It may be a little unfair to label Lance Armstrong a doper since he passed over 500 drug tests (blood and urine) during his cycling career.
But the reality is that the U.S. and European sport governing bodies are pulling all of his cycling victories going back to 1998. They are wiping out his career without one positive drug test. And the people who claim that he doped are all dopers themselves.
Now the question is, what do we do with all of the institutions that have linked themselves to Armstrong? Livestrong is based in Austin and is closely associated with all kinds of local organizations.
This includes the City of Austin. They have partially built and named a $3.2 million bike path after him.
The Lance Armstrong Bikeway is almost complete. It runs from Veterans and Lake Austin Blvd to East 5th St and Shady Lane.
No one knows if the city will change the name of the bike path. If they did, it would be extremely hypocritical and inconsistent. After all, Austin has a statue of guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and a street named after Willie Nelson. Both spent their careers on drugs. Don’t get me wrong, Willie and Stevie are great, but they did a lot of dope and the city didn’t seem to mind that when honoring them.
And then there is Leslie Cochran, a thieving, alcoholic bum from Miami who set up shop on the streets of Austin in the late 80s.
The city council proclaimed March 8th as “Leslie Cochran Day” after he died from a head injury he suffered while doped up on something. Leslie didn’t sing, play guitar or ride a bike. In fact, he didn’t do anything except beg and steal.
If history is any indicator, the Lance Armstrong Bikeway will continue to keep his name.