Role Models live with enormous pressures but no excuse
Sports is one of the great activities that young people aspire to and as such the proponents of sports who have reached a certain level is expected to demonstrate integrity and dignity.
Whether it is soccer, American football, cycling, tennis, cricket or athletics, individuals that have reached celebrity status must demonstrate not only their ability to be extremely productive in their chosen field but as role models they have to be above reproach.
There is no doubt that as human beings we are fallible and have weaknesses that at times we allow to rule, however there cannot be any place for individuals to cheat their way into any form of sporting activity and allow to get away with it.
The stamina and ability of a sport person are their determination, not just to win at their game but to do so based purely their natural ability to overcome obstacles, train effectively in order to beat their competitors. If they have to use any kind of drug paraphernalia to enhance their abilities then that becomes cheating, it gives them an unnatural edge over another competitor and therefore everyone is no longer played on a level playing field. Such counterproductive measures should certainly be dealt with severely.
Young people today idolized sporting celebrities and now more than ever they rely on their role models, so that they can aspire to their levels of competitiveness. If they believe that their idols can get away using shortcuts to achieve their dreams then it would be the wrong message to be sending to them and society should not allow it any any cost.
Whilst I sympathize with Lance Armstrong for the predicament that he found himself in and even applaud him for having the integrity to openly discuss his current situation, I do believe, in my opinion that he should accept that not only did he have shortcomings but the life ban he was given from competing was warranted.
Of course, in his position having been competing for so long must, has he said feels like a death sentence, but who can he blame. I believe he should use is enormous talent to teach the next generation of cyclist, using what happen to him to instill in them that if you operate outside the rules then they price you pay is insurmountable.
By Sandrea: My Opinion