Appears the only pelaton racers who weren't doping were the ones who never won. Who cares? On Fall rides, the air sometimes smells of sour grapes. Lance was a particular disappointment to fellow cancer survivors and Livestrong followers who felt he shouldn't have taken risks that might have threatened remission or tax-deductible donation. Maybe it's the opposite; after loading up on chemotherapy, doping seemed comparatively milquetoast. Isn't the mission always to succeed at all costs? Or survive to fulfill some purpose? Dopers are pushing themselves hardest, beyond sanity and training to a whole new level, Russian roulette on a wheelset. How do you define "hero"? Results? Do you have to perform timidly in handcuffs? Even Houdini had tricks.
Rumors has it UCI was complicit in a doping coverup. If so, they roll a fine line when enforcing any ban or title withdrawal, which might involve a fiery back draft. You can't prove anything that nobody wants proven. Belief seems to require human sacrifice and impossible resurrection.
Safer to do, say or want nothing, because champions must fit preconceptions, give up self, and handle inquisitions. Why do critics denigrate adverbs? Denigrators don't like to have verbs qualified, rather do than do carefully/fairly/politely/ steadily/well. Attitudes and details live in adjectives and adverbs, reveal what writers loathe, think, trust and value. Nouns are practically interchangeable lumps, verbs no more than abstract gestures, winners statues without flaws. In processions of Roman Triumph, a slave held a golden wreath over head of imperator while whispering in his ear, "Fame is fleeting. Life is short." How it's done trumps what was accomplished. Nobody knows why, not even person who does it, likely some conditioned response or unexamined instinct. Whoever gets credit probably doesn't deserve it. Blame, liberally distributed though usually undeserved, hounds any achievement. Posterity judges whatever you do. Why consider consequences when you never know what they'll be? Acclaim belongs mostly to those who train in perpetual obscurity.