Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A quick post on Lance Armstrong

Over the last few weeks, I have been reading with some interest about Lance Armstrongs ever accelerating fall from grace. Outside of the Olympics, I don't really follow cycling that much, but I have been interested more in the medias coverage of the allegations, and the effects it has had on any organisation that Lance Armstrong has ever worked with.

Now, it seems to me that, although difficult to discern if you go by the media coverage, Lance Armstrong has not actually been found guilty of anything. It is fair to say that he is not contesting the latest findings, but he has never said he is guilty of anything, in fact, he maintains his innocence.

Lance Armstrong has been, for many years now, one of the most tested men in sport. He has had allegation after allegation thrown at him in what he refers to as "an unconstitutional witch hunt". Up to now, none of the allegations have ever stuck, the cases have always been withdrawn or successfully contested. With these latest allegations, Armstrong has simply decided to not fight, saying "There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.'" This, in itself, is not an admission of guilt, more a plea to let him get on with the rest of his life. This is what the press and seemingly countless organisations have drawn on and have used as an excuse to metaphorically burn him at the stake.

Compare this to the treatment given to Michael Jackson. Michael has been accused many times of child abuse, but nothing has ever been proved. The reason many of the cases were never proved is not that Jackson contested the cases. Instead, many of his accusers were paid off in out of court settlements for undisclosed amounts of money. Jacksons paying off of his accusers speaks much louder than Armstrongs unwillingness to contest, and yet Jackson is still believed innocent by many people (not me, I have to admit!)

It's a funny world we live in! And I use that word quite wrongly!