Armstrong – The Lone Star Leader (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly).A misuse of power in sports. How could it have been prevented? Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the Human race – H.G. Wells Sport, like our lives, needs rules. It must be governed. It must have a purpose. For this to be meaningful, it must be achieved within its rulebook. On the 17th January 2013* after years of continuingly protesting his innocence, Lance Armstrong confessed on the Oprah Winfrey television show* that he had broken the rules. He had cheated. He admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), and he influenced and bullied others to do so, even to cover up the evidence of wrongdoing to enable him to reach his objective. Which in this case, was to win the Tour de France, the most grueling endurance race in the world. He won it seven times in a row. Many people reason that Armstrong was just about himself, a narcissistic leader, using those around him only for the benefit of himself, while many believe that he used his success as a leader for the greater good for others. Did he misuse his power and if so how could it have been prevented? The professional sport of cycling is a paradox; it is a team sport where only an individual can win. For a this to occur, a team needs a leader. They are chosen based, by who on paper has the most potential to succeed in the team’s selected race focus. The leader is accompanied by ‘domestiques’ whose job it is to ensure their leader finishes the race in the best possible position. They sacrifice they own chances of victory to guarantee that for their leader. In a one day race, such as Paris Roubaix*, this is a one-time opportunity, whereas, in the Grand Tours, such as Le Tour De France*, this happens every day for twenty-one days, and in the case of the 2018 race, over a distance of 2069miles* (3329km*). These GC teams are nine men strong including their leader that make up the leading group of cyclists from the competing teams, peloton. They have a team of Directeur Sportif (team manager), coaches, doctors, mechanics and soigneurs (general helpers to aid them and are responsible for everything from massage to feeding to solving a mechanical on the roadside. Each team is allowed a team car that follows the riders and on certain days provide information on the race via radio contact. The team leader dictates what tactics are used for each stage. They must be of his strength. If he is a sprinter like Mark Cavendish of Team Dimension Data, then the team will protect him from threats from other teams and the energy-sapping wind. They need to lead him out as fast and as close to finishing line as possible. If the team aims to win the General Classification (GC), then their focus will not be on winning every stage but instead guaranteeing consistency across all the race’s stages. A leader’s domestiques will do whatever possible within the rules of the sport so that he may be in the best position to win. Domestiques may be an accomplished rider, a lieutenant, who excels in a specific area of cycling, such as individual Time Trial stages, an example of this is Tony Martin of Germany, the World Time Trial Champion (2011, 2012, 2013, 2016). He will race specialised stages race as an individual; however, on other stages, his job is to protect and assist his leader at all other times.The role of a domestique is to sacrifice his race, by leading at the front, taking turns to minimise the effects of the power reducing wind resistance and maximise the leader’s aerodynamics, this is known as drafting. A rider can save as much as forty percent* of his energy by riding directly behind another cyclist, teammate or otherwise. They can also help their leader in many others ways including but not only by setting a pace to save energy, chase down attacks from other teams or even isolating the leaders of other teams from their domestiques, all on the command of their team leader. While these tactics are essential, there is also a code of conduct within the peloton*, an etiquette. For example, if an influential senior rider orders the peloton to slow because the ‘Maillot Jaune’ (yellow jersey and race leader) suffers a flat tire, a crash or stops for a ‘comfort break’ it is observed by all teams. If the order is not respected, the individual or team responsible for so face the prospect of being vilified by his colleagues for the duration of that stage, the race or at worse their entire professional career, this is an unwritten rule.Armstrong – The Good Lance Armstrong was considered to be the greatest cyclist of his generation, having won the Tour seven times, during the years of 1999 to 2005. He was the team leader of United States Postal Service Cycling Team. Born in Plato, Texas in 1971 and raised by his Mother. An athletic child, he took up triathlons at the age of 13 and turned professional by the age of 16, where he became the 1989 and 1990 National Champion in the Sprint Distance. He turned his attention to cycling, dropping out of High School, where he gained quick success by qualifying for the Junior National Team to race in the World Championships in 1990, placing eleventh. That year he also becomes the U.S. National Amateur Champion and won the first of his major titles, the First Union Grand Prix and ironically, the Thrift Drug Classic. In 1991 he raced in the Tour DuPont, finishing mid-pack, which in turn lead to him finishing second in the Olympics trials the year