Back in October we learned that 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was stripped of his 7 title wins after it was determined by the United States Anti-Doping Agency that he was guilty of cheating by using performance enhancement drugs/techniques. Today we learn that Lance has finally confessed to the allegations in a new interview with Oprah Winfrey that is scheduled to air this Thursday. At this point, we don’t yet know for sure exactly what Lance said in the interview and to what extent he “comes clean” but according to sources present when the interview took place, he does admit wrongdoing.
Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he started using performance-enhancing drugs to gain an edge in cycling in the mid-1990s, before he was diagnosed with cancer, a person familiar with the interview told USA TODAY Sports. Armstrong and his representatives also have had discussions with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency about meeting soon over several days for a “full debrief,” when Armstrong would be expected to “answer every question, give over records, telephone calls, test results, everything,” the source said. It is not certain if Armstrong will agree to the full debriefing, but he is aware it would be a prerequisite to any potential reduction of his lifetime ban from sanctioned competitions, the source told USA TODAY Sports … Armstrong had intended to make a general confession to Winfrey but avoid getting into great detail during the interview, which was held Monday in Armstrong’s hometown of Austin. Winfrey went on Twitter to say the interview lasted more than 21/2 hours and Armstrong “came READY!” She will appear today on CBS This Morning to promote the interview, which will be shown on the Oprah Winfrey Network … Armstrong’s admission that he started doping in the mid-1990s is consistent with USADA’s evidence. In one statement, former Armstrong teammate George Hincapie said he and Armstrong started using the blood booster EPO around 1995 or ’96 because they felt they otherwise could not compete. Another cyclist, Stephen Swart, said in his statement that he knew his teammates on the 1995 Tour de France team were using EPO, including Armstrong. The source told USA TODAY Sports that the Armstrong camp also has had discussions with federal authorities about naming others who were involved in doping, a step that could qualify as the substantial assistance that cycling’s governing bodies would require before considering a reduction of Armstrong’s penalties. According to the source, one stumbling block for Armstrong could be the International Cycling Union, which the source says remains opposed to “truth and reconciliation,” meaning the possibility of reducing Armstrong’s ban to anything less than eight years. Before talking to the iconic talk-show host Winfrey on Monday, Armstrong issued an emotional apology to the staff at Livestrong, the charity he founded to support cancer survivors.
Well, they say confession is good for the soul and after so many years of bold-faced lying to everyone, I guess it was time for Lance Armstrong to finally admit wrongdoing. While I, personally, am glad he is finally coming clean, I can’t say that I really respect him very much for doing so. It’s far too late. He is a very wealthy man, he will remain a very wealthy man. In the end, I suppose the ends do justify the means because his cheating did allow him to start the Livestrong Foundation, an organization that does such great work for cancer patients. In the end, tho, I don’t think he should be allowed to participate in any professional sporting event ever again. Yes, he confessed … but far too late for me to really believe repentance. It’s a shame that someone that so many people look up to has turned out by his own admission to be a dirty lying cheater.