Blog - Cycling Things

Lance Armstrong as cunning as ever

 Armstrong, 41, has redeeming qualities as a philanthropist. He’s raised millions since establishing his Livestrong charity in 1997, recently resigning from its board. The personal perseverance remains compelling. His apologists still assert he was the best of a bad lot, his core credentials on a bike diluted but nevertheless magnificent. Was he clean when he won the world championship in 1993, a mere 21-year-old? Or, as he stated, clean after 2005? There’s no way of knowing except to take it on faith, on Armstrong’s word. And faith is what Armstrong has forsaken.

His word ? It’s gone.

“Look at this arrogant prick,’’ said Armstrong, after watching a clip of himself.

I didn’t buy it, the self-mutilation. Bollocks. This is not a humbled man. This is a guy scrapping to salvage something out of wreckage. He can be pitied, I suppose, but not reclaimed.

“I see the anger in people . . . betrayal, it’s all there. These are people who supported me, believed in me and believed me. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologizing to people.’’

BZZZZ. Wrong answer.

Sorry, no.

SOURCE: Rosie Dimanno, Toronto Star, January 18, 2013

Lance Armstrong's Confession to Oprah Isn't Enough

 Even people who don’t know a peloton from a Presta valve (just Google it) are wondering how far Armstrong will go in confessing. Will he be sufficiently contrite? Will he cry? Will he offer to compensate some of the people he has wronged? Or will he just blame the sport for his doping? (Everyone does it!)

In truth, none of that much matters. It’s hard to imagine anything that this two-wheeled con man could possibly say to warrant forgiveness — at least for now.

Armstrong was at the centre of “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,” according to the US Anti-Doping Agency. With supreme arrogance he lied about that doping for more than a decade, including under oath. Even worse, he used lawsuits, vicious sneers, and his dominant position atop cycling’s food chain to punish those who would reveal the truth. Armstrong isn’t the victim here — he’s an abuser of both the public trust and the dedicated people who have struggled hard for clean competition.

Now he’s chatting with Oprah, and maybe shedding a few tears, after being exposed as a fraud in a 1,000-page Anti-Doping Agency report. But talk, even with Oprah, is cheap compared to action. To earn true forgiveness Armstrong needs to show that his journey of redemption is more than just a self-serving bid to recover lost endorsements. Fully co-operating with sports authorities and finally revealing all his drug sources, networks, accomplices and cover-up co-conspirators would be a good start.

Once Armstrong has done that he can expect absolution, and not a moment sooner.

SOURCE: Toronto Star (Editorial), January 16 2013

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