The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Lance Armstrong—Cyclist as Scapegoat

Oct 29, 2012

Lance Armstrong, who won the Tour de France bicycle race seven times, has been stripped of his titles after an investigation by the U.S. anti-doping agency.

The official leaders of cycling are upset and talk about the “greatest crisis” in the history of this sport. At the same time, they say that it will allow the bicycle races to continue on a healthier basis. That’s doubtful.

Doping scandals occur repeatedly in cycling and all sports. A large number of champions are stripped of their titles and prosecuted. The number of those who are doped without being caught is undoubtedly even much greater than the number caught.

Everyone knows it.

The report of the U.S. anti-doping agency shows that Armstrong had many accomplices among racers, doctors and, obviously, among officials. Remember what Hein Verbruggen, the former president of the International Cycling Union said in May 2011: “Lance Armstrong never doped. Never, never, never.”

Faced with an enormous scandal, cycling authorities want us to forget their responsibilities. So they call Armstrong names and take his titles away.

Sports isn’t just a spectator sport, as people often say. It has become, first and foremost, a capitalist business. It has all the crooked deals, all the cheating, all the mafias that are normal under capitalism. Armstrong is being called a liar and a cheat. But the real lying cheat is the capitalist society that fashions sports in its image.

Clean and popular sport could certainly exist ... in another society.