When the news broke Friday morning that Lance Armstrong was giving up his fight against doping allegations, I took off my Livestrong bracelet and tossed it in the yellow trash can in our downstairs bathroom. I wore the yellow band since it first went on sale more than a decade ago--except in Iraq. In Iraq we could only wear POW/MIA bracelets. All the rest of the colored wrist bands for causes had to come off until we left Camp Adder.
I wore that bracelet because I used to travel overseas a lot and ride with racers in other countries--particularly in France where I got to ride in the Alps, the Pyrenees, and in the daily training rides at L'Hippodrome in Paris. Wearing a Livestrong bracelet said I was proud of the accomplishments of America's greatest cyclist.
So when his titles were stripped from him, I tossed the bracelet. I wore it as long as there was some doubt that he would be caught cheating. Which also makes me guilty of having a double standard on cheaters. After 20 years of watching every stage of the Tour de France, I quit watching after Stage 17 in 2006. That was the stage in which Floyd Landis cheated so flagrantly that the commentators were talking about it during the stage. I have tried to watch the Tour de France since, but I knew I was just watching dueling drugs.
After I left for work, my wife took my Livestrong bracelet out of the trash. She had two reasons:
1. I like yellow. shallow reason.
2. It seems hypocritical to ditch him for the act of getting caught cheating, when we stood by him while he was getting away with cheating.