The Final Confession of Lance
Disgraced cyclist apologizes to staff amid reports of a forthcoming tell-all interview.
AUSTIN, TX: Lance Armstrong has apologised to the staff of this foundation, Livestrong, prior to the release of an interview with TV’s Oprah Winfrey where it is being speculated he will admit to all doping charges levied against him.
The 41 year old cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour-de-France titles by the sport’s governing body last year, ceased fighting charges in August that he had partaken in doping, but has always maintained his innocence. Armstrong also received a lifetime ban from governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) and was reportedly close to tears during his meeting with his staff.
“He had a private conversation with the staff, who have done the important work of the foundation for many years,” Foundation spokeswoman Katherine McLane was quoted by Reuters.
“It was a very sincere and heartfelt expression of regret over any stress that they’ve suffered over the course of the last few years as a result of the media attention,” she added.
At the weekend, Armstrong told the Associated Press: “I’m calm, I’m at ease and ready to speak candidly.” He declined to go into further details before heading to an interview with America’s favourite ‘Agony Aunt.’
The recording took place on Monday and is scheduled to broadcast on Thursday. Following completion of the recording, Winfrey tweeted:
Just wrapped with
@lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours . He came READY!
His lawyer, Tim Herman, has described the Usada report as a “one-sided hatchet job” and the cyclist himself has accused the agency of offering “corrupt inducements” to other riders to speak out against him.
The New York Times has reported Armstrong’s supporters are concerned he could face perjury charges if he confesses to using performance-enhancing drugs, because he made sworn testimony in a 2005 court case that he had never done so. In addition, the cyclist faces a number of legal cases.
Armstrong, himself, is a survivor of several forms of cancer.
Armstrong may receive absolution from the public through this potential confession, but forgiveness from the sport may be harder to achieve. British Olympic Gold Medalist Nicole Cooke MBE, who recently announced her retirement, used her parting statement in The Guardian to attack drug cheats and sent a personal blow to Armstrong:
When Lance “cries” on Oprah later this week and she passes him a tissue, spare a thought for all of those genuine people who walked away with no reward – just shattered dreams. Each one of them is worth a thousand Lances.