Lance Armstrong’s Real Victims

Here’s a small list of the people he cheated.

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Lance Armstrong speaks with Oprah Winfrey in Austin, Texas.

Nobody likes a cheater.

Cheating ... lying ... stealing ... it's all the same, isn't it?

Lance Armstrong came clean (OK, almost clean) during an interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired last week on Winfrey's network, OWN. He came clean about doping; although investigators said he is still lying we he claimed he was not doping in 2009 or 2010, despite his high red blood cell count in 2009. The years Armstrong did cop to are outside the statute of limitations. Translation? He can't be criminally prosecuted for coming clean.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Congress.]

Some say this is not big deal. Some say they don't care because it's cycling. And some say they're not surprised, because nowadays, so many athletes do this.

But this is a big deal.

I remember thinking when Armstrong won not one, but seven Tour de France competitions that something was up, that something didn't seem right. Why is this a big deal? 

Aside from the obvious, that he didn't win any of those titles on his own merit is the fact he cheated so many on so many levels. And, given his interview, I suspect that he either hasn't thought about that fact, or perhaps just doesn't give a damn. I mean let's face it folks, if you dope up and win one Tour de France, how big is your ego and your greed for success, fame, and fortune that you do it six more times?!?

[See 2012: The Year in Cartoons.]

So, here's just a sample list of the people Lance Armstrong cheated...

  • Children who looked up to him as a hero.
  •  Cancer patients who thought he had overcome cancer and won all those championships!
  • America—for disgracing our reputation with France, which surely doesn't need another reason to hate Americans.
  • The bicyclists who came in second in those seven races, who truly won those races and we don't even know their names.
  • To all the companies whose products he endorsed, making millions.
  • His children, to whom he also lied while parading around as the big Tour de France winner.
  • His charity Livestrong, which has already lost at least one sponsor and perhaps future donations.
  • Every kid out there who plays sports—any sport—and whose parents tell them to try their best, that that is good enough ... and never, ever to cheat.
  • The whistleblower, who called him a liar.
  • [Take the U.S. News Poll: Should Lance Armstrong Be Forgiven for Doping?]

    The list could go on and on and on ... but I think you get the point.  

    My five-year-old recently stole a cookie from the snack box at school. When the teacher asked if he took the cookie, my son had the fortitude to tell the truth. When asked why? He said he likes cookies. Now, my son promised he would never steal a cookie or anything again. I told him that people who steal or cheat end up in jail. It's a good thing my son doesn't know who Lance Armstrong is ... because many feel that's exactly where he ought to be.

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