Is Lance Armstrong good for the sport of triathlon?
Posted Jan 24 2011 1:10pm
Lance Armstrong can’t seem to stay out of the spotlight. Jan. 18, 2011, Sports Illustrated posted this story with a slew of revelations that Lance Armstrong took and instigated the taking of performance enhancing drugs during is time in pro cycling. It remains to be seen if any of those allegations are true and Armstrong is still under investigation by a federal grand jury.
Armstrong has retired from the Tour de France and is winding down his comeback to the pro cycling world. In his “golden years” of pro cycling retirement, Armstrong has developed an alter ego @JuanPelota on twitter and is “secretly” planning a comeback in his original endurance sport, triathlons.
That’s one thing that triathlon along with Ironman’s have avoided, doping controversies. The biggest news out of triathlon is that of Macca getting a book deal. You don’t hear about Dave Scott getting drug into a grand jury in California. That’s a far cry from the negative attention pro cycling is getting with Armstrong under investigation and Floyd Landis calling for the legalization of PED’s.
It’s rumored that Armstrong is eyeing the Ironman Championship in 2011 to showcase his endurance performance prowess. He has been having health issues limiting his training and racing current triathlons, but if you follow his twitter feed, he’s actively training for the 3 aspects of triathlon.
Will Armstrong bring controversy along with his superior athleticism to triathlon?
He will, but it will mainly stay on him, and not the sport. Why? Money.
Pro cycling teams get millions of dollars in sponsorship money to train, travel to events and compete. It was reported that the USPS paid $32M for the team over its 9 years of sponsorship. I don’t think UnderAmour or ZIPP is spending that much on Macca or all of their athletes combined. It’s not that the sport is any less important to keep pure than pro cycling, it’s just not as much of a revenue generator currently. Where there’s money, there’s controversy.
USAT and ITU has provisions for doping, but who’s heard of a pro triathlete getting a title repealed after being tested positive? Maybe in the Olympics but rarely at a WTC Ironman or your local USAT sanctioned triathlon have you heard of such a thing.
Armstrong’s entry in to triathlons will be a novelty and item of interest, but overall Ironman and the sport of triathlon have a solid reputation that will endure any controversy Armstrong may bring, unless he starts winning.
Ryan Falkenrath writes the blog falkeetriathlon.blogspot.com , and is a married father of two, owner of three dogs and trying to balance life, work and multisport. Ryan has participated in multisport events since 2001. Ryan is also the Kansas Endurance Sports Examiner and you can read more of his triathlon thoughs HERE . Contact Ryan at: email@example.com or follow him on @TriJayhawkRyan
*Expressed opinions are not necessarily that of EverymanTri.com