after where he did not perform to his potential. He then turned professional, signing for the Motorola cycling team. Over the next two years, while learning his trade, Armstrong rarely displayed an insight into his future successes. Finishing last in his first professional race and 62nd in his first Tour de France. However, in Oslo, Norway on 29th August 1993 he won the World Cycling Championships, a one day race held every year. This result catapulted Armstrong into the cycling world spotlight. He also went on to claim such titles as the American National Road Race Champion (1993), the Clásica de San Sebastián (1995), La Flèche Wallonne (1996) and the Trofeo Laigueglia (1993). However, despite these, he was not considered to be strong or versatile enough to be a multiple stage racer, let alone be a team leader, as these races were one-day events. In 1996 the cycling world was shocked to discover that Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer. In an advanced stage, the disease had spread to his abdomen, lungs, lymph nodes and, later his brain. He had a 40 percent chance of survival. Through rounds of chemotherapy and surgery, Armstrong was declared cancer-free in February 1996. Throughout this battle, he maintained that he would compete professionally again, even if his precancer sponsors did not. During this time he created a non-profit organisation called the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) in 1997. It aimed to empower and inspire people with cancer. The charity’s motto was Livestrong, referring to his spirit to fight against the disease. As the founder, Armstrong was the driving influence to raise and invest money into research. He teamed up with the American Sportswear company, Nike to create a yellow silicone bracelet with the motto ‘Livestrong’ which was hugely successful. The bracelet costs $1 (US). It was the first of its kind, simple; it has often been replicated by many charities since. To date, a staggering, eighty million Livestrong bracelets have been purchased worldwide. Armstrong became a figurehead; the example to many who had been affected by the disease in how to rebuild a life and bounce back stronger; in the words of his motto, to Livestrong. He and the charity were directly linked, as he would openly refer that he was not just a cyclist but a cancer survivor and therefore he was leading the USPS/Discovery Cycle team and Livestrong towards success. He regularly credited his recovery from the disease to his ‘willpower and fitness.’ This appeared to give him a cult status and in turn, created an extremely strong loyal base from his fans. During this time Lance dominated the Tour de France, winning it seven times in a row. He had returned from beating cancer fitter, leaner and a far stronger cyclist than many had thought he was before his illness and many asked question reference this. During the 1999 Tour, Armstrong became the first American since Greg Lemond to win the race a year after returning to professional cycling. He then repeated his success in 2000 and also represented the United States of America in the Sydney Olympics winning bronze in the Individual Time Trial. Leading his team to victory and winning the 2001 and 2002, after illness before the 2003 race. Armstrong wrote himself into the then record books tying the record for the most Tour wins held with Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault and great Indurian after finishing the race one minute and one second in front of his closest rival Jan Ulrich from Germany. Then after winning again in 2004 and 2005 Armstrong retired from the sport after becoming the first person to win the Tour a record seven times. USPS and Discovery Cycling had become the most successful team in the history of the sport. They had gone from a relatively poorly funded outfit in 1997 ($1million) to the most funded by 2003 ($31.9million) after his wins. His sponsors equally, witness massive growth in their sales on the back of his success. It was estimated that Trek Bike Company, one of Armstrong principal sponsors, observed the increase of its share market of 30% in sales during the years 1990 to 2005 accounting for a $450million profit margin*. Armstrong – The BadWhen Armstrong appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show on 17th January 2013, it marked a symbolic finish line for David Walsh, an Irish sports writer for the Times*. In 1999 he became suspicious of Armstrong’s performances and his influence within the peloton. Aware of the Festina affair in the 1998 Tour* and Armstrong’s ‘friendship’ with Michelle Ferrari*, he wrote an article questioning the reasons behind their relationship. Why should a clean cyclist work with a convicted doctor of PEDs? Walsh then secured a confession from fellow Irish citizen, Emma O’Reilly, Armstrong’s masseuse during the Tour, which formed the basis of his book L.A. Confidential in 2004 describing Armstrong’s use of PEDs. Walsh continued his pursuit through the media of Armstrong unsuccessfully convincing the public and his peers of his beliefs. In 2010 a former colleague of Armstrong in the USPS team, Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour title for the use of PEDs, admitted to USADA of doping and inferred the same of Armstrong. A US federal investigation began and in the June of 2012 USADA formally brought charges against Armstrong. The next month some previous teammates* stepped forward to testify against Armstrong to save their careers.In