Thoughts on Lance Armstrong

RECEIVED Sun., Oct. 28, 2012

Dear Editor,
    I doubt I'm the first person to have had this thought, and maybe not the first to have posted something to the editor of this or some other Austin-focused news publication, but here it is in stark, black-and-white text:
    At this point, given all that's transpired over the past few months, does Lance Armstrong really deserve to have his name associated specifically with anything in a hometown honor of his accomplishments, most notably the eponymous bikeway through Central Austin?
    Like many, I was an adamant supporter who believed his assertions of no wrongdoing in the face of what I believed were witch hunt-style tactics by European and American agents with nefarious agendas focused on smearing a legendary figure, until his sudden turnabout decision not to further contest the United States Anti-Doping Agency charges of doping. That decision was not a reflection of an honest and innocent person wrongly accused of something in which they had no part – the way Michael Morton conducted himself throughout his trial and incarceration, for example, and who thankfully avoided execution in a gross error of justice. The decision of someone who could no longer mount a viable defense in the face of impending revelation involving damning allegations, and testimony by too many people with direct knowledge and involvement of the different intentional schemes by which the testing processes were finessed or misled successfully over so many years, was a turning point, at least in my mind. The revelations and the subsequent decisions to strip him of the many titles were a sad and sobering conclusion to what had been a glorious career in cycling which inspired and uplifted many around the world, and the final legacy a bitter pill for everyone to swallow.
Jim Vance
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