After watching the Oprah Winfrey interview (Part One) with a once-hero of mine (boy do I feel like a patsy!) Lance Armstrong, I got the sense that the only reason he’s “coming clean” is that he simply has no where else to turn. Richard Gere’s line in An Officer & A Gentleman is ringing in my ears: “I ain’t got nowhere else to go!!!”
Lance confessed to being a bully. He confessed to betraying the world. But I did not get the sense that he authentically feels remorse. He’s sorry enough, though, for getting ratted out by his former aiding and abetting cronies via USADA. Had he not decided to make a comeback in 2009 and 2010, he in all probability would have remained an uncaught doper, and in his words, “would not be sitting here today.” You could see him kicking himself for that, 20-20 hindsight being what it is.
Lance was forthcoming, and did not backpedal (sorry for the pun), but unless something more heartfelt and emotional comes from tonight’s part two, I get the sense that nothing he can do will ever enable him to attain the kind of trust and inspiration he engendered…to cyclists, and to cancer victims. Add him to the Tiger Woods et al Hall of Disfame.
The title of his book, which I’ve now thrown in the garbage, should have read: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LIE: Biker, Bully, Betrayor.
It’s certainly NOT about Lance. The larger issue in all of this is the ineffectiveness of the war on drugs. Battling it as a crime is obviously not working. We need an elegant solution, one that makes it impossible for a professional athlete to compete with an unfair advantage.