Posted: Aug 26, 2012 10:49 AM by CBS News
(CBS News) Lance Armstrong is not hiding.
He was expected to compete in a mountain bike race in Aspen, Colo., Saturday and run a marathon Sunday.
On Friday, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency wiped out 14-years of Armstrong's career. Gone are his record seven Tour de France titles. The agency also banned him for life from cycling. This, after Armstrong said he would stop fighting doping charges against him.
Will that impact his foundation, which has raised nearly half-a-billion dollars for cancer research?
Not if Friday was any indication. It raised 25 times more than it normally does in one day.
In general, "I think a lot of people are just tired" of the controversy surrounding Armstrong, New York Times columnist William C . Rhoden observed to "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-anchors Anthony Mason and Rebecca Jarvis. "First of all, they're not going to take the money back. All the money raised is there. I think that the fact, though, that he stopped and said, 'I'm done with it,' what that allows to do is creates sort of an ambivalence and a neutrality so that those people who love him can say, 'Well, he just stopped.' People who hate him or don't like him, can say, 'Well, you know what, guilt by association.' Whereas, if you go through the court process or -- then all of a sudden and people start coming back and testifying..."
"You were going to have his teammates essentially come out and say, 'He did it,"' interjected Mason.
Rhoden agreed, adding, "Doing this (giving up the fight), number one, it saves him (Armstrong) a lot of money. But those people who want to continue to give will continue to give. I mean, if you look at what this guy has done, he's done a lot of good. I mean, forget the cycling stuff. He's done a lot of great things for cancer research and all that. You can't take that away.
"But I think we're so anesthetized to our quote, unquote sports heroes doing this kind of stuff. I think a lot of people ... look at it like a (George) Lucas movie: 'You know what? I just enjoy the effects. Don't tell me how they did the effects."'
Rhoden says Armstrong's move stains his legacy "a little bit."
He also says the "double standard" in coverage of the Armstrong doping accusations and the performance-enhancing drug allegations involving former baseball superstar Barry Bonds "kind of bothers me."
From the start, Rhoden points out, the media were "tainting" Bonds, while Armstrong has been treated by many as a "great American hero."