Today, the Union Cycliste International (UCI) banned Lance Armstrong from racing and stripped him of all titles. In an effort to to completely wipe those seven years from 41-year-old Armstrong’s life, UCI further recommend that he be forced to remarry his former wife Sheryl Crowe, that he return all Christmas gifts received between 1999 and 2006, and that he now be legally 34-years old.
OK – we sort of exaggerated that last part, but it’s not far from the impact felt by Armstrong. According to the evidence that the governing bodies say they have, Armstrong unquestionably cheated. It was the equivalent of finding an engine installed in the frame of his bike. And assuming the allegations are true, stripping him of those titles is exactly the right call.
In sports, the integrity of the competition is completely based on a level playing field. It’s competing with such a degree of honor that when you win, there is no question that the most able and worthy athlete prevailed.
But here’s the real question. The big, honking, overarching question:
Why don’t we have that same sense of outrage –that sense of fairness at all costs – in presidential elections?
Like when candidates spend hundreds of millions of dollars to virtually slander, if not legally, their opponent? When candidates state things that aren’t exactly true in a public forum with no challenge? When promises are made that candidates have no intention of keeping.
Somehow, when the NFL hired replacement referees, the nation was morally outraged that a game could possibly have a bad call. That one player could hold or trip another player that doesn’t get penalized.
Unfortunately, we hold our athletes to a much, much higher standard than we hold our leaders.
So, now that Lance Armstrong is essentially banned from sports and leading his Live Strong charity, he’ll need to find a new profession. One that isn’t as strict on ethical boundaries.
So, we suggest that Lance run for President of the United States. He’d be a shoo in – of course once he again reaches the constitutionally required age of 35.