In an immense media buildup to worldwide interest Lance Armstrong has officially confessed to doping in his interview with Oprah Winfrey, including for the seven Tour de France Victories.
Finally the public has some satisfaction – satisfaction of a confirmation what everyone knew and what he was charged with. The interview kicked off with the questions of doping and without padding was direct.
Lance Armstrong: “The story and so bad and so toxic, and a lot of it is true.”
The padding and indecisiveness began later with questions on specific events such as doping in the tour bus while fans were outside and for most of the questions regarding other people or organisations.
Strangely, Armstrong says that he is “no fan of the UCI” which is unusual considering the backing of the UCI and that he ‘donated’ money to them which he says they asked for because they needed money.
Most revealing is the suggestion that he wouldn’t be sitting here today – confessing with Oprah if it hadn’t had been for the USADA case. Lets think about that, only because of the USADA case is he driven to confess and had otherwise no intention.
What he did confess to:
– Doping with EPO, Testosterone, Blood Doping
– Doping during all seven Tour de France wins
– The last time he doped was in 2005
– bullying (to an extent)
– The story regarding Emma O’Reilly and the backdating of cortisone
What he didn’t confess to:
– (Verbally) pressuring anyone to dope
– Firing anyone from his team for not doping
– Masterminding / Conspiracy
– UCI bribery
– Testing positive during the 2001 Tour de Suiss and coverup
– Betsy Andreu and the hospital accusations of doping admission to doctors (In the interview he says he wont discuss and suggested a deal has been made).
What he avoided:
– That Michelle Ferarri was involved “he was a good man”
– Generally talking about others
It is disturbing to see the smirks and attempts at jokes for example the bullying of Betsy Andreu, it is certainly not a joking matter. There is an aire of confidence in the way Armstrong addresses questions which he wants to answer. Where Armstrong doesn’t have a direct answer he moves around and talks around the question – suggesting that we are not hearing the whole story.
Cycling fans who have followed this case want more detail and answers on specifics are left partially only partially satisfied – though Oprah Winfrey is still asking many of the questions “we” want answers to – even if clear answers are not forthcoming. Part two is likely to be less informative: “how did you feel when…?” His motivations for the interview and future will be asked though based on part one will unlikely escape the feeling of “self preservation”.
Further community discussion in the forums: Holy showtime Batman – Lance to admit doping?
Photo © jdegenhardt