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Does Lance Armstrong deserve our sympathy or our condemnation?

Posted by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM
  • 96 Replies

Lance Armstrong Needs Our Sympathy

Posted by Lindsay Ferrier on January 16, 2013

Lance ArmstrongFew public figures are more hated right now than Lance Armstrong.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey that airs tomorrow night at 9 p.m. EST on OWN, he reportedly admits publicly for the first time to using performance enhancing drugs during his professional career as a cyclist.

On Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, many are responding to the news with anger and disgust -- but at least one writer says Lance Armstrong deserves our sympathy.

Here's why.

In The Daily Caller, television anchor Laurie Dhue writes that like much of nation, she'll be tuning in to the interview tomorrow night. She writes:

I’ll be watching not just to see an admission of guilt, but to see an admission that he’s an addict, just like me, and needs help, just like I did.

Dhue, herself a recovering alcoholic, believes that Armstrong became addicted to doping not for the high, but in order to meet the extraordinary pressure he faced to win. This from her post:

Many people assume that steroids and performance-enhancing drugs are not addictive because there is no “high” associated with their use. But there is, according to Dr. [Scott] Bienenfeld. “Once you try it and it works, you’re expected to perform at a higher level,” he told me. “You taste success and victory and there is definitely a high that comes with it. You realize that you need to keep employing that external enhancer in order to keep winning, otherwise you’ll just be with the herd.”

She hopes to see Armstrong admit not only to doping during Oprah's interview, but also to being an addict. And while she believes he should be held accountable for his actions, she urges us, particularly those in recovery, to show empathy for Armstrong.

Judging from the reactions I'm seeing online, empathy is the last emotion on the minds of most people when it comes to Lance Armstrong. Americans don't take it well when one of their heroes turns out to be a fraud.

As a mother, Armstrong's admission is particularly disappointing -- Lance Armstrong is the kind of man that we want to present to our kids as a role model. To find out he was cheating on such a grand scale is a huge letdown to so many families who viewed Armstrong as a symbol of perseverance and overcoming the odds.

Still, I think Dhue makes some interesting points. What about you?

Does Lance Armstrong deserve our sympathy or our condemnation?

by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:33 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM
5 moms liked this

Neither.  He needs to be left alone.  The media will spin this one way or another.  He did what he did.  He received his punishment.  Now it's time for him, and the rest of us to move on.

by Platinum Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:40 PM

I don't care. I really don't. I don't follow sports and I don't care about them at all. I don't care about the people who play sports. 

I really have no opinion on this at all. I could give a rats ass. 

by Christy on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:46 PM
1 mom liked this

I think it is his personal issue and he has to deal with it.

I will go on to say many people use enhancers of some kind although many of them are legal.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:50 PM
3 moms liked this

No, I have no sympathy for him.  He blatantly lied about it and he threatened staff and associates who were called to testify against him.  It's his personal problem and I wouldn't feel any way about it, except for the fact that he's such a public figure and was supposed to be a role model to people all over the world but he pretty much duped everyone and then tried to spin it.  I have no sympathy for this man who thought he could get away with it all.

by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM

I'm glad he got caught, but I'm sad to see another fallen hero. I don't sympathize much though because he knew the possible consequences.

by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:01 PM

 I am glad that he finally came clean about it, from there, I hope he gets the mental help he needs, as well as the physical help he needs to deal with this personal problem.

by Silver Member on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:18 PM
2 moms liked this

No sympathy here.  I don't care so much about the doping, but I do think his continuous denials, and his condemnation of his fellow athletes, makes him one of the biggest jerks in the history of sports.  I wish he had been honest much sooner.  He set a terrible example for everyone, especially young people, who looked up to him.

by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:21 PM

LOL they are in talks of removing his name from the park named after him in Austin.

by KayGee on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I think when we put people on a pedestal, they have to eventually fall off of it.  I feel for him as a human being and that he has an issue with drugs.  The rest of it; the making him a hero because he could ride a bike really far and really fast?  Meh...never cared about it before and don't care about it now. 

by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:34 PM

 No sympathy.  He is a great athlete and has overcome tremendous challenges, but he has also lied and condemned people who got caught doing exactly what he did and didn't cover it up as well as Armstrong could. 

The article is a real stretch in terms of defining what he did as "addiction," and I don't agree with that characterization. 

I wish they would legalize and disclose performance enhancers, then handicap the athletes according to the percentage advantage they got from their drugs.  An accurate handicapping system might make for some interesting competitions, and ultimately maybe it would drive more people back in a "natural" direction. 

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