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Monday, 21 January 2013

ARMSTRONG: CONFESSION A LA CARTE

Since his first win of a Tour de France I had the suspicion that something was amiss. It seemed impossible at the time as we just had come through the Festina scandals and Pantani's downfall, surely nobody would be able to fool controls.
Then, like many, I read Armstrong's book It's not about the bike and the first bells started to ring. He was one of the first cancer patients to try EPO to recover from therapies. Cinically I thought that if he had tested first hand the benefits of this drug, it would only be logical to assume his climbing prowess came from further use of it. He hadn't simply improved his climbing, he was one of the best.
That's when I started to be suspicious.
His confession was therefore long overdue as far as I was concerned.
I was still surprised when it came though, I never thought he would ever admit to doping.
The first minute or so of Oprah's interview was all I needed. I simply wanted to hear him say Yes I doped. Everything else that followed was just mumbo jumbo of no relevance. A mixture of PR and legal censoring. He was clearly taking people for a ride when admitting to doping up until 2005 and no further, when clearly his biological passport is showing otherwise. This in turns implicates the UCI even further as cover-ups were needed to carry on racing.

Can't blame too much a guy for not wanting to go to jail, but why doing a 2 hour interview with no actual information and half-hearted apologies? He picked and chose what to say and not to say, therefore continuing to control the narrative, which is one of the first sins he confessed!
Whether he is really sorry or not is irrelevant. I have no interest in the person, just in the sport. Clearly the truth will come out and it's only a matter of time.
How he carried out his scheme, which sports directors, owners, doctors, dealers, authorities, allowed this to go on for so long. We all know the names.
Lance is suggesting a truth and reconciliation body but after denying the undeniable I really don't see the point.
The cleaning up of cycling is well under way, the people involved will slowly go out of the sport. I believe in a cleaner generation. Some cheaters will always exist but in smaller proportions than in the past. It is thanks to doubters that this is happening... scrutiny is necessary.

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