December 19, 2012

Hooray for Sally Jenkins [“I’m not angry at Armstrong,” Sports, Dec. 16]. It is about time that someone told it like it is.

What I know about Lance Armstrong is that he inspired thousands of cancer victims and made their lives better. What I know about Mr. Armstrong is that when my wife and my son were both suffering from cancer, his story and his book helped them cope with their diseases.

What I know about Mr. Armstrong is that the good that he did far outweighs the fact that he was trapped in a culture of drug use within the cycling fraternity. What I know about Mr. Armstrong is that he has been needlessly demonized by people who do not realize the balance between his good deeds and his bad deeds.

Ms. Jenkins did an excellent job of putting it in perspective. For that, I thank her.

W.G. Hamm, Irvington, Va.

Sally Jenkins might not be angry at Lance Armstrong, but in her column she failed to discuss why so many people are.

Ms. Jenkins focused on Mr. Armstrong’s efforts to defeat cancer, as well as the pervasive misconduct of competitive cyclists and the supposedly overzealous actions of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Not discussed were the brazen lies that Mr. Armstrong repeatedly told about his drug use and the threats he made to those he feared would reveal the truth.

Is honesty no longer valued in this nation? Integrity is not a variable to be adjusted based on a person’s accomplishments and other characteristics. Without it, all one is and does is suspect. Ms. Jenkins’s assessment was incomplete.

Kurt Sanger, Washington