Vocablets in the News: Did Lance Armstrong Cheat?

What’s the story behind this Vocablet?  Let’s dive a little deeper to see what’s really going on.

The Word:

The Story:

Teammate accuses Lance Armstrong of doping (CBS News, 20 May 2011)

I don’t follow professional cycling.  I don’t follow any professional sports, to be honest.  But even I know about Lance Armstrong’s basic story — how he won the Tour de France a record-breaking seven times, even after battling testicular cancer.

The Tour de France is a long, intense, competitive race that lasts for three weeks.

It’s an inspiring story, and his legacy has been firmly established as one of the greatest athletes of our time and as a tireless activist in the fight against cancer, having created the Lance Armstrong Foundation to fund cancer research and support cancer patients.

All of that came crashing down recently when a close teammate appeared on 60 Minutes, alleging that Armstrong, along with the rest of his team, used doping to enhance their performance when they competed.

Why It Matters:

“Doping,” as it’s colloquially known in professional racing, can mean a few different things.  Originally, it meant blood doping, a process in which a cyclist would give blood before a race, store it, and then transfuse it back into his body at some point during the race.  Now, doping usually refers to taking EPO, a drug used to increase the body’s supply of red blood cells.

The process works because having more red blood cells allows more oxygen to get to the muscles, allowing the cyclist to go faster and for longer distances without getting as tired.

Tyler Hamilton, the teammate making the allegations, claims that not only was Armstrong and the rest of the team (including himself) doping, but that it was sanctioned and encouraged by the team’s administrators.

There are even implications that Armstrong’s donations of money to the International Cycling Union — the organization that polices doping — were intended to pay for preferential treatment for himself and his teammates, and to cover up any positive tests that they may have found.

Armstrong maintains that he was never involved with doping, and has even demanded an apology for the accusations made against him.

Making It Memorable:

What did YOU think when you saw this Vocablet?  Do you think that Hamilton is telling the truth?  If so, do you think Armstrong should confess?  Or do you think this is an attempt to discredit Armstrong’s success?  How is this word and its story memorable to you?

Looking for related words?  Try these studylists: Sports, Sports Figures

3 thoughts on “Vocablets in the News: Did Lance Armstrong Cheat?

  1. Whoa, really? Since his actual teammate said it, I might believe it… but I don’t know! It’s so sad that this guy is a role model and he might have been using drugs…

  2. I bet Lance was doping. Everybody does it, so why not him too? How else could he have won all those races?

  3. does it really matter? i mean, the guy’s done a lot of good in the world and he’s not racing anymore, so why not just let it be. some things are better left alone.