Armstrong confession?

January 16, 2013

So reportedly Armstrong confessed to Oprah that he doped throughout his career.

No doubt his PR team has worked countless hours to come up with a rationale that would make his cheating OK in the eyes of a large swath of the public. It will probably work, but only if he succeeds in narrowing the scope to the doping offenses.

Two things to consider:

  1. “Everybody was doing it” will probably be good enough an excuse for mainstream America. It’s of course a new lie to cover up an old lie, but hey, who cares about the details. If you really believe the field was level because everybody was doing the same, then you have to  believe a mediocre time-trialer and climber can become best-in-class through chemotherapy. And you have to believe those US Postal helpers were all more talented than most other teams’ leaders.
  2. Much more importantly, the doping is only a small aspect of Lance’s failings. And apologizing (fake or real) for that shouldn’t let him off-the-hook for the rest. 

Because where Lance was truly one-of-a-kind was not in his training, his focus, his climbing or time-trialing. It was not even in his doping. Where he was truly unique was in the havoc he wreaked on others during his ten-year reign. He didn’t just deny doping like so many of his contemporaries, he actively sought to ruin those who spoke out.

Something tells me Oprah won’t be asking about the countless lives he’s tried to destroy (ironically while protecting himself from scrutiny by wrapping himself in the blanket of ultimate cancer patient protector).

If the confession happens, I am happy for those who have spoken out for so long, that they will finally make the leap from “sad, cynical, jealous bitch/asshole” to “courageous individual” in the eyes of so many who still believe the lie.

But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking this is about them; it’s about Mr. Armstrong positioning himself for the rest of his life. Given the willingness of sports fans to forgive and ignore the bigger picture, his odds are good.

Next up, “what would really warrant a ban reduction for Armstrong”. To receive it automatically, you can subscribe here.

21 Responses to “Armstrong confession?”


  1. Gerard, would you start a running list please of all the lives Lance allegedly tried to ruin? It can start w/ the usual suspects, Andreus, LeMonds, Bassons, Simeoni, maybe Walsh? maybe Emma O’Reilly (though I don’t recall him trying to ruin her)? likewise I don’t recall LA trying to “ruin” Kimmage? Did he try to “ruin” Landis?

    I’m not denying the guy’s bad behavior, but the notion of Lance as some globally untouchable mafioso is taking on an urban legend-like status, and I think it’s important that any allegations that he was a serial “ruiner” of lives beyond those who he so publicly feuded with be backed up w/, if not evidence, at least some actual names.

    So please start naming names. For the historical record…

    Cheers. –JP

    • lettheidiotspeak Says:

      , Tyler Hamilton

    • Evan Shaw Says:

      go away. we don’t listen to fellow sociopaths you were an LA wanna be. And zebras dont change

    • Slow Cyclist Says:

      “maybe Emma O’Reilly (though I don’t recall him trying to ruin her)?” Huh? Besides accusing her of being an alcoholic and prostitute, leaving her reputation irreparably damaged (and obviously ruining her employment prospects anywhere near the sport), he sued her in both France and London, knowing that she did not have anywhere near the amount of money to defend, and essentially trying to bankrupt her. I can provide links if needed, but just google “Emma O’Reilly alcoholic prostitute”.

      Now Joe, will you come clean on how you were hired by Lance’s team to get the personal information of Race Radio and others?

    • David Walls Says:

      Of course he was globally untouchable, for over a dozen years, that is until he messed with a madder bag of spanners than he himself was and Tyler and Floyd, aided and abetted(rightly), moved in for the kill, it takes a mass movement to wipe away shit like Arsethong!!

  2. John S Says:

    , Mike Anderson…

  3. aaronwest Says:

    That’s what is so disturbing, the years and years of lies, counterattacks towards any who accused him, the conceit. I can almost forgive the doping part, but not all of the other stuff. Still eager to see how he presents his confession, and the subsequent reaction.


  4. Fully agree, Gerard, You got it! It’s not about the doping, exactly! And even if it were only one life he destroyed, that’s already enough.

  5. Ed Says:

    Gerard, about ‘level playing field': we just don’t know if it was level or not. You say LA was mediocre. Maybe he was compared to the winning riders in the 90’s. But were they clean? We just don’t know. Fot all we know without EPO he might have won the TdF ten times…
    I agree it’s ridicul to say that the odds were equal because of EPO, but it’s a fact that everybody could’ve accces to it. For that it was a ‘level playing field’.
    I’m not trying to defend the choices of LA as a bikerider or as the person he is. Nor am I questioning your opinion. I just don’t think your’re arguments are right.

