Mayor Ireland’s troubling Lance stance
The seven Tour titles smack of a means to an end. It’s obvious that the Tour titles didn’t signify much and the pride of athletic achievement wasn’t in itself a worthy goal.
I want to thank Mayor Mick Ireland for his revealing comment posted in The Aspen Times, which feels awkwardly supportive of a new cultural ethos for Aspen – it’s OK to cheat if you win, it’s OK to keep the spoils of stolen fame, and it’s OK to win at any cost, so long as it was done a decade ago.
I know it might be hard for some to understand the obsession with seeking out truth and fairness in competition, but some of us believe in the transcendental good of sport when practiced with respect and in the spirit of true sportsmanship.
If the seven questionable Tour titles were granted to a cheat through deceptive practice, it makes that cheat not much different from a common Wall Street banker. Why should a crime or deception entrenched in an idolized system and hidden for a very long time (over a decade) warrant public forgiveness and even adulation just because the culprit has been “genius” enough to become exceedingly wealthy while getting away with bilking?
The seven Tour titles equated to millions of dollars of personal wealth, Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and numerous cover features, a $9 million-plus Aspen home, an Architectural Digest showcased estate, and highly valuable product-endorsement contracts. I’m sure some of the sportsmen who didn’t receive their day in the sun are a little “obsessed.”
Stripping the Tour titles won’t be
justice for these men, and they will not get the financial and social gains that may have been stolen, but it is inane
to excuse the action of cheating by playing on the emotional heartstrings of intelligent people who clearly understand the follies of “war on drugs” policy, and fearmongering by pushing the DEA-you-could-be-next panic button is contemptible. A proper denouement: Anti-doping authorities continue an ongoing obsession with clean and fair sport.
The following is Ireland’s comment made Aug. 28 on The Aspen Times website: “The ultimate denoument (sic) of the War on Drugs: Obsession with what someone might have done a decade ago. The parallel with the DEA’s never ending quest to get Bob Barudis (sic) and, before that, Dick Kienast, is striking. How many more defendants will be offered a chance to escape punishment if they turn on Bob or lance or some other target chosen as an ‘example.'”
Monique van Suchtelen
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