Armstrong has more than drug-taking to confess

Lance Armstrong. Picture: LUCAS JACKSON
Lance Armstrong. Picture: LUCAS JACKSON


If reports are true that Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey in an interview to air on Friday (AEDT) that he used performance-enhancing drugs, they should be taken with caution.

A confession to have cheated during his career would be a step in the right direction for all those who have been robbed of potential wins and livelihoods, or even the many who believed in him.

But before anyone can really start applauding his confession - if that is what he provided Winfrey in their interview recorded in Austin, Texas on Monday (US time) - we must first know exactly what he confessed to. And that must be more than just a "yeah, I took drugs" admission.

The 41-year-old Texan has a lot more questions to answer, based on the United States Anti Doping Agency's "Reasoned Decision" last October for its findings against Armstrong, who has been banned for life and was stripped of all results from August 1, 1998 - including seven Tour de France titles.

Not only do the charges focus on drug-taking, but possession and trafficking - and with that, a litany of charges of intimidation that bullying that extends way beyond the realm of sport.

That he refused to confront USADA to answer the charges in the first place, saying the body was carrying out a witch-hunt, is an issue in itself, and one that sealed his fate - and justifiably so.

And if he has admitted to doping to Winfrey, as has been reported, he must be made to answer for his claims about USADA's motivation - add to that his attacks against those who were brave enough to stand up against him during his peak years and later when they agreed to testify.

Which makes you wonder why - up until this point since the interview with Winfrey was made - all that has been reported is that he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. Since the news that Armstrong would be doing an interview with Winfrey broke, public reaction has made it clear that anything less than a full-blown explanation to all of the evidence against Armstrong will not be accepted.

Or is the drip-feeding "reports" such as this one merely aimed at maintaining public awareness that the interview will be aired on Friday - thereby ensuring that the ratings for Winfrey's OWN cable TV network are optimal?

I hope there is more to come ... Armstrong owes it to all to answer every charge against him.

Based on the evidence, he owes more than the staff members at the Livestrong charity workers an apology. Many lives have been left in tatters by their dealings with Armstrong.

The fallout, if it is indeed true that Armstrong has provided Winfrey with a full confession, will be huge.

There will be massive legal repercussions for Armstrong from any confession he has given. But if he falls short of providing full disclosure, his future will remain doomed.

Many will say that future should remain doomed whatever he says. But what is sure is that he will have no chance if it shows that he has held back. Either way, we are owed the truth.


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