by Old Bone Machine
(Arch of Hysteria by Louise Bourgeois)
I recently came across the following words by the artist Louise Bourgeois.
To unravel a torment you must begin somewhere.
The words though personal and relating to the artist and her works, seemingly also relate to the Armstrong doping scandal of last year and to the turmoil following the publication of The Secret Race (Hamiliton/Coyle) and the release of USADA’s Reasoned Decision document. A torment not concluding, as some would have believed or hoped, with UCI president Pat McQuaid’s statement that,
Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.
Or with Armstrong’s complete banishment into the wilderness.
The cycling photographer, Graham Watson, recently added his thoughts to the unravelling.
I’m not actually sure how I feel to be honest, nor am I sure what bothers me the most – seeing Armstrong accused and condemned so swiftly, or having to endure the fall-out from the investigation. Let’s face it, I’m not likely to utter any bad words about a cyclist who helped so much to escalate my earnings way back then, whose image I was allowed to use to make posters, prints, calendars and books. Don’t go looking for criticism because it just won’t be there – if Lance did what he’s been accused of doing, then that’s his issue to deal with. All I do know is he’s not the manipulative ‘bully’ certain members of the media have tried to portray him as in their tabloid stories. He was ambitious, ruthless, highly talented, tough, he knew how to lead his teammates and intimidate his rivals to make sure he won. But is he any different from a President, an army General, a corporate leader of industry, a career politician, or any other sporting great?
Lance Armstrong (via Twitter) called Watson’s views balanced. I thought Watson’s statements were considered. I agree with some of what he says and disagree with other aspects of his argument. Many though have already stoned Watson for his views because they are essentially pro-Lance.
I’m dismayed that the process of justice, that saw Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour titles while his team mates received six-month bans, has not been questioned and that justice may have been compromised in the rush to get their man. I’m concerned that alternate viewpoints have not been given due consideration.
I suspect the torment will continue to unravel for some time yet.
Graham Watson’s entire statement can be read on his site here.