I really, really think He did it. The fallout's going to be immense, and fans around the world will bemoan the loss of His narrative of survivor turned champion turned philanthropist.
But I read His public story as the epitome of American tragedy: damaged child ascends to greatness and then falls. His hamartia is our own: an insatiable desire for victory and an evident willingness to exploit other people in order to win.
Floyd is Iago. Or Creon. Yes, he lied. Yes, he cheated. His treatment of LeMond was despicable and evil. But I believe his stories. I believe the Andreus' story. And the soigneur's. And the lab in France that found EPO in His urine. And many of the countless accusations. Why would so many people make so many claims about Him doping if some of them weren't true? Because He was the best? Because He was an American who dominated a European sport?
Why not because they're true? Why believe the word of one man when so many others have accused him? Because he's done so much good in the world? I don't deny the saintliness of his works. But they don't excuse him of cheating and lying about it.
All the other champions of his era have been caught: Ulrich. Pantani. Basso. Beloki. Many of his domestiques have been caught: Heras. Landis.
I love cycling becasue of his success. I've cheered him on television and in person. We even met once, when he was kind to my daughter and expressed condolence for my cancer-stricken friend. But I love the sport more than him. It's bigger than him. It'll survive him.
Maybe naivete is MY hamartia. But I believe that the truth will be good. For Him. For the sport. I believe we can have sport without drugs, without cheating, without questions. A sport that congeals suffering and landscape and proximity and transforms it into poetry. Into art.
But not tragedy.