Lance Armstrong is suddenly concerned about fairness in sports – News Block

Perhaps because he believes not enough people hate him already, cyclist-turned-venture capitalist Lance Armstrong is conducting interviews intended to spark “lively discussion” on controversial issues. He is a family pivot pursued by disgraced celebrities when the well runs dry. On Saturday he previewed a conversation with Caitlyn Jenner about trans athletes in sports, and had the nerve to mention “fairness.”

Armstrong sees himself in an ideal position to address this issue because he isn’t afraid of being fired, embarrassed or terminated. He says he’s “too familiar with the phenomenon,” as if no one could use the Internet to find out why he was stripped of seven Tour de France titles and an episode of Arthur. Who doesn’t remember Lance Armstrong being unfairly and mercilessly shamed in the public square for the mind crime of destroying Greg LeMond’s relationship with Trek? How can you learn that Armstrong was punished for waging a campaign of intimidation and terror against his teammates and his family and not think of the dangerous precedent this sets for anyone?

Armstrong doesn’t state a definitive position in his tweets, but by framing his entry into the speech as a free speech issue, prompting a video interview with Jenner, and expressing curiosity about “justice,” you get an idea of ​​where this is. . going. The “debate” over whether to allow trans people to compete alongside their cisgender counterparts has to do with restricting the rights of trans people. Framing it as a matter of sports integrity would be deeply cynical, even if a notorious cheater wasn’t the one who did it.

The Armstrong name is synonymous with breaking the rules, but it’s worth remembering how comprehensive his cheating program was. He not only injected himself with EPO and received illegal blood transfusions, but he also ran a sophisticated operation on the entire team. Teammates were intimidated if they didn’t comply, and he tried to destroy anyone who made fun of him; he threatened Levi Leipheimer’s wife, texting her “Run, don’t walk” after Leipheimer testified against Armstrong. When massage therapist Emma O’Reilly testified that she once put makeup on Armstrong to cover a needle mark, he publicly smeared her as an alcoholic who rose to the top of the sport by sleeping (she has since expressed regret about it, calling herself himself “an idiot in full attack mode”, and O’Reilly forgave him). Armstrong attacked journalists who asked public questions about doping, often going all over them to try to get them fired. This guy who stands up for the concept of justice is like Dracula standing up for veganism.

The reason Armstrong might launch this series now, outside of an innate desire for attention, is that this is the month Americans are most likely to pay attention to cycling. The Tour de France starts next weekend, and Armstrong will broadcast it on his podcast. The front. The US Road Cycling Championships also conclude Sunday in Knoxville; Jenner expressed his support to a group of protesters in town to yell at trans people during races and hold a huge rally, all under the noxious premise of protecting women’s sport.

USA Cycling is heavily funded by the Walton family, and in recent years, the organization has fumbled its way through a series of relevant controversies. Leia Genis was stripped of her silver medal at the 2022 track cycling championships after USAC ruled that she had failed to submit proper documentation to compete in the elite women’s events; Genis said she had no problem competing when she wasn’t getting results, but “now that I’m doing well at nationals, all of a sudden I can’t compete. The transphobia is so blatant it’s almost laughable.” Like Genis, Austin Killips has becoming the target of anti-trans protesters now that he is having success and winning races like the Tour of the Gila and the Belgian Waffle Ride. The 2021 cyclocross nationals were also plagued by transphobic protesters, and despite their pervasiveness, USA Cycling has remained silent. The organization’s only real public statement was a survey sent to its athletes in May about whether trans athletes should be allowed to participate, and the survey drew heavy criticism for the way it appears to have been written specifically to provoke an anti-trans response.

Despite the fact that Armstrong has been banned for life by the US Anti-Doping Agency, he remains the most famous American cyclist by a significant margin. With no ability to run, even at small-time events, he still has a desire to remain in the public eye, primarily through his podcast and an appearance on a new Fox reality show. rotten still feel comfortable examining the participation of trans athletes in sports for justice purposes. But Armstrong is right about one thing: he has no more respect to lose.

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