Seven-time Tour de France non-winner Lance Armstrong will reportedly tell the world through the vessel of Oprah that he did participate in the doping scheme he’s been denying throughout his career and since his retirement.
USA Today reported Armstrong will come clean in an interview to be taped Monday and aired Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
In October, the United States Anti-Doping Agency released a report alleging that Armstrong had been running the “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program sport has ever seen.”
When the International Cycling Union officially stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour titles, after UCI president Pat McQuaid told reporters that “Lance Armstrong deserves to be forgotten in cycling,” coming clean about doping seemed like the obvious play. Our take at the time:
If Armstrong were smart, he’d do what Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmiero, Roger Clemens, most MLB baseball players from the Steroid Era and the entire roster of professional cyclists have failed to do: come clean.
Come out and say, “Yup, I did it. So did everybody. I messed up. We all messed up. I wish I could have done it differently. I’m sorry. I had to compete with everyone else who was doing it. I’m still the best at what I do. I feel terrible about it. Don’t strip the titles and ban me. You make sure everyone knows about what I did, what we did, why this happened, why this will never happen again. But this did happen, this was the reality of the time, and you guys did nothing about it.
If we weren’t caught, it’s because you didn’t catch us. You didn’t want to catch us. How about you give back all the revenue you made off us during that time? Deal? Denounce us, put an asterisk on all our accomplishments, continue with the anti-doping programs and be done with it. Just quit being so self-righteous.”
The one hitch? Civil suits and legal headaches. USA Today has more:
Armstrong’s planned admission carries with it the risk of being sued or held liable by those who believe he defrauded them by lying about his performance and use of drugs. He also could face criminal prosecution, though that seems unlikely. For example, Armstrong testified under oath in 2005 that he never used such drugs, but he is not likely to face criminal charges for perjury the testimony is beyond the statute of limitations.
With the admission leaked, there’s only one big question: Will Armstrong cry when he makes this admission or will he own it with pride?