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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