Rick Snider: Armstrong is just the latest athlete to lie and cheat

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Sports,Rick Snider

Lance Armstrong seemed to be the last athlete of integrity. A champion who used his notoriety to help cancer victims.

Turns out he's the last straw.

Never again will I give any added credence to athletes for their charities. In the end, there's always hypocrisy unworthy of the attention.

Athletes are flawed like the rest of us. They'll lie and cheat to get ahead in their sport, then lie and cheat to prevent others from catching them. You don't know whom to believe anymore, so I believe nobody.

I once backed Armstrong, saying without a positive drug test haters should keep away from the retired seven-time Tour de France champion. But the truth finally came out as it always does, and Armstrong finally stopped fighting doping charges.

No one innocent stops defending themselves. Now a report with 11 teammates finally admitting Armstrong cheated sealed the guilty verdict. Armstrong lost several major corporate sponsors and resigned from his Livestrong Foundation to lessen the fundraising blow.

By the way, Armstrong still won't admit he's a cheater. For that, he deserves eternal shame.

Livestrong is a wonderful foundation helping thousands of cancer victims. It needs to continue, but this scandal will surely reduce its effectiveness. That's the biggest loss of all.

Armstrong needs to say he's sorry for lying and cheating. It's the only path to redemption, but Armstrong won't take it.

Pete Rose needed 15 years before admitting he bet on baseball. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens faced perjury charges over denying steroid use.

Integrity is a person's last asset. Once stripped, they are nothing. Armstrong just saw his evaporate, which would be fine if it didn't take down a major cancer fundraiser. Yes, he built Livestrong, but that doesn't give him the right to destroy it.

Athletes are hardly alone in public scandal. Why is it so hard for our political leaders to withstand scrutiny without a mistress or backroom money scandal emerging?

The Joe Paterno scandal was disheartening. Seriously, JoePa wasn't there for kids being molested? His statue outside Penn State's stadium is now gone, and 111 of his career wins were erased.

New England coach Bill Belichick was caught videotaping opposing team signals.

Brett Favre sexted photos to a woman. Reggie Bush returned the Heisman Trophy for improper benefits at USC, which is widespread throughout college football and basketball. NBA referee Tim Donaghy was caught in a gambling scandal.

It goes all the way to the 1919 Black Sox scandal and probably further. Athletes somehow think anything justifies cheating.

Armstrong now goes from great athlete and humanitarian to another scoundrel unworthy of our sympathy. The saddest part is he won't be the last one to do so.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or email rsnider@washingtonexaminer.com.

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