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Thank you, Lance

In this July 19, 2009, file photo, Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line during the 15th stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Verbier, Switzerland. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France during a taped interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, reversing more than a decade of denial. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

Personally I think riding a bike to the point of exhaustion is silly.

So hearing Lance Armstrong admit that he doped? I’ve always assumed that athletes who excel at unnatural activities have to do unnatural things to get there.

The thing that I find unforgivable is trying to destroy people who told the truth.

What kind of person behaves that way? The kind of person who places winning above everything.

We are exposed to a lot of people like that these days, because it sells. We’re Americans; we play to win, nobody remembers the second man on the moon! It was Buzz Aldrin, by the way.

Enough of our athletes have bought into this “go big or go home” culture that we can’t take a man by his word anymore, we have to take him by his urine. You are only as trustworthy as your pee.

Except the doping is so sophisticated now they have to suck out your blood too. And little by little our privacy evaporates.

Armstrong was so immersed in winning that when people began accusing him, he actually had to consult a dictionary for the definition of cheating. “Getting an unfair advantage over others,” it said. Since all the others were doing it too, he told himself, he was fine.

And it was OK to try to destroy his critics.

But I still say thank you, Lance. Thank you for injecting us with a megadose of reality and reminding us that sometimes it’s not the best man, but the most ruthless who wins. For reminding us to pick our heroes carefully, or better yet, to choose someone you actually know – whose urine you can trust without testing it.

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