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?

Resources: cnn.com, abcnews.com

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176 Comments
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  • 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.
        • peacheslarue
          peacheslarueSunday, November 9, 2014 at 12:21 pm
          Thats just sad. why did he have to take drugs anayway?
          • j_t_k
            j_t_kSunday, November 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm
            I guess he really wanted to win.
          • AnonymousWednesday, October 8, 2014 at 7:06 am
            This is cool
            • rolandWednesday, September 3, 2014 at 6:11 am
              thants i used your website for school
              • ikyra_marie
                ikyra_marieWednesday, May 14, 2014 at 7:51 pm
                That is so heartbraking and disappointing too.
                • plo
                  ploWednesday, May 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm
                  Good job I wish I had knowledge that you thank you
                • awesome_kid
                  awesome_kidWednesday, November 27, 2013 at 5:57 pm
                  So disappointing . . .
                  • JoshMonday, November 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm
                    I love the tour de France well cycling in general and at first when I first heard of Lance he was a big inspiration to me but now I was so disappointed when he admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs and I was even more disappointed because about three years before that he dobbed in his team mates.
                    • peacheslarue
                      peacheslarueSunday, November 9, 2014 at 12:22 pm
                      Im sorry he seemed lika great role model.
                    • swirlylollypops
                      swirlylollypopsThursday, June 13, 2013 at 11:55 am
                      so disappointed.

                      Vocabulary

                      administeredassertingconsecutivedefamationdisillusioninggruelingmasseusesteadfastlysuccinctlytenuretestifiedvicious

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