Armstrong Doping | Oh Lance…

Oh Lance…

How do we handle when we want to trust a hero but the evidence is stacked against them? We feel betrayed when those we trust most let us down.

Many of his followers are still standing by him even as he has abandoned his fight against continued allegations of cheating made by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). By doing this, he avoids arbitration, but will be stripped of his 7 Tour De France titles and has already lost millions of dollars in endorsements from Nike and Anheuser-Busch. He continues to deny ever breaking the anti-doping rules but the “seemingly insurmountable evidence”, which includes testimonies from 26 people, tells another story.

Because of his breach in trust, Armstrong not only lost endorsements, but grudgingly decided it was necessary to step down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer charity to avoid bringing any negative effects to the organization.

How far does the ripple effect spread from Armstrong’s decisions? The credibility of the organization he started, and has personal attachment to, may now also be brought into question. Will families benefitting from the Livestrong cancer charity suffer from this scandal? This goes to show how important trust is. From personal decisions we make that will directly affect only ourselves, to the ones that ultimately reach millions of people.

Lance Armstrong is not the first famous athlete to lose trust through scandal, and he won’t be the last. Nevertheless, it is hard to accept it when someone seemingly so trustworthy is found to be guilty of cheating. Armstrong was, and to some still is, a beacon of hope. The natural goodwill in people wants to believe someone like him who stands for such a worthy cause. However, for there to be legitimate trust, we must turn to the clarity pillar. We naturally trust what is clear and mistrust the ambiguous.

Ultimately, if he is truly guilty, Lance needs to be honest with the public. By doing this he may initially lose the trust of even those holding on to the hope that he is innocent, but ultimately, through clarity, he will begin rebuilding the trust that has been lost. It won’t be easy, but it is possible for Lance to regain trust.


The Trust Edge, Trust in Business, Lance Armstrong, clarity, Trust in Sports

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