Lance and Oscar: Sports biggest ‘falling stars’

By Alex P. Vidal/ PNS

NEWPORT BEACH, California — Hardly had the sex scandal involving Dominique Strauss-Khan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Catholic priests (the latest report) and Sugar Ray Leonard simmered down, two more prominent characters in sports fell in disgrace over doping allegations.

News of Oscar De La Hoya’s seeking treatment for a substance abuse problem and checking into a California-area facility within the last few weeks came in the heels of reports that cycling legend Lance Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs during a checkered career that remained insurpassed until his retirement.

The Golden Boy, USA’s lone gold medalist in the ill-fated USA boxing crew in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, has posted a flurry of very introspective tweets in the past few days, including, “Take a deep breathe and let out all that anger that makes you hate. it really is going to be o.k.” and “Stop finding excuses not to live. life is controlled by what you make of it and not of what it makes of you.”

RETIRE

The CEO of Golden Boy Promotions had a career record of 39-6, his last a retirement TKO loss against Manny Pacquiao, held several championship titles in different divisions.

De La Hoya began drinking and using cocaine, which then caused him to have infidelity problems in his marriage sources connected with the former boxing champ claimed.

De La Hoya has told friends he does not believe he hit bottom, but checked himself into rehab before things got totally out of control.

He has had fidelity issues and it seems to correlate with substance abuse and that’s a matter he’s dealing with in rehab, according to reports.

Armstrong’s alleged substance abuse had been revealed by a colleague in “60 Minutes” interview. New York-based John Nestor, an AHN Sports Correspondent, reported that Tyler Hamilton has spoken out about doping in the world of cycling and implicating Lance Armstrong while doing it.

ENHANCING DRUGS

In an interview that aired on “60 Minutes,” May 22, Hamilton said Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs during a career that saw him win the Tour de France seven times and become the greatest rider the sport has ever known.

Hamilton went on to say that Armstrong also spoke to other riders on the U.S. Postal team, encouraging them to cheat as well. “”He obviously was the biggest rider in the team and he helped to call the shots,” Hamilton said. “He doped himself, you know, like everybody else, but he was just being part of the culture of the sport.”

Armstrong has repeatedly denied doping allegations, pointing to a record of over 500 tests without ever testing positive.

Mark Fabiani, Armstrong’s attorney, released a statement responding to the “60 Minutes” interview.

“We have already responded in great detail at www. facts4lance.com,” Fabiani said. “Throughout this entire process, CBS has demonstrated a serious lack of journalistic fairness and has elevated sensationalism over responsibility. CBS chose to rely on dubious sources while completely ignoring Lance’s nearly 500 clean tests and the hundreds of former teammates and competitors who would have spoken about his work ethic and talent.”

TESTIFY

According to unidentified sources,”60 Minutes” reported that George Hincapie, a former teammate and friend of Armstorng’s, testified to a grand jury that he and Armstrong supplied each other with EPO.

Armstrong responded to that allegation with a website post.

“We are confident that the statements attributed to Hincapie are inaccurate and that the reports of his testimony are unreliable.” Hincapie released a statement May 20, through his lawyer, saying he did not speak with “60 Minutes” and was unaware of how or where the show got its information.

Sports always has its own twists and turns and revelation of subtance abuse of some celebrity athletes is only one of them.