As most of you know, Lance Armstrong sat down with Oprah this week to discuss the doping charges against him.
Through the whole interview two things warred in my head. The first was how hard it must have been for him to actually admit all of this. The second was what a jerk he is. I have a hard time believing that he felt that he wasn’t doing anything wrong and that he wouldn’t get caught. He even made the comment that if he hadn’t made his comeback to the sport that he likely would have gotten away with it. I also wondered what his motivation for admitting this now was. I can’t imagine that he thinks his ban will be lifted, so maybe it’s just that he’s reached his breaking point.
I was really impressed with Oprah – she asked all of the hard-hitting questions that had gone through my head and really pushed Lance when he seemed like he was trying to skirt the issue. I am curious what it is that makes people want to spill their guts to her.
Part two of the interview is on tonight… we’re definitely watching it, but I don’t think there’s really much more to be said (who knows though, Oprah might surprise me). There are several questions that I still have – what happens to all of the money that Lance won in the anti-deframation lawsuits? Does he pay back prize or sponsor money?
Then there’s the whole impact on the sport of cycling. It became very apparent that many of the top cyclists of that time period were also doping and using illegal substances. In fact, it was so apparent that when the UCI disqualified Lance in his seven wins, they left the spot vacated, as opposed to filling it with the 2nd place winner (as was done in 2010 when Alberto Contador was caught doping and the win was given to Andy Schleck). I think this whole thing is a devastating blow to professional cycling and, more specifically, American cycling. It makes me sad that in sports today we see this more and more – baseball, football, and soccer. I’m all for being competitive, but think it’s really sad when people feel they have to win at all costs. What happened to good sportsmanship?