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Will Armstrong's Doping Kill Him?

I didn't intend to write an article about Lance Armstrong today, but I was sitting around and this question occurred to me.  What will be the health consequences of Armstrong's doping?  I mean, one of the reasons that doping is illegal is purportedly for the health of the cyclists.  However, I think it's pretty revealing that, at least to my knowledge, nobody has even mentioned whether or not Armstrong has done irreparable harm to his physiology.  Oprah is supposed to be a humanitarian, did she ask him?  Did I miss it?

Every time I consider the Armstrong situation, the problem becomes more complicated.  Remember Armstrong's whole doping regimen came from Dr. Michele Ferrari, and in some ways it appears Ferrari was using Armstrong as a human guinea pig in order to produce a "super serum" like what Marvel Comics conceived of to create Captain America (and if LeMond's assertion that Armstrong was otherwise only a "top 30" Tour rider...then Ferrari did indeed come close to succeeding).  

You have to be a little worried about a Dr. who is demonstrably void of ethics, and the fact that Ferrari was perfectly willing to assist Armstrong in cheating at the Tour and defrauding his sponsors of tens of millions of dollars shows the guy has no ethics.

Did the following conversation ever take place?

Armstrong: Hey doc, is this

Ferrari: Sure, sure, sure, perfectly safe.

Back in the 90s the NFL had a doping scandal when Lyle Alzado died of brain cancer which he asserted came from his prolonged use of steroids (incidentally, maybe that admission should get his Super Bowl XVIII win vacated).  Is it possible that in the next five to ten years we're going to have to watch Armstrong waste away and perish?  Are all the great Tour riders of the last 20 years going to start dropping like flies?

You also have to wonder if Armstrong's original and very public battle with testicular cancer might have been a result of prevalent doping early in his career.  Could it be that the suffering Armstrong recounted in "It's Not About the Bike" is only the beginning for this man?

I've talked to a lot of people recently who seem to think that Armstrong should be receiving more harsh punishments for his actions.  However, isn't it a very real possibility that Armstrong might suffer a premature death because of his actions?

Armstrong has been declawed to the point where he really can't do anyone any more harm.  However, I wonder if the same can be said for predatory doctors with syringes filled with dubious contents who aspire to transform the next aspiring athlete into a genetically altered champion.  Put it this way,  who are you more worried about as the parent of an athlete?  Lance Armstrong, or some nameless doctor trying to peddle the next "undetectable" doping plan to a pro team?

I suppose it is pretty reasonable to look at Armstrong from the outside and feel like there is something wrong with the fact that he is yet in possession of tremendous, ill-gotten wealth.  However, it's important to recognize that every action in your life has a consequence no matter what the human community decides is "right" or "wrong." Only time will tell what the consequence of Armstrong's doping is going to be.  I hope it's not the same fate that befell other dopers like Lyle Alzado or Tom Simpson.  Only time will tell...

I'd be curious to hear other people's comments on this.

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