By MALIK L. SHAH, age 9
In January 2013, Tour-de-France winning cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to doping during his seven Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005. Doping is taking drugs to enhance (make better) your performance. They can make you faster, stronger, or increase endurance and stamina. They are against the law because you can get addicted to the drugs, and it gives people an unfair advantage.
Fans have reacted in a variety of ways, from feeling aggravated to feeling relief that athletes are finally admitting it. “Doping is like running in a race and letting somebody start blocks ahead,” said Jerry Long, retired school administrator and editor in New York City. Some fans are not surprised by the athletes’ behavior. “I am relieved he is finally telling the truth,” said Roger Walter, an associate at a book and print shop. “I think they [the fans] will redeem him.” Other fans are upset and mad. “It’s bad, it hurts the game and has no integrity,” said Amar Kelly, who works at the Boys Club of New York as a counselor. “It’s been happening for years, but now it’s out of control.”
In the case of Lance Armstrong, his doping may hurt more than just the game and his reputation with fans. Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996. While undergoing treatment, he established the LIVESTRONG Foundation to support survivors and people living with cancer. According to the LIVESTRONG website, the foundation has raised over $470 million since 1997. But now the foundation could be in danger of losing financial support because of the doping scandal, even though Armstrong has stepped down as chairman. “They have a lot of work to do – because of their name, because of how they are so connected with one individual,” said Todd Cohen, a blogger on charitable giving, to NBC News. “But organizations continue. The cause it’s trying to address, the need is still there. But here’s an organization that needs to work hard to reinvent itself and keep on going.”