Over the last couple of decades, Lance Armstrong has been one of the most polarizing sports figures globally. The seven-time Tour de France winner rose to fame behind his tremendous success in his professional road racing cyclist career. That has been tainted by his decision-making involving the use of performance-enhancing drugs coupled with his years of persistent stern denial. There have been many ups and downs along the way, but Armstrong only has one regret during his career that doesn’t involve his cheating in the sport.
Lance Armstrong’s tumble south
During his heyday, Armstrong put forth an incredibly successful career that made him one of the most beloved sports figures around the world.
However, that has come tumbling down over the years due to his strong linkage to performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong had a strong-willed battle against those allegations over the years that only damaged his public image.
There were many rough decisions that he made during his career that have shaped his public image in a bad light. There is one that he still strongly regrets going that route.
Lance Armstrong regrets linking cancer with his cycling career
In the years since he retired, Armstrong has had an opportunity to contemplate what transpired over his career.
There are plenty of mistakes that he made along the way that contributed to his downfall as a disgraced cyclist. With all that in hindsight, Armstrong voiced that his lone regret lies with associating his battle with cancer with his cycling career. (H/T Fox Sports)
All the while, he was lying – even using his former cancer experience to claim he was innocent of doping. For who, Lance said, would go from the brink of death and return to cycling and to doping? Who would knowingly risk his second chance at life?
That approach is something he regrets – or at least thinks was foolish.
“I do think, I’ll admit, I used cancer occasionally as a shield, which is just f*****g stupid.
“In hindsight, cycling and cancer should’ve been kept separate.”
Armstrong put himself under the umbrella of his cancer experience to avoid being marked as a cheater. His battle with the disease was, in many ways, his shield to avoid that topic or any validity to the doping allegations. The fact that he has remorse about that is a step in the right direction.
Armstrong has apologized for how he carried himself during his career that rubbed many people the wrong way. However, he has also voiced that he wouldn’t change a thing about how things unfolded for him. The 48-year-old is a polarizing figure that has damaged many of the relationships that he had during his successful cycling career.
Lance Armstrong’s tarnished legacy
Although Armstrong put together an incredibly successful career, he will forever be marked by his decision to cheat knowingly.
What has made matters worse for him is that he had years of vigorously denying that he partook in PED usage. That saw him go to extreme lengths to shut that chatter down that only further hurts his public image.
The link to using cancer as a guise has been a significant part of the negativity around him that has plagued him. There is no question that his legacy will always have an asterisk by it, which was once a steady beacon of inspiration and motivation for many to utilize positively.
There is much that Armstrong could do to help mend those fences that he severely damaged over the years. It’s a pathway that there is no certainty that he will take.