Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lance, Santa Claus, and Livestrong

“Look. At some point, people have to tell their kids that Santa Claus isn’t real. I hate to be the guy to do it, but it’s just not real.”
-Floyd Landis, talking about doping in cycling.

Yup, Landis is still talking about Lance and about doping in cycling as a whole, this quote came from an interview on Nightline (via VeloNews).

I've been thinking about reasons why people might be hesitant to accept that Lance might have doped. While I agree that Landis lacks credibility, the body of evidence is pretty overwhelming against Lance. Aside from how inspiring Lance has been in his victories, I think we also tend to want to give Lance the benefit of the doubt because of his charitable work. Truly, Lance has done some great things through Livestrong, however, at times I wonder if his motivation may be (at least in small part) an attempt to ease his conscience.

Lewis Freeman, a forensic accountant who was recently sentenced to 8 years in prison for defrauding his clients, had a number of people who defended him and asked for leniency because of his charitable work. Former fraudster, Sam Antar, wasn't impressed (via GoingConcern):
It’s hilarious how many people are supporting this guy. As the criminal CFO of Crazy Eddie, I used to do good deeds such as walking old ladies across the street, too. However, my so-called good deeds never made me any less of a cold-blooded criminal.
Good deeds are used by criminals to build walls of false integrity around themselves to increase the comfort level of their victims and to gain an outpouring of support, if they ever get caught.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to discount the impact of Livestrong and Lance's other work for charity, but I am saying that if we do find out that Lance doped, we should bear in mind that Lance may not have had the purest of intentions when doing charitable work.

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