With the International Cycling Union’s decision not to appeal the findings of the United States Anti-Doping Agency against Lance Armstrong, the sporting of cycling and the athlete have quickly suffered.
In addition to Armstrong’s long list of sponsors withdrawing their contracts, the Tour de France vacating the rider’s titles and the unexpected withdrawal of Rabobank from its long-time team and event sponsorship, professional cycling is likely to face additional setbacks.
What, how and when remain to be seen as the Tour de France awaits the 100th edition of cycling’s biggest event beginning June 29, 2013 in Corsica.
And what of Armstrong? What are his options? And what will he do?
Here’s a list of 10 possibilities in Armstrong’s future:
10. He once said upon his retirement he’d go to the beach often and drink a lot of Shiner Bock beer. (It wouldn’t be a bad decision, really.)
9. Do nothing for a few years and then run for Governor of Texas. (Time heals all wounds, right?)
8. Get a job out of sports. (A little humility is always good.)
7. Get a job in sports. (Former athletes succeed as television commentators for two reasons: they’re former athletes and they can talk coherently — at least in most instances.)
6. Become a stay-at-home father (How refreshing is that?)
5. Use his 3.8 million Twitter followers for a new, positive enterprise unrelated to sports. (Why not?)
4. Write his own damn books. (He’s a smart guy.)
3. Teach children the benefits of participation. (OK, maybe that’s a stretch.)
2. As Miguel Indurain, the five-time Tour de France winner, suggested: Prepare to the take the “final sprint” by appealing his case to the Court of Arbitration in Sport with proof of what he has always claimed. (Armstrong has never walked away from anything.)
1. Have a long talk with his children, former wife, current significant other and his mother, confess and then begin psychiatric counseling. (People can change.)