Originally written on Juiced Sports Blog  |  Last updated 8/27/14

Now that Lance Armstrong has given up his fight against doping, some Americans are rushing to his defense in a way that even he himself isn’t doing.

I have read some non-sports writers pontificating on various political and cultural websites that Armstrong was “one of the most tested athletes in history.” That doesn’t prove–or even suggest–anything. It is easy for dopers to cheat drug tests, and most of the top bikers of that era were cheating drug tests on many occasions.

Slate has a summary that shows that almost all the bikers who finished second or third to Armstrong during his run have also been linked to doping or proven to have taken performance enhancing drugs even if they passed drug tests at the time.

It’s only natural for Americans to want to believe in their sports superhero (whom we have also labeled a “good guy” for most of his career). But facts are facts, and the perception of Armstrong as a “good guy” might also be a facade, a label we put on all of our great athletes to make us feel we are celebrating someone for reasons other than their (superficial?) athletic prowess.

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