"I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999," he said. "The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today — finished with this nonsense."
Gowski said it's unfortunate that after Armstrong's battles with cancer, his record seven Tour De France titles and his work with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, that his legacy will be that of a cheater.
"He was a real hero for people, cancer survivors or not, and that's what's going to be tainted," she said.
At Guthrie Bicycle in Sugar House, both staff and customers said they weren't surprised by Armstrong's announcement. They also expressed skepticism over USADA's decision to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, considering his record of being cleared by pre-race doping tests and because of the widespread use of illegal performance enhancements in professional cycling.
"I do believe he probably did (dope), just like everyone else," Guthrie Bicycle manager Preston Jacobsen said. "Pro sports in general have an issue."
But Mark Zimbelman, a professor of accounting at BYU who blogs about fraud and ethics, said that just because something is widespread doesn't make it right. He said that not going after dopers sends the wrong message to the next generation of cyclists.
"This is cheating, it was against the rules," he said. "It's a real problem and that's why a lot of people are happy that USADA is doing this."
Zimbelman said the idea of doing whatever is necessary to win is not unique to sports, but permeates business, politics and other aspects of life.
"It's all over," he said.
Timberlake hesitated to ascribe the Armstrong scandal — and some cyclists' relative indifference to it — to a Machiavellian culture in America. He said cycling is more esoteric than basketball, baseball or football, where the average American has some understanding of game play, and that the culture of special diets and supplements follows the sport back to its European roots.
"I don't think it's an American thing," he said. "Neither the use of (doping) nor the writing off of it."
The reaction to Armstrong, then is left to individuals to work through and perhaps brings only another question, rather than resolution: Who is cheating, Armstrong or USADA, the agency that implicated him?
Jefferey C. Garvey, vice chairman and founding chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, left his opinion on the Livestrong website Friday, in support of the cyclist whose cause he champions:
“Faced with a biased process whose outcome seems predetermined, Lance chose to put his family and his foundation first and we support his decision."
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