Created on: January 17, 2013
There was a time in the career of Lance Armstrong when he was looked upon as a god. He had overcome unbelievable odds to beat a cancer that few have survived. He then went out and won the Tour de France not once, but a record seven times, making himself look almost superhuman in doing it. He had his share of detractors, who said the feats he accomplished were aided by the use of performance enhancing drugs. The problem with that theory is that no one could ever catch Lance with anything in his system.
Armstrong's luck finally ran out in 2012, when USADA released a report that had detailed accounts from former teammates that Armstrong has indeed cheated to get ahead. Armstrong continued his denials at first, but then began to realize that he was losing what he had worked for, while the Livestrong Foundation he founded to help cancer patients suffered. Whatever the motive, Armstrong is taking to the airwaves, on the Oprah Show, admitting to the fact that he doped.
The interview is scheduled to air January 17 and 18 on the Oprah Network, with no question being out of bounds. Not much has been leaked about the conversation, but it is known that the one time cycling star admits to having cheated. He also says that he started to do it before he got diagnosed with cancer, which will certainly leave some to wonder if there might have been a connection there. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen, but Armstrong is coming out and trying to clear the air.
Anyone who thought this was going to be a continual apology fest though should check that idea at the door. According to a Washington Post piece, Armstrong admits to doping and apologizes to numerous folks that he has let down along the way. Ah, but Armstrong is a battler and he goes on in the interview to take umbrage with a number of things that have been said about him in recent months.
One of the reasons that Armstrong was outed was the testimony of a number of ex Postal Service teammates who rode with him during the glory years. Included in these confessions was talk of how Armstrong bullied and coerced teammates to dope with him. Others saw it as a team requirement that they use performance enhancers. Armstrong says bull on that, stating that there were several of his Postal Service riders that were doping before they ever joined his group.
Armstrong will also address several perceptions of him generated by USADA in their report. The former Tour de France champ was compared to being the mastermind behind an elaborate doping scheme that helped evade detection. Needless to say, he does not confess to being the ringleader of anything but his own body. USADA also painted him as a heavy handed thug that used his status as king of the hill to have things done his way. It is not clear how he will counteract that label, as the Post piece says Oprah shows clips of him badmouthing folks that called his character into question.
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