response he was quoted saying the reports* were “discredited,” “baseless” and “motivated by spite” and he continued to deny the use PEDs to enhance his performance in competition. However, by August 2012 he announced that he was formally giving up his fight against the USADA’s charges. Saying that he was tired of dealing the case and he was concerned with the stress it had created for his family. In turn, USADA stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour titles* and any other honours he had received during the years of 1999 to 2005, and he was banned from competitive events for life. In their report, USADA concluded that Armstrong had used PEDs throughout his Tour victories*. On October 10th 2012, USADA released evidence against Armstrong. The report included interviews, testimonials, previous laboratory tests*, emails*, monetary payments* to individuals within the UCI* and the fields of sports medicine*. After the release of the report, the International Cycling Union (its governing body) upheld USADA’s evidence and officially stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour victories and also banned him from competing in cycling for life. Tarvis Tygart, chief executive of USADA, was quoted saying ‘The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that the sport had ever since.’ Armstrong – The UglyDue to his lead in the USPS team, initially Armstrong’s contract had allowed him input into rider and staff selection, however, once the team had become more successful and with Armstrong winning the Tour many times, he had carte blanche. He was known as the “Boss of the Tour” and established his regime of ruling in the peloton. Any riders who questioned him would have been chased down by a teammate or, for certain individuals by Lance himself*. An example of this was a young French rider, Christophe Bassons*, who was known for racing clean. He had been openly critical towards certain individuals, who he felt had doped and publicly stated that riders could not finish in the top ten unless they were using PEDs*. Armstrong continually bullied him, referring to Bassons as “Mr. Clean.” In press interviews, Armstrong called for the riders pack to shun him, which in turn lead him to retire from the Tour*. With his teammates, Armstrong would routinely place them into difficult situations to force their hand. He openly injected EPO* in front of Jonathan Vaughters, saying “Now that you are doing EPO you can’t go and write a book about it.” In 2002, Armstrong told a fellow teammate that if he did not follow the team doctors doping program, he would have to ride for another team. The same rider remarked that “Lance called the shots on the team” and “what Lance said went.” After being the choice dope or go by a teammate, Scott Mercier chose to leave professional cycling in 1997.Armstrong’s bullying was not just limited to his fellow cycling professionals. When David Walsh of the The Times newspaper and four-time UK Journalist of the year, wrote an article questioning his results, stating they were too good to be true, Armstrong undermined his professional and personal credibility. It was conducted in many ways, ignoring question questions at press interviews, not returning calls, labeling him publicly “the little f****** troll” and not granting press access to those who associated with him essentially sent Walsh professionally to Coventry. When Armstrong returned from retirement, Paul Kimmage of the Sunday Times, endured Armstrong’s treatment too. In the lead up to the Amgen 2009 Tour of California*, Kimmage had reported with Armstrong returning to professional cycling; the cancer had returned to cycling, referring to Armstrong’s use of PEDs. Openly seeking Kimmage at the opening press conference to answer why he refused to be interviewed by Kimmage, Armstrong reacting by telling the entire conference that he (Kimmage) was “not worth chair he was sitting on”*. Ex-employee of the USPS, Emma O’Reilly discussed publicly of the doping she had witnessed during her time in the team. She was repeatedly humiliated with Armstrong claiming of alcoholism and prostitution by O’Reilly*. Betsy Andreu, the wife of ex-teammate of Armstrong, Frankie Andreu, also whistle blew on Armstrong’s use of PEDs when he had first diagnosed with cancer in 1996. She even did so under oath*, to which Armstrong responded by calling her, “bitter’ and “a crazed b****.” Due to Armstrong’s influence on professional cycling, Frankie’s career was effectively ended due to him not being able to sign for another team*. By both revelations formed David Walsh and Pierre Ballester 2002 book, LA Confidential, after which Armstrong sued claiming that the authors had no proof of PEDs usage. An out of court settlement was reached to the sum of 300,000 Stirling. Armstrong had to do this if he did not then SCA Promotions, who had promised a $5million bonus to Armstrong if he was clean during his time in the Tour. As a result of the book SCA threatened to sue Armstrong, so in turn, he sued Walsh to ensured his bonus was safe.Armstrong had a code of silence, the “Omerta.” It stipulates that no one speaks about Armstrong or his doping. Armstrong was known to be good friends with the president of the UCI*, Hein Verbuggen. There were two occasions where significant donations to the governing body had been made by Armstrong around the times of questionable dope tests that returned negative*. This made Armstrong appear untouchable to all involved in the sport.