Armstrong’s fight over as he comes clean

Nick Guthrie Roar Rookie

By Nick Guthrie, Nick Guthrie is a Roar Rookie

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    Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his Tour De France titles (AAP)

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    As Oprah Winfrey started her interview with Lance Armstrong in exactly the way the world wanted her to, a smile crept along the face of the man opposite her.

    This immediately set the tone for Lance Armstrong’s attitude throughout the first half of the much anticipated event. Here was a man, possibly putting the final nail in the coffin of his sport, and he was smiling and calmly admitting that he had undertaken blood doping and drug taking throughout his career.

    How a man, who promised millions of people the very opposite of what he was now admitting, could sit there and unashamedly admit to so much destroyed the little credibility and respect he had left.

    This is a man who inspired people all over the world. His was the perfect story of heroism and now he is left sitting in the rubble of the greatest scandal in world sport.

    When the rumours of his drug taking first came to light, we wanted to believe him. He was an inspiration to us all, someone coming back from adversity, fighting against all the odds and winning with such humility and acting as a shining light in the dark days of his sport.

    But now he has admitted to doping. He admitted to using EPO. He admitted to being the top rung in his team and his organisation of drug running and drug use. He admitted that he was arrogant and a bully.

    But he also admitted to not feeling bad about it. He said he had looked up the word ‘cheat’ in the dictionary and he felt it didn’t apply to him.

    He admitted he lied and should have said things differently in the disposition where he defended Dr Michele Ferrari and his involvement with blood doping.

    When asked, he said that his fate was sealed after George Hincapie, his close friend and teammate throughout his seven Tour wins, testified against him. It was only then that Armstrong, with nowhere else to turn and with no one left on his team, came clean.

    This proved that Armstrong was not going to come clean on his own account. It’s no surprise Armstrong has now admitted to doping. We had heard that he had used performance enhancing drugs from almost everyone he had come into contact with in his professional life.

    There was no shock in the material of the interview but there was shock in the way it was delivered. So calm. Seemingly unashamed and even though he now says he would change things, at the time he said he didn’t feel bad about his actions.

    He disregarded former teammate Tyler Hamilton’s admissions Armstrong had help from UCI in covering up a failed drug test. This still leaves unanswered questions, as either Armstrong or Hamilton is lying.

    He continued to laugh and smile his way through interview. “We sued so many people, I don’t even remember,” he smirked at one stage.

    His arrogance was still on show. He repeatedly said how he had to fight if anyone threatened his reputation. He said he abused his power and disrespected the rules and said he was sorry.

    But he never really apologised for the irreparable damage he has done to the sport he says he loves.

    To top it off, he said he was only beginning to understand what he’s done. It’s inconceivable that a man can set himself up in such a bubble of trying to convince himself and everyone else that he was right.

    He made himself believe if he fought what everyone said, eventually the stories would go away. But people were not going to let this go. “I tried to control the narrative,” he said at one stage.

    But he was never going to be able to control this, despite his best attempts of suing people who doubted him and by swearing he had never undertaken doping.

    We were all the victims in this. We were betrayed. The people who benefit from his Livestrong charity were betrayed and lied to. These people, battling every day against the odds, saw Armstrong as almost their God. Living proof that recovery was possible and that you could become bigger and better than you had ever been.

    How Armstrong lives with that knowledge is something that will hopefully be brought up in part two of the interview.

    For now though, Lance Armstrong is a disgrace to his sport. While many of his generation also undertook blood doping and some probably on a bigger scale and more frequently than he did, none fought to the extent that Armstrong did to prove otherwise.

    His reputation, and that of his sport, is in tatters and we wait for part two of this interview and any more admissions that he makes.

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • January 19th 2013 @ 7:47am
      Colin said | January 19th 2013 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      What a load of garbage this column is. How would you like to sit on global television and admit your life was a lie? There was no arrogance about him, more like calm acceptance that it was all over. The smile was rueful rather than a smirk. The fact is he is going to lose everything he had — the civil courts will tear him to pieces. Knowing that, would you sit there and smirk??
      Go watch the interview again, and this time try to be objective.

      • January 19th 2013 @ 9:52am
        kid said | January 19th 2013 @ 9:52am | ! Report

        I disagree colin. I think LA is still trying to control the narrative, trying to salvage something from the train wreck. He wont talk about how he got away with it and refuses to accept that his co-conspirators are bad people. He has been told he did something wrong and is accepting that and apologising only because that this is his best option going forward. He looks back now and says I should have owned up to USADA a few years ago. NO!!!! You should have not taken drugs!!! Plenty more evidence to suggest LA still doesn’t get it.

