The Lance Armstrong story is intriguing. Years of denial seem to be unraveling with teammates and testimony about how doping was done during all those cycling years. We all know of Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France wins. We know of his cancer survival, Livestrong initiative, and general good works. We also know of his consistent denial of doping accusations.
Recently, he gave up in fighting the accusations. With the standing down from the fight, there was no admission of guilt.
Jason Gay wrote an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal on how last week was a good day for cycling. Years of cover-up are over, and truth has come through. Many cyclists from his team have come forward, yet Lance Armstrong remains silent.
We can discuss the culture of doping, cover-up, and winning at all costs. We can discuss honesty versus winning. We can discuss sportsmanship and what it really means.
The more interesting question comes to this: What should Lance Armstrong do now?
It is an interesting choice. It is a choice of continuing to deny wrongdoing or seek redemption. Now, I know that denying the charge also means claiming innocence. The evidence seems overwhelming at this point. Most of the characters in this story have told their parts, and there is a consistency in how the questionable events unfolded.
The choice remains. What would you do?
Years of good work cannot be denied.
Character is at question though.
- Do you continue to live under the suspicion and questionable character traits?
- Do you finally admit what happened and try to live in a better, honest way?
- What about all the money gained under hollow wins? What do the sponsors do? What does Lance do?
- At what point, do people change course by admitting fault and work to correct past deceptions and questionable character traits?
I don’t have all the answers, but it is important to pause and consider how we would act. From other people’s stories, we can learn lessons for our own life.
I do know that living strongly includes living honestly. I know it is tough to admit guilt, but it is the only way a redemptive process can begin. I know that winning carries a cost, but the cost should not include the loss of character and integrity.
We need to stand up to our choices and actions, embracing the results and consequences. Livestrong means to Livehonest. Maybe it is time to tie this around our wrist as a daily reminder.
What would you do if this was your story?