Doping isn’t going to run in Lance Armstrong’s family.
In Part 2 of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary on the most famous American cyclist, Armstrong’s son, a college football walk-on at Rice University, was asked if he would consider using performance-enhancing drugs like his father.
“I’ve always felt like grinding for something, and really working for a specific goal has always been so much more worth it than taking the shortcut,” Luke Armstrong said. “I also feel like if I ever did that and got caught, for random people, they would be like, `He’s just like his dad.’”
Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles but was stripped of all his achievements from 1998 onward. After years of refuting allegations, he admitted to doping in a sport where using drug use to boost performance was rampant at the time.
Armstrong was asked by film director Marina Zenovich how he would react if Luke went down the same path.
The answer is not a hard “no, don’t do it.”
“If we were put in that position where Luke as a college football player came to me and either said, ‘I’d like to try this,’ or ‘I am doing this,’ I would say, ‘that’s a bad idea,’” Armstrong said he would tell his son.
He added: “It might be a different conversation if you’re in the NFL. But at this point in life, in your career, not worth it.”
Football becomes a job and huge contracts are at stake in the NFL, similar to how Armstrong felt the playing field and opportunities to cash in weren’t even in his sport. To that end, the NFL administers frequent random drug testing and issues penalties: The first failed test results in an unpaid four-game regular-season suspension.
Armstrong claims he began doping in the late spring of 1995, shortly before his 24th birthday.
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