OK, I can hear the groaning from here.
Just hang with me for a minute or two.
Let me be as delicate as I can be.
The guy had testicular cancer, and had a nut removed.
The cancer at one point had spread to his brain, and things were not looking so hot.
EPO is used for cancer patients that undergo Chemotherapy to help bring up their red blood cell count.
Testosterone therapy now seems to be a pretty common approach for guys who may be missing a step or two. Hell, they peddle this stuff in TV commercials now, all you need is an underarm and a doctors prescription and away you go!
So, lets see, what was Mr. Armstrong dealing with.
"Low T", check.
If Lance Armstrong wasn't "Lance Armstrong, 7 Time Tour De France champion", would he have done anything wrong here?
Of course not.
If he were just another guy, what he would be doing by taking EPO and testosterone is just trying to get back to "normal", or as close to whatever "normal" was for him before these horrible things started happening to him.
But wait, you say, not so fast! He's a professional athlete, he's still gaining an unfair advantage.
Is he, are you really sure about that?
Maybe all he did was get himself back to what his own "baseline" would have been.
Is that a stretch? Yeah, maybe. But maybe not.
Oscar Pistorius was allowed to run in the "Able Bodied" Olympics last year with artificial legs, because it was determined that they did not impart an advantage over the other runners, it only got him back on a "level playing field".
Is it such a leap to consider that what Lance Armstrong did was just put himself back onto a level playing field with the other riders, especially given the fact that many of the top competitors were known to be doping also?
Now, I'm not going to defend his actions concerning the whistleblowers, they were not lying and he was clearly way out of bounds in how he handled that part of this affair.
But I think the purely "athletic" part of this story is a little more complicated than many of the tut-tutters are trying to make this out to be.
He clearly had much better justification for taking PED's than the myriad of major league baseball players who were juiced to the gills for the better part of two decades.
After all, his PED's were actually used to save his life.
None of the other athletes can make that claim.