Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lance Armstrong: Doping Drugs (2013)

Lance Armstrong, representing United States Postal Services

Lance Armstrong is a former professional American road racing cyclist. Armstrong was known for winning seven back to back races at the Tour de France. After all of his hard work and accomplishments Armstrong got diagnosed with testicular cancer. Although this was a big set back for Armstrong it did not stop him from achieving his goals, it only made him better. Armstrong soon after becoming cancer-free created his own foundation, the Livestrong Foundation. The Livestrong Foundation was originally called the Lance Armstrong Foundation which provides support to cancer patients. After becoming cancer-free Armstrong changed his sponsor from Motorola to US Postal and then onto TailWind. In 2005 after his seventh win in the Tour de France Armstrong announced his retirement. It was only three years until Armstrong decided to race again. Armstrong participated in many races year after year until 2011 when he declared that he was retiring 'for good'. Throughout Armstrong's career he faced persistent allegations of doping. Armstrong denied all allegations of doping by explaining that throughout his cycling career he had never once come up positive in a drug test. Armstrong continued to deny the use of any performance-enhancing drugs for four consecutive years. In October 2013, the US Anti-Doping Agency released over 1000 pages of evidence that proved Armstrong guilty of doping drugs. After getting caught Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and the International Olympic Committee demanded Armstrong to give back his bronze metal that he had won in 2000. The drugs that the US Anti-Doping Agency found that were used by Armstrong were Blood Doping, Corticosteroids, and Testosterone. He used blood doping to enhance his red blood cells which gave him extra oxygen in his muscles, improving recovery and endurance. Corticosteriod's is a man-made drug that resembles the natural hormone Cortisol. He used this drug to decrease any pain that he had in his body so that he could preform with maximum strength. The last drug he used was Testosterone which helped him get stronger and bulk up. While wearing US Postal's colors and logo Armstrong was using doping drugs to help him win the races. Although one would think that Armstrong screwed over USPS by doing the drugs he actually did the opposite because he did more enhancing to the brand than harm. Armstrong also did damages to his own foundation, Livestrong Foundation. Armstrong was prompted to resign from chairman of the foundation. Now the question is if Livestrong Foundation can live without him. As of now Livestrong Foundation has been surviving without Armstrong but they did get dropped by Nike.

LiveStrong Foundation logo

In Does Business Ethics Make Sense, a PowerPoint made by Professor Salazar she discusses the true meaning of individualism. "The only goal of business is to profit, so the only obligation that the business person has is to maximize profit for the owner or the stakeholders"(Salazar 12), this quote was said by Milton Friedman discussing his own view on individualism. Salazar believes, "Everyone has the right to pursue his own interests and should do so, but no one has the right to make other people's choices about their pursuits for them"(Salazar 11). Individualism relates to the Lance Armstrong doping drugs case in multiple ways. Armstrong had the right to make his own decisions regarding doping drugs or not doping drugs.
By him doping drugs he only benefited himself and nobody else on his team or his sponsors. Armstrong did not play by the rules when it came to going against the company that sponsored him. He only thought about the outcome and the things that he could get out of winning seven Tour de France races. Due to Armstrong's selfish actions he got his own foundation, Livestrong Foundation, in a lot of trouble. The foundation worked with Nike throughout the years to make products to raise money for cancer. After Armstrong admitted to breaking the rules and doping drugs Nike stopped working with the foundation. Armstrong did not once think about the effect that he would have on his own foundation because he did what he thought he had the right to do.

The true definition of utilitarianism is to maximize happiness for yourself and others. Armstrong did show utilitarianism but he only maximized happiness for himself not others. He enjoyed winning races and getting metals but did not care about the effect that it would have on his team and sponsors. After first doping drugs and winning his first Tour de France Armstrong did not want to go back. He admitted in an interview that he does not believe that he would have won all seven of the Tour de France races if he had not been doping drugs. Winning made him happy but the effects that it had on his teammates was not good. Everyone goes into a race wanting to win and get a metal but there are slim chances of that happening. Each racer is supposed to have an equal opportunity going into the race but Armstrong made that impossible. The only positive thing that Armstrong did that made everyone happy was by wearing US Postal's logo and colors he enhanced the brand in surprisingly a good way. Overall what Lance Armstrong did just harmed himself and all of the accomplishments he made were taken away from him.

