Braking Bad: Chasing Lance Armstrong and the Cancer of Corruption
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The story of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong isn’t just about the greatest doping conspiracy in sports history—it's about the nature of corruption, whether in athletics, business, politics or society at large.
Blending memoir that recounts his own family’s struggles with cancer and reportage from Europe's elite racing circuit (including access to riders such as Carlos Sastre and Ryder Hesjedel), journalist Richard Poplak draws out the parallels between the elaborate, cult-like regime constructed around Armstrong and the sort of corruption he's witnessed first-hand in the developing world.
This book is not a definitive account of the Lance Armstrong era. It does not divulge any new information on his many years as a doper and cyclist. Rather, Braking Bad is an incisive, eloquent, and thought-provoking meditation on the most human of foibles, corruption, and how it preys so auspiciously on the most human of virtues, idealism and hope.
freedom, justice, unity, prosperity and progress. “Jesus, I hope they can get it together here,” says Kevin. He knows what I know: the South Sudanese must build from scratch a nation in which the governor of Unity State cannot siphon all the oil into his blinged-up Maybach, where corruption is chased down and prosecuted with the same vigour, with the same rapacity, displayed by those hell-bent on eating the country into oblivion. “Bedtime,” says Kevin, his voice raw with dust and exhaustion. We
doorstep, on these days in May and June, to watch other legs turning; no longer ours, though. And we will say: For us (thank heavens!), no more backbreaking exertion, dust, torment, oh, oh, and no more dysentery. We’ve had enough of that hellish life of a convict!” The inaugural Tour de France, held in 1903, had a direct precursor in an automobile race called Paris–Madrid, which devolved from modernist panegyric to carnage in a matter of hours. People, livestock, dogs, all killed by the “folly
the warm heart of an enemy. The impulse in any sport is not only to beat those alongside you on the start line but to erase the records of previous generations. When Armstrong was dying of cancer in a Texas hospital, the Cannibal paid a visit. They’ve always admired each other, despite their manifold dissimilarities. I do sometimes wonder, though, whether Armstrong was bummed that “the Cannibal” had been snapped up as a sobriquet before he made the scene. No one ate people like Armstrong. He ate
fiscal implosion caused by fake financial products created by bankers who bet against their own clients, and a thousand other acts of institutional and political fakery, both large and small. Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire clanged home runs off orbiting satellites, numerous NFLers celebrated the end of their careers by blowing their brains out, the sprinter Marion Jones did time for perjury, Michael Vick shot pit bulls, Kobe Bryant fielded rape accusations, Tiger Woods sexted every last Hooters
victory all the more remarkable for the fact that no Canadian had won a Grand Tour before. I met Hesjedal in Basque Country, Spain, in April 2011, and I spent several nights interviewing him in the lobbies of cheerless international hotels. The man resembled four Slinkys lashed to a drumstick, and he sat sunken in expensive Novotel couches swilling water by the gallon. He switched from mountain biking in 2002, joined Postal Service, “and got my first taste of being a pro road racer,” he told me.