      • January 19th 2013 @ 4:28pm
        nick said | January 19th 2013 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

        Nah, this was a calculated maneuver well watched over by his team of lawyers. Notice that the head of WADA says he lied about his post 2005 doping, perhaps due to the US statue of limitations?

        He’s a nasty piece of work and still trying to control the process even as it demonstrates how much of a liar he is.

    • January 19th 2013 @ 8:50am
      Whiteline said | January 19th 2013 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      I agree. What do you think happens in courts across the world everyday? There are two parties battling to prove their innocence – one has been living a lie and will do anything to convince others of their innocence. Glad you haven’t got ‘expert’ next to your name.

    • Roar Guru

      January 19th 2013 @ 10:41am
      sheek said | January 19th 2013 @ 10:41am | ! Report

      Armstrong appears to have the beilief, & backed up by his supporters, that appearing on Oprah will be the end of it all.

      It shouldn’t.

      Armstrong probably deserves to go to jail. Only when strong deterrents are put in place to punish drug cheats will we begin to see a positive effect across sport. Potential cheats need to undertand it’s not worth it.

      Appearing on Oprah really proves nothing. She is a soap opera.

      Armstrong is really only sorry he got caught. He would still be doing everything the same had people not come forward to open up his deceitful world & testify against him.

      He doesn’t deserv any sympathy.

      • January 19th 2013 @ 3:01pm
        Mack I Avelli said | January 19th 2013 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

        Sheek you’re right he is only sorry that he got caught.I also think despite his claims that he is not being paid for the interview he is doing it for two reasons that benefits him. The interview is on the Discovery Channel, the major sponsor of his team on the last few Tour wins. You don’t have to be an old Country Lawyer like me to work out that his fortune would be tied up in hard to get at Trusts. There are Sponsors and parties that lost defamation suits queing up to try to get their monies back. Simple Solution for Discovery and Lance, exclusive interview over 2 days and 2 and a half hours with Oprah and Discovery releases Lance from all claims they may have against him. Lance free of probably his biggest liability and Discovery make a Squillion from selling the add breaks. Having watched both days just like Sunday Night movies as the show progressed the add breaks became more frequent.
        Second possible benefit for Lance is that should he face Criminal Charges for Perjury or Fraud Remorse is a big factor in having the penalty lessened. He may try to use the interview as evidence of his remorse. He might think it is but to me the intervew just confirmed his Hubris.

    • January 19th 2013 @ 4:11pm
      Thevietnamwaugh said | January 19th 2013 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

      The whole thing stinks! Fessing up on Oprah, when he lied to every other sanctioned inquiry into his blatant cheating.
      Only in America!

    • January 19th 2013 @ 9:26pm
      Colin said | January 19th 2013 @ 9:26pm | ! Report

      When he hadn’t owned up, everybody was berating him for not fessing up. Now that he has, it’s still not good enough? The bloodthirsty, merciless mob wants blood, like a crowd standing there and chanting ‘hang him, hang him’ or ‘jump, jump’! And I thought we had moved on from the Middle Ages.

      I agree that to this point his confession is not enough, and I expect he will probably reveal all in an attempt to cut a deal with authorities. But I also believe we should wait with good grace to see where he is ultimately going with this – that Oprah interview means financial ruin whichever way you look at it.

      I stand by the contention that to accuse him – as this ‘column’ did – of smirking is absolute claptrap.

      I think that perhaps the universal condemnation may have made him pause and think. Has it occured to you, for one moment, what his children might be going through, and that they are going to impact him enormously?

      As for the statue of limitations, he retired in 2005. Why would you dope after you’ve retired? (That’s a question, by the way, not an assertion)

      Neither did I believe he should be the only one to go down. They were all grown-ups and they all conspired – there should be a widespread clean up.

      • January 20th 2013 @ 7:58am
        Nick said | January 20th 2013 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        He raced the tdf again in 2009 and 2010. He claims he was clean then. Wada say his tests from that time suggest otherwise

      • January 21st 2013 @ 1:57pm
        jameswm said | January 21st 2013 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

        Colin you need to go away and check your facts, buddy.

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