EPO, a hormone Armstrong used to assist his endurance

The Kantianism theory is the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. The theory has four basic principles which were shown in Professor Salazar's PowerPoint. These principles are, to act rationally- do not act inconsistently in your own actions or consider yourself exempt from rules, allow and help people to make rational decisions, respect people and their individual needs and differences, and be motivated by good will seeking to do what is right because it is right. The first principle relates to this case perfectly, Armstrong did not act rationally at all, he believed that he would never get caught for doping drugs so he exempt himself from the rules of the race. Although in the beginning it was Armstrong's idea to do the drugs once his teammates saw that he was doing so well they did not help him make rational decisions, they did the complete opposite. Everyone that knew he had been doping drugs allowed him to keep doing it and did not tell anyone. One of the main differences that Armstrong had that other racers did not was that he had cancer at one point in his life. Nobody thought that such a good innocent guy would do such terrible things. The foundation that Armstrong made donated money to find the cure to cancer. This made Armstrong seem like a great guy because he was helping others and not just racing for himself when in reality he was going against the rules to win. Lastly, Armstrong was not motivated in any way by good will, because he did not do what was right because it was right. Armstrong was motivated to win and he would do anything to do so which is why he got into doping drugs. Not only did Armstrong hurt himself in the end he hurt many people who were supporting him and rooting for him to win the races.

Virtue Theory

As shown in the PowerPoint Business Ethics and Virtue written by Professor Salazar, the definition of the virtue theory is "the characteristics that allow things to function properly"(Salazar 4). There are four main virtues in business which are courage, honest, temperance, and justice. The definition of courage is the quality of mind or spirt that enables a person to face difficulty without fear.

Lance Armstrong did not show courage because he was not able to race without the doping drugs because he was afraid that he would not be able to win without the drugs. Although he did not have courage in himself, his sponsor's did have courage in him because the entire time they were believing that he won the races fair and square. Honesty is defined as being honorable in principles intentions and actions; being fair. Armstrong was the complete opposite of honest, his entire career and all of his accomplishments were lies. Everyone in the world believed that Armstrong was able to win on his own and they supported him with buying items from his foundation and by doing other things. Even Armstrong's teammates were not honest because once they found out about the drugs they did nothing to stop him. The definition of temperance is reasonable expectations and desires. Armstrong did have reasonable expectations and desires but the only way he believed that he could win the race was by doping drugs. Armstrong was known as one of the best racers and due to that he had many different sponsors that he was screwing over. He went against the racing rules during the Tour de France and showed unethical behavior by doping drugs. Justice is the hard work, quality of the products, good ideas, and fair practices. Armstrong's goals were intact and his sponsors believed in him. US Postal sponsored Armstrong and used their own money to give him things to allow him to race to his best ability. They put a lot of hard work into sponsoring Armstrong just to get let down in the end. Armstrong went against all ethical things and convinced himself that it was right and that he would never get caught.


"Lance Armstrong Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014. <http://www.biography.com/people/lance-armstrong-9188901>.

"Lance Armstrong: 'Impossible' to Win Tour De France without Doping." USA Today. Gannett, 28 June 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/cycling/2013/06/28/lance-armstrong-impossible-win-tour-de-france-doping/2471413/>.

Suddath, Claire. "Can Livestrong Live Without Lance?" Bloomberg Business Week. Bloomberg, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-24/can-livestrong-live-without-lance>.

Wieners, Brad. "Lance Armstrong Lied, Cheated, Doped, but Does He Really Owe Damages?" Bloomberg Business Week. Bloomberg, 24 Apr. 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.<http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-24/lance-armstrong-lied-cheated-doped-but-does-he-really-owe-damages>.

Wilson, Jacque. "Lance Armstrong's Doping Drugs." CNN. Cable News Network, 18 Jan. 2013. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/15/health/armstrong-ped-explainer/>.

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