Winning At All Costs . . . . . . A Good Strategy?

By Meera Dolasia on January 19, 2013

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Late last week, Lance Armstrong, the winner of seven consecutive titles (1999-2005) of the world's most grueling bike race - The Tour de France, finally confessed to something many people had suspected for years - The use of performance enhancing steroids during most of his storied career, to get an edge over his competitors.

What is even more disillusioning is that it was not just he but his entire team of 11 cyclists, that used the drugs, which were administered to them by the team's physicians with the full blessing and knowledge of the coach. And, it gets worse.

When Emma O'Reilly, the team's former masseuse tried to expose his secret, he bullied her into submission by filing a defamation lawsuit against her, for spreading vicious rumors.

When asked why he did not just come clean after the initial accusations, the athlete responded that he got caught up in his own legend - The superhero that had survived cancer and made an amazing comeback. Sadly enough over the years, he had managed to convince himself that he was not really doing anything wrong.

Even after all his former teammates testified against him to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which resulted in him being stripped of all his seven titles in October 2011 and a lifetime ban on competitive cycling, Armstrong kept asserting his innocence.

As to why he finally decided to come clean in a two-part interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey on national television, is anyone's guess. The sad part is he is not the only prominent athlete to have done this - In 2007, US Olympic sprinter Marion Jones was stripped of all her five gold medals and banned from the track for 2 years. Earlier this year, former San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, was denied a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame because of suspicions that he too used steroids during his tenure with the team - An allegation that he still steadfastly denies - And, the list goes on and on.

While we all want to win and get famous the big question that comes to mind is that since when has sports become only about winning? What happened to sportsmanship, ethics and integrity? As sports journalist Grantland Rice succinctly put it 'It's not that you won or lost but how you played the game" - These role models certainly didn't play it the right way! Don't you agree?


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  • dj rapperMonday, February 15, 2016 at 6:19 am
    why would he use drugs to help win a race the other people deserved to win!
    • asdfTuesday, November 24, 2015 at 8:05 am
      Wow That's sad
      • abcdefgFriday, November 6, 2015 at 6:40 am
        i used to admire him, now i dislike him very much so
        • LOLWednesday, January 21, 2015 at 8:09 pm
          • jcSaturday, January 10, 2015 at 2:06 pm
            even though he did a bad thing, look for the good things he did.
            • garfieldFriday, December 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm
              i absolutely hate him
              • happypug12
                happypug12Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm
                I love to run, but I would never cheat. What Lance did was wrong, even though I don't understand how eating some drugs can help you win.
                • kell-bell
                  kell-bellMonday, November 17, 2014 at 9:35 am
                  That is cheating which is illegal and hurtful to everyone. 1) the players that tried their hardest. 2) the fans that think he did it the right way 3) the people who give him the titles of winning and loosing.
                  • nikukyu
                    nikukyuMonday, November 10, 2014 at 12:12 am
                    That is not the real way to win! They were cheating, and it's not fair at all to the other players.
                    • j_t_k
                      j_t_kSunday, November 9, 2014 at 1:44 pm
                      That the thing with athletes they can't figure out who is using drugs and who is not. that is not fair to although other athletes who played fair and square.

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