Oprah closed the second part of the interview with Lance Armstrong in his doping confession “I hope the moral to this story is what Kristen told you in 2009, The Truth will set you Free”.
The world knew that Armstrong had doped and it was up to Lance to confess which his did in the first part of his doping confession on Oprah: One Big Lie. While the doping confessions provides some closure, it was the questions that Lance Armstrong avoided, talked around and the nervous denials that will leave a lot of observers unsatisfied.
The second part of the interview was more focused on Lance, how he is feeling and his family, it was familiar territory for Oprah Winfrey as a talkshow host. More about emotion and less about situations for which observers are still seeking answers.
While the interview was heavily edited before broadcasting, it seems to have been linear – there was a lot more repetition as Lance reconfirms that he is sorry, there were however a few snippets that will raise eyebrows.
When asked whether he deserves to be able to compete again, Lance responded “I think I deserve it” and suggested that others had received 6 month bans and he receives a “death sentence”. The magnitude of his actions against his competitors hasn’t registered yet, not only with the number of competitive victories over such a long time frame, but also the side stories of bribery (accusations) and his legal fights and suing people which is now clearly based upon the lie.
The donation attempt to the USADA was discussed with Lance denying knowing who would made the offer. Oprah asked “Were you trying to pay off the USADA?” to which Lance responded “No, that is not true.”
In fact, Lance points the finger back at the USADA asking why this wasn’t included in their reasoned decision. Extremely murky territory though we are asked by Lance to believe him even though he has become a serial liar.
In short, the second part lacked the substance, included a lot of repetition and spent little or no time on topics that may have legal or financial implications.
The interview comes across as an orchestrated event, at least from Armstrong’s side while the Oprah team have every interest in promoting this, even if they haven’t the power (or jurisdiction) to delve into the details to deliver a complete and more truthful picture.
John Fahey, the chief of the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) said after part one “The evidence shows variations in [Armstrong’s] blood that show with absolute certainty that he was doping after 2005. Believe Usada or believe Armstrong. I know who to believe.”
There is very real doubt about the extent of the truth that was revealed. Armstrong said in Part One that he wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for the USADA action – he would not have confessed. Have we heard the convenient truth or entire truth?