THE BLOG
10/17/2012 09:59 am ET Updated Dec 17, 2012

Lance Armstrong: The Fall From Grace

I awoke to these headlines: Lance Armstrong Stepping Down as Chairman of Livestrong charity.

My reaction: shock and sadness, if I will be honest.

CNN:

Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer charity he founded in 1997 after recovering from the disease, a spokeswoman for the organization confirmed.

The move comes a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had uncovered overwhelming evidence of Armstrong's involvement in a sophisticated doping program while a professional cyclist.

...

Armstrong found out he had testicular cancer at age 25 when he was emerging as a rising star among cyclists. He started a small group to raise money for cancer called the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997. Since then, 84 million bright yellow Livestrong wristbands have been distributed.

It appears Nike has dropped him as well.

I just read on Twitter: "Livestrong, fall hard."

Ouch.

The 'On the Fence' debate here today: Many elite athletes use some sort of performance-enhancing drug. Lance was there, he competed, he won all 7 Tour de France titles. He raised $500 million for cancer research. He is a hero.

Versus:

He cheated. He lied. He is a cheater. He is a liar. This offsets all the rest.

What is your take? I loved Lance, I still respect Lance, and I feel sad on many levels. He is a cancer survivor and one of the greatest American athletes of our time. Do we forgive him and accept that he is human, part of the human condition? Or is he a fake? Do today's headlines negate all the races he won, and all the good he's done? I don't believe entirely.

Are you on the fence? What's your take?