Grauer: Shouldn’t take that money |

Grauer: Shouldn’t take that money

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

Just because a non-profit foundation chose doping-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to star in a “celebrity pickleball” fundraiser does not mean the Aspen School District should accept the proceeds.

The school board has an ethical duty to reject them since accepting them would endorse Armstrong as a sports’ hero and role model when he is neither.

The board is elected. It has an ethical duty to its citizens, educators and school resource officers to not undermine their message: “Play by the rules, don’t do drugs, don’t lie and cheat.”

The board should pause accepting donations from the Aspen Education Foundation until the exact amount of money (reportedly over $25,000) is identified and returned to the donors. 

Since the donations were made with charitable intent, the donors could then re-gift them to the foundation without referencing Armstrong. Otherwise, there is no way to guarantee that the Armstrong-tainted funds would not be mixed with the $1.5 million the foundation also raised. 

Armstrong remains under a lifetime ban from participating in all sports that use the World Anti-Doping Code by the U.S. Anti-Doping Authority.
He made only a partial confession to doping and an apology on Oprah Winfrey’s show, which World Anti-Doping Authority officials disputed as insincere in a 2013 Cycling interview.

“Don’t go on a show with a woman who will give benign questions, lead you to the answers and not follow up when you don’t,” said WADA President John Fahey.

Armstrong was not just one of many professional cyclists doping at the time. He was named as the “ringleader” of the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team doping program in a report from the USADA.

It said that the evidence proves “the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong.”

Bernard Grauer