The year is 2028 and 12 Olympic hopefuls from Team USA are standing out-front of the Lance Armstrong Coliseum in newly formed North American Union. As the young people look up admiring a larger than life bronze of Armstrong, they read a small plaque under the statute: " Lance Armstrong: Athlete, cancer survivor, and human potential pioneer. " This scenario, as sci-fi as it may seem, may not be too far from a potential future.
He was called, arguably, one of the greatest athletes to ever live, but in October the USADA called Armstrong a "serial cheat who led the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen." Although others who admitted to the same doping early on got a six month suspension and were allowed back into the sport, Armstrong was banned and striped of all of his titles for life. Later crestfallen, he confessed and apologized on national television.
Armstrong lied and the lie was a big one. It snowballed out of control and he did everything within his power to protect his lie. He did not know when to quit. He was dead wrong. But he was also shockingly human. He is the perfect example of the elite athlete so caught up in winning that he is unable to accept defeat for any reason. Now Armstrong has come clean. He has apologized and seems to be ready to make amends for his actions. Can redemption be simply a matter of time for this athlete? Will he rise again from the ashes to be a bigger and better Armstrong?
Regardless of if you like Armstrong or not, you may consider if in the long term his actions advanced human physical performance potential or retarded it.
All things being equal - An interesting fact, the president of the UCI stated that "Doping was very prevalent at that time. " Some might argue that few if any cyclists were completely clean. If everyone was doping would he technically still remain one of the top athletes of all time? Was he just doping better than everyone else or were his athletic abilities above and beyond everyone else?
Doping or performance enhancement - Although Armstrong used the blood thinning drug EPO, it was equally prevalent at the time to store one's own fresh blood and to transfuse it when needed. This practice is banned but is not the same as introducing a banned drug into the body. Armstrong was also known for having a strict diet, exercise regimen and for taking a myriad of non-banned supplements. When the science of expanding your body's potential is as much a part of the game as the game itself can he really be blamed for "doing whatever it takes" ?
Cancer- Against all odds Armstrong survived and defeated testicular, lung and brain cancer and went on to compete even after undergoing enough toxic therapy to kill most people. Armstrong beat the disease and went on to help thousands of others with similar afflictions. What is more is that despite nearly dying he went on to break records.
An anomaly - Armstrong has a recorded performance that nears superhuman. He has an aerobic capacity of 83.8 mL/kg/min (VO2 max),much higher than the average person (40-50)and a resting heart rate of 32-34 beats per minute (bpm) with a maximum heart rate of 201 bpm  which is far superior to the average person. In short, doping or not he is a physiological miracle.
At my company Accelerated Intelligence, we deal with top athletes daily who want to improve their mental game using our brain health supplement excelerol. It is unclear what other performance enhancing products these athletes take. I have learned over the years not to judge. However, one thing is clear and that is that everyone wants to push the limits of what is possible. When the stakes are high, most are willing to do whatever it takes.
It is very possible that in the not too distant future genetic science and nano-technology will make the current performance enhancement technology seem like child's play. It may further be able to dramatically accelerate and amplify human performance. Unlike current performance enhancement technology, these new technologies will be most certainly be virtually undetectable. The athlete of the future may not be anything like what we imagine and Armstrong may be just a small sign of things to come.
History has a way of forgiving some who have lied in exchange for the greater good. When and if this happens then is it possible that Armstrong's alleged indiscretions may be seen as stepping stones to the future of sports and human potential?
You can read more about mental performance enhancement in my book The Brain That Changes Everything: The Ultimate Guide For Accelerating Your Brain.