For years Lance Armstrong has provided an inspirational survivor story and been a strong role model for children. Â Some have called him one of the biggest sports icons of all time. Â In addition to his many successes in cycling, he has done incredible philanthropic work at home and around the world.
The allegations of performance enhancing drug use made by Sports Illustrated are serious and call this legacy into question. Â They come on top of a lingering cloud of suspicion that only undermines Mr. Armstrong's good efforts both on the bike and off.
If the allegations made by Sports Illustrated about Mr. Armstrong, in fact, prove to be true, it would be an enormous disappointment with serious ramifications. Â Children will lose a great role model. Â His charity will not only lose its leader but it risks losing much more. Â The fallout will extend far beyond Mr. Armstrong himself.
It is our sincere hope that, if Mr. Armstrong has been illegally using performance enhancing drugs, he will take responsibility and devote his considerable talents and energies to helping send young people the right messages-that using these drugs is not only cheating, but it is unlawful and can have serious, even deadly, consequences.
If he is innocent of these allegations we look forward to seeing him clear his name in the shortest possible timeframe.