A new website is inviting Lance Armstrong fans to voice their support for the beleaguered star as he fights doping allegations.
The Support for Lance site gives fans the options of posting supportive messages or displaying a Lance Support badge on their own websites.
The creators of the site – who have decided to remain anonymous – insist that Armstrong’s guilt or innocence is not what their site has been set up to address. All they’re looking for is messages of support. We'll put our hands up here, we can't decide whether Support for Lance is real or a spoof… there's certainly plenty of comedy gold on there, but then…
The site says, “Lance Armstrong is currently the focus of a high profile investigation of alleged doping incidents during his cycling career. These allegations could potentially strip him of his accomplishments as a seven-time Tour de France winner. In the last few months Lance has endured a public display of the prosecution's findings, no matter how unreliable the sources. Every week even the smallest details are being leaked to the papers and internet.
“In the meantime, he is still recovering from serious injuries suffered during the last Tour de France. All of this has weakened Lance, both mentally and physically.
“We aren't looking for money, and Lance has no involvement in this website. His guilt or innocence is not what is being addressed here. We're appealing to the millions of Lance Armstrong fans all over the world – it’s time that this international hero gets some support when he needs it most!”
Among the many genuinely supportive messages on the site are one or two worth mentioning, including this, from ‘Candy’: “I never forget him coming into our bar with his team. He always was a generous tipper and knew not to touch. A man with manners no matter what.”
And this one, from ‘SwissPharma’: “Thanks for your efforts on raising our product awareness! Nobody does it better.”
There’s also this one, from ‘H. Verbruggen’ (Hein Verbruggen was head of the UCI from 1991 to 2005): “Lance my dear friend. Just wanted you to know that I am here and will support you until the very end, or until Floyd's story is corroborated – whichever comes first. Long live the king!”
Okay, those ones might be supportive, but maybe not so genuine.