What else can Lance Armstrong lose in the destruction of his sporting legend? Maybe an eight year old boy from his own hometown.
In the immediate aftermath of the damning USADA Reasoned Report, the famous athlete lost his seven Tour de France titles and all his major sponsors from Trek to Oakley to Michelob.
His Livestrong organization has taken his name off the organization he founded, Nike has removed his name from one of their buildings, the city of Adelaide wants their key to the city back and Tufts University has just taken away his honorary degree.
SCA Promotions demands several million dollars back that they paid the Texan for winning those seven Tours and the Sunday Times plans to get back the large sum they paid Armstrong in damages after his won this defamation suit against Times sports writer David Walsh.
There seems to be no end to Armstrong’s losses but today brings yet another symbolic one. The Texas Daily Herald reports that a mother in Austin has decided to remove Lance as the name of her 8 year old son. Sandra Wilkens named her son Lance in honor of the now disgraced Tour champion but in the wake of damaging USADA evidence, she’s decided to strip the name off.
“I’m angry at Lance and I feel betrayed,” said Wilkens. “Now when my son goes to school other kids make fun of him and call him a doper. So I’m changing his name.”
It’s not a decision that Wilkens has taken lightly. “I watched all those Tours and cheered with all my heart. I’m a single mom like Lance’s mom was. I believed in him and his story but now I just have to find another name,” said Wilkins.
However, the search for a new name has proved more difficult than she imagined. “My second choice was Dave but then that reminds me of that Zabriskie fellow,” said Wilkens. “I also liked Tom and George but again, my son sounds like a doper. You would think a name like Christian would be a safe choice but it’s not.”
Wilkens has taken the unusual step of contacting USADA CEO Travis Tygart to make sure her new name selections won’t be connected to any rider in future doping allegations. “My son doesn’t deserve this. He’s only eight and something like this makes him doubt who he is. I can’t have him go through this terrible and embarrassing situation again.”
With names such as Jonathan and Frankie and Levi also damaged by doping admissions, Wilkens finds herself a wits and and clutching at extreme solutions. “A guy at a bike shop told me the French riders are the cleanest. So I’m considering that. I like Claude — that has a cowboy sound to it. And I must admit that I’m partial to Sebastien and Etienne,” said Wilkens. “It’s just a little strange, us living in Texas. I don’t want kids teasing my son for wearing a beret and scarf to class.”
For now, the search for a new name continues but the experience has scarred Sandra Wilkens. “I would tell all parents to be careful about naming their kids after famous people. Most times that story just just too good to be true. Lance tricked my family and I won’t forgive him for that. And neither will my son.”