Opinion: Lance Armstrong

POSTED: 11/1/12 12:00 PM

Okay, so professional cyclist Lance Armstrong fell from his pedestal with a bang. His victories in the Tour de France have been taken away from him, he has been banned from the sport for life. Now the vultures start picking at the carcass.
The outrage among the companies that are now going after Armstrong’s money is of course pathetic. Ever since Tommy Simpson died at the age of 29 during a climb to the top of the Mont Ventoux on July 13, 1967, everybody knew that professional cycling, and the Tour de France in particular, was dirty. But nobody cared.
Simpson had pumped himself up with amphetamine to stay ahead of the competition. He died. Lance Armstrong paid a bit more attention and fooled practically everybody for years.
But get this: while Armstrong fooled the world, the companies that sponsored him, the companies that paid bonuses and were practically ready to lick his sweaty feet in adoration, they all made millions pout of the exposure Armstrong gave them.
In the Netherlands, the Rabobank got cold feet and simply ditched its complete pro cycling team – pretending that it has no knowledge whatsoever of doping. Hypocrisy has taken all those good companies in a deadly embrace since Armstrong’s downfall.
The whole world knows it, but again, nobody cares. Of course there is now that insurance company in Dallas (SCA Promotion – remember the name) that also feels a sudden need to clean up its image. It has dissociated itself from Armstrong, and now it wants the fallen cyclist to pay back around $13 million in bonuses it paid him over the course of his career. If Armstrong does not pay, they will take him to court, the Texans threatened.
We’re not Bram Moszkowicz but we’re able to tell you what will happen with that claim: the insurance company will be laughed out of court.
Why? They paid Armstrong for a performance, and boy, did he perform. So the insurance company got a big bang for its buck while everybody continued to believe the Armstrong fairytale.
If SCA Promotion is suddenly so concerned about its image it should remain very quiet and count the profits it raked in over Armstrong’s back instead of making a lot of noise about a measly $13 million.

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