The King Of Doping

Responding to the "mountain" of evidence released this week by the US Anti-Doping Agency, Michael Specter is amazed to learn that Lance Armstrong "didn’t just dope: he was the king—better at doping than he was at pretending to win bicycle races through grit and determination":

For years I watched Lance Armstrong denounce those who dared accuse him of doping. I was with him for a long time. I even bought his basic defense, which was to say that he was accused falsely by moral inferiors who could never compete with him. I watched his now-infamous Nike ad for inspiration and made sure my daughter saw it, too. (Check it out [above]; today it seems like a “Saturday Night Live” skit.) She and I would sit together on our couch, in Rome, where we then lived, and watch the annual Tour de France, cheering as Lance charged up the impossible heights of Mt. Ventoux or whizzed by the hundreds of thousands of people on his way to yet another victory. I wanted my daughter to know that there are people willing to sacrifice and work for what they believe in—to struggle and suffer. Yes, I was a fool.

Specter's takeaway:

The time has come for professional cycling to acknowledge reality: cyclists use drugs. Perhaps the best approach is simply to let them. That way everyone can, for the first time in years, compete at the same level.

You can read through the Dish's earlier coverage of Armstrong's complicated legacy here.