By stripping Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, international cycling would commit a kind of suicide. Every sport needs its heroes, and Armstrong stood head and shoulders above every other cyclist -- a symbol of courage and determination.

Did he dope? Impossible to say, but the technology at the time didn't detect it. Such allegations need to be resolved immediately -- not 10 or more years after the fact, when the validity of the evidence and testimony has to be suspect.

This retroactive disqualification process makes every record-holder in every sport a potential cheat, perhaps to be discovered or simply denounced without valid evidence decades later. Perhaps there are people who believe the purity and integrity of the sport is everything. But are there enough of those purists to sustain worldwide interest in the sport?