    • Anonymous Says:

      What you can be sure of is that HE knew he couldn’t win without doping. You may have questions about it but he certainly did not.
      There is also the myth if the level playing field. No 2 individuals will respond to the same medication in exactly the same way. That’s true for aspirin, penicillin, and certainly the cocktail of hormones that cyclists inject into themselves.


    • I can see your point if you assume he was clean in the first half of the nineties. Then certainly being a mediocre climber and time trialer would be quite an accomplishment.

      • Evan Shaw Says:

        Science to the rescue. Those like Armstrong and Hamilton had very low normal hematocrits, 41 42. Those like Lemond, JV and others had naturally high 48 49. For Armstrong this meant EPO and blood bags were rocket fuel along with insulin, steroids, HGH testosterone. Remember his first three TDF he was 36th best finish, six minutes off winning TT and 16 minutes down in mountain stage. He was no Lemond, never. Hard work etc was all a myth.

  6. Skippy Says:

    Disappointed to see jose crapp try to derail your blog post !

    Years of thinking that ” Cancer Recovery ” required continual ” Medication to control Remission ” caused me to think that he had the appropriate TUE ‘s . Now , today we see , those that were assisting him at UCI , trying to derail the ” UCIIC ” , which THEY Created .

    Oprah has apparently struck GOLD and may well be able to spin this Event into a series of programmes , that will keep Non Cycling People , entertained through until the Giro , if not the TDF !

    Unrelated to this the ” Independant Commission ” are seeking witnesses to testify , re the UCI , now that CCN , USADA & WADA are refusing to testify whilst the current ” Terms of Reference “exist ! Link.

    http://editor.des07.com/vo/?FileID=03a7278b-0340-4cfd-93d1-2680e094d3f6&m=494e59b2-ac98-4e59-84b0-ee2d35309d4c&MailID=25854363

    In other news , Sky news , used a clip of Contador , last night , thinking it was Lance , NO KIDDING !

    CNN ‘s Pedro Pinto , ran a clip from 2001 , in which he reported that the ” Well known French Racer , LeMond , had disputed matters with Lance !

    Can you now see why Oprah was chosen by Lance ?

  7. Chris Clark Says:

    Papp,

    According to Armstrong, David Walsh is a “fucking troll.” According to the memebers of the Cycling News forum, you are.

    Chris

  8. Chrise Says:

    Would you like a list? How about all the kids who have been guided away from cycling by their parents who did not want see their child forced into a decision later in life to dope or not dope in an effort to compete. The damage from Lance reaches well past individual names and it is ridulous to think it is limited to a few individuals.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    +1 for Gerard. Papp certainly knows more about doping than most but it’s pretty easy for most people to know an a-hole when they see one.


  10. Not sure if people are aware of SKY News showing ” contador in yellow AS lance and Pedro Pinto of CNN being shown in a 2001 clip referring to ” That well known French Racer called LeMond !”
    Now we know why Oprah got to win the interview !

    Help give UCI the ” DCM ” by visiting this link:

    http://www.des07.com/t/25854363/930859094/55329232/0/Geoff.Steward@macfarlanes.com

  11. PeterB Says:

    Gerard, nice to read your blog. Now if more people in the “cycling business” would be as forthcoming with their views.
    In regards to the “everyone was doing it, it was a level playing field”, that will no doubt be pushed by LA remember:

    the 1999 tour samples that were tested. My recollection was there were some 92 sample retested for epo and 12 or 13 came up positive for epo. 6 of those samples belonging to LA.

    This is proof positive that after the Festina scandal of 1998 that the great majority of the peloton were not using epo.

    LA and USPS got the epo arms war restarted.

    So not everyone was doing it. That is another great lie that we will hear many time over from now on. I am hopeful that the journalists will quickly knock that one on the head. They certainly appear to be of a mind to not cut LA any slack at the moment but time will tell.

  12. Joel Schafer Says:

    Gerrard I have always enjoyed your perspective on cycling, and generally agree with your thoughts on Armstrong.

    What I have an issue with is that, when given a choice, your company CHOSE to do business with him. There are only a few places where I can purchase an Open Cycle in the US, and you website says that they were selectively chosen: “So we picked the best retailers we know in each country and asked them to join this project.” You could have selected any number of great bike shops in Austin or Texas, but you chose Lance Armstrong’s Mellow Johnny’s. Why?

  13. Jason Thorpe Says:

    Deadspin had an amusing article related to this recently… TLDR – The doping most people might forgive. The being-a-gigantic-prick, not so much.

    (http://deadspin.com/5976386/lance-armstrongs-biggest-crime-was-being-a-huge-asshole)


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