that is ingrained into world culture, it will continue to exist. Sure, some competitive events stress it more than others but it is not an overall popular thing until someone is caught.

Alana

October 11th, 2012
4:54 pm

All of you saying he was the “best cheater” are really screwed up. Why are we comending someone who was the best cheater? That’s like saying the Gang Leader was the best murder, so he should get off. WHAT??? I mean, sure the rest may have been doping too, but what about the few that weren’t? They struggled through the hard times WITHOUT the dope, and what do they have to show for it?? NADA. And just because he never “tested” positive, doesn’t mean he wasn’t doping. With the millions Lance was brining in yearly, you don’t think he hired a team of doctors/scientists/etc to devise a cover-up?? Come on people, use your brains and stop promoting someone who won’t even defend themself anymore…

CS

October 11th, 2012
4:55 pm

Losing Command Sergeant Major Basil Plumley is losing a real hero or legend; not some doper fraud jock – http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/10/10/basil-plumley-retired-veteran-whose-book-became-were-soldiers-movie-dies-in/?intcmp=features.

GG

October 11th, 2012
4:58 pm

Exactamundo rico. This idea that sports should be fair cracks me up. The simple idea of competition has never been fair and no sport will ever be. When you get caught you accept your losses and move on. The biggest mistake that Armstrong made was to turn his shoulders to those that helped him. If had taken care of guys like Landis and Hamilton, none of this would have even started. As soon as the first person blows the whistle…game over.

puhlease

October 11th, 2012
5:00 pm

I say put it in the toilet, along with the Palin literature which is just where they both belong.

Tap Out

October 11th, 2012
5:05 pm

Cool picture….keep it.

Fred

October 11th, 2012
5:12 pm

@billyBobjacket – Your arguments might have more credence if you had bothered to do any research on the first one. As it is, your lack of easily verified theories don’t hold much water. Charity Navigator rates charities on several criteria including how much they actually give to the charity they support. Livestrong was at 80.2% last year which is pretty high. Trying to paint his organization in a bad light by using a sweeping generalization backfires on you. Check out the report yourself – http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=6570 .

2DPointAtlanta

October 11th, 2012
5:27 pm

First decide whether you believe in a doping detection agency that waited until the man’s career was over before they started producting “proof” (through statements) that he cheated – OR you can believe in Lance Armstrong and that he wasn’t a cheater then or a liar now. Let your consience be your guide.

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

October 11th, 2012
5:29 pm

Lacey things, the wife is missing.
Didn’t ask, for her permission
I’m wearing her clothes,
her silk panty hose.
Walking around in women’s underwear.

In the store, there’s a teddy.
With little straps, like spagetti.
It holds me so tight,
like handcuffs at night.
Walking around in womens underwear
In the office there’s a guy named Melvin.
He pretends that I am Murphy Brown.
He’ll say “Are you ready?”
I’ll say, “Woah man! Lets wait until the wife is out of town.”
Later on, if you wanna,
We can dress, like Madonna.
Put on some eye shade, and join the parade.
Walking around in women’s underwear.

Lacey things, missing.
Didn’t ask, permission.
Wearing her clothes, silk panty hose.
Walking around in women’s underwear.
Walking around in women’s underwear.
Walking around in women’s underwear……”

BB

October 11th, 2012
5:32 pm

Lance Lemmings. Why on earth would all of those people lie? Read the documents. If you don’t, you have no idea what you’re talking about. And it does NOT LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD! This is the biggest misnomer. PEDs affect others differently and they weren’t all on the same PEDs. Lance was the best. The best DOPER.

Johnjon

October 11th, 2012
5:32 pm

send the picture to sarah. they are two of the phoniest people to come to the public’s attention in the last 20 years.

North resident

October 11th, 2012
5:34 pm

Considering the sorry history of the christians, from the slaughter of the crusades, the inquisition, enslavement of Black people, extirpation of the Native Americans, the holocaust, and other atrocities, and the hatred and intolerance you billy bob redneck ‘christians’ display here every day, with your misogyny, homophobia and war mongering, having a few muslims around might be a refreshing change for the better.

Which Muslim dominated country is NOT misogynistic or homophobic? By all means, enlighten us!
Middle eastern countries were slavers a thousand years before the U.S. existed, and continued after the civil war. The leader of Iran insists he wants another holocaust. In short, nearly every claim you ascribe to billy bob redneck ‘christians’ can also be ascribed to Muslims.

As to Obama: I think he is an atheist/agnostic. I think that he went to a Christian church only to gain favor in the community where he ran for election.

Auntie Christ

October 11th, 2012
5:50 pm

North resident
October 11th, 2012
5:34 pm

In short, nearly every claim you ascribe to billy bob redneck ‘christians’ can also be ascribed to Muslims.
*********************************************
Exactly, so if Obama is muslim, christian or wiccan is irrelevant, yet some commenters here make the accusation of his being a muslim as if there is some inherent evil in being muslim as opposed to christian. My assertion that having a muslim would be a refreshing change for the better was tongue-in-cheek. My real position is that believing in fairy tales whether it is little red riding hood or virgin births or visitations by heavenly beings, should qualify one for mental health care instead of public office.

mojo322

October 11th, 2012
5:54 pm

Umm…what kind of morals do you have making sure this article gets published? Move on and I SO hope you son is the angel you think he is!

NullOp

October 11th, 2012
5:55 pm

Actually, 500 random tests said he didn’t do it! It would be impossible to fool the tests that many times. They are random and can come any time, day or night no matter where you are. This whole case is a matter of axe-grinding against Armstrong. Nothing more. The American Anti-Doping people have no authority regarding a French race in the first place.