From CNN Saturday and Sunday Morning Anchor TJ Holmes:
Quick, name 3 professional cyclists.
OK … you got Lance Armstrong.
Chances are … you can't come up a second one, much less a third. The only reason you know anything about cycling is because of Lance Armstrong.
We don't care about cycling in this country. Some people may get offended by that, but relatively speaking, we love football, baseball, and basketball in this country with a side serving of hockey, golf, and tennis.
But you know about Lance Armstrong because of his accomplishments in winning 7 Tours de France, because of his compelling personal story of beating testicular cancer, and because of his efforts in raising hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research.
We know Lance Armstrong. But, do you want to know whether or not he was doping/cheating to win all those Tours?
The New York Times reported today that federal investigators have collected information from former teammates and associates of Armstrong's that say Armstrong and his team participated in systematic doping. This is in addition to similar claims made publicly earlier this year by his former teammate Floyd Landis, who lost his tour title in 2006 because of doping. Armstrong has faced allegations before and has always strongly denied he ever doped and nothing has ever been proven.
We are used to sports heroes falling in doping scandals. Go down the list: Mark McGwire, Marion Jones, A-Rod, it goes on and on. Their cheating benefited one person: the person cheating. IF Armstrong cheated, some are now arguing, his cheating would have benefited others.
Cheating is never a good thing ... you should never do it ... let's make that clear. We certainly hope Armstrong is and always has been clean.
But think about this: What if he did cheat? You could argue that if he didn't cheat, he wouldn't have been able to win the Tours. If he didn't win, he wouldn't have been able to draw all that public attention. Without the public attention, he wouldn't have been able to raise $325 million dollars through his foundation for cancer research.
Should someone get a pass for their bad deeds because they also did good needs? Let's hope we're not faced with that choice when it comes to Lance Armstrong.
Join TJ Holmes weekend mornings in the CNN Newsroom, beginning 6am ET/ 3am PT.