FanDuel - WFBC

January 18, 2013

Lance Armstrong Admits Using PEDs, Destroying People: In an interview with Oprah Winfrey broadcast on her cable network Thursday, disgraced champion cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted that he took performance enhancing drugs, engaged in blood doping and engaged in lawsuits and other efforts to destroy the people who told the truth about his efforts to cheat. "I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times," said Armstrong, whose public act of contrition is part of a choreograped campaign to persuade the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to let him compete in elite triathlons. One of his victims was former U.S. cycling team massage therapist Emma O'Reilly. After she went public with her knowledge of Armstrong's cheating in 2003, he sued her and characterized her as a prostitute with an alcohol problem. "He was suing me for more than I was worth. I was worried he would bankrupt me," she said.

posted by rcade to other at 01:02 PM - 29 comments

Me in 2004: "... It sure would be nice if some of you oh-so-certain people would occasionally express a little doubt about Armstrong's guilt, considering that there is not a a scintilla of evidence that one of the greatest athletes of our times is a doping cheat."

I hate that I used the phrase "scintilla of evidence" in support of Lance Armstrong's innocence. That's one of my unstoppable rhetorical fighting moves.

posted by rcade at 01:15 PM on January 18

The line for civil lawsuits against him starts on the right....

posted by Bonkers at 01:28 PM on January 18

Where was the remorse?

posted by yzelda4045 at 01:28 PM on January 18

In the clips I saw this morning, Armstrong's demeanor was practically robotic. He laughed at things that aren't funny, like not knowing how many people he tried to destroy with lawsuits.

posted by rcade at 01:34 PM on January 18

Weirdly I was typing about the Simeoni incident when I noticed that rcade linked to it.

That aggression against people is what burns me on Lance. Never mind cheating, but the flat out destruction of anyone who might even attempt to pull back the curtain is something there aren't enough apologies for.

It absolutely feels like he's sorry he got caught, not sorry for what he did.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:39 PM on January 18

Not defending Armstrong at all, but I think the laughter was a mask for awkwardness; the truth (or some of it) is brand new territory for him.

The destruction of others' characters and careers is the most the damning thing for me. I can't excuse, but I think I have a better understanding of, the mentality behind all the doping, but the outright bullying is unforgivable - a fact he actually recognized in the interview.

If it were just the doping and I saw him on the street, I would walk up and say hello, but the borderline sociopathic way he attacked anyone who got in his way makes me want to keep my kids away from him, not that I would fear for their safety, but because I associate him with vindictiveness, not exactly a family value. That being said, I have a friend who trained on the Xterra Tri course in Maui with him a couple years ago - just the two of them for over an hour - and reported that Lance was a mellow, down-to-earth guy (now it appears with a pretty strong dark side).

posted by sbacharach at 02:47 PM on January 18

I second MrB's comments about lack of remorse. Lance felt like he'd almost gotten away with it but was just dragged back in at the last moment. Poor guy.

posted by sbacharach at 02:49 PM on January 18

That aggression against people is what burns me on Lance.

Insert old cliche about "power corrupts" here.

posted by NerfballPro at 03:14 PM on January 18

No surprises at all in his "confession". Disappointed, but not surprised that he is not naming others - that will come when and if he testifies under oath to USADA or WADA. Too much legal risk to do it here.

As for his lack of contrition, not really surprised. He was a prick before he took PEDs - they didn't make him one. I saw a quote from a former teammate of his saying this is all new turf for Lance. He's never apologized to anyone for anything before, so he literally doesn't know how to act.

Too bad he didn't come out immediately after his cancer diagnosis and come clean. He never would have won the TdF, but he would have retained some credibility and dignity. He has none now, he could never do enough to repay all the damage he has done to other people and the sport.

I'd like to see some of the companies and individuals who supported Lance in his "reign of terror" on accusers get some heat. Will Trek admit they trashed Lemond's bike business in support of Lance? Will any of media (other than David Walsh and Paul Kimmage) admit they dropped the ball in not questioning Lance and his performance more forcibly? Will UCI take responsibility for anything?

Personally, I grew tired of Lance at least 10 years ago. I wish he would just go away.

posted by BikeNut at 03:14 PM on January 18

That aggression against people is what burns me on Lance.

Agreed. It was a Deadspin article a few years back about how he basically destroyed the life of his former bike mechanic that did me in.

posted by yerfatma at 04:04 PM on January 18

Not surprised he decided to confess now. I don't think there were many people other than the nutty that believed he was clean, he lost live strong, was stripped of his victories. Not that much to lose anymore (ignoring lawsuits). I think that contributes to this being not that big a story. I mean, it is, but it's kind of anticlimactic at this point.

posted by justgary at 04:17 PM on January 18

I still have fond memories of all the flyby accounts we used to get, blaming the French for any negativity toward Lance

Any time there was an Armstrong thread you'd only get five or six comments in before someone showed up using all caps to attack the French. Those guys were fun.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:28 PM on January 18

so my question is , If no one juiced would he have been best?

posted by Debo270 at 05:23 PM on January 18

Y'know, just this past Tuesday I was talking about Armstrong at a bar with friends, and was vocally defending the doping- as you all know here, I'm totally okay with pros using PEDs, whether you agree with it or not, and don't distinguish between greenies and Tommy John Surgery and "The Clear": all are to me just ways in which science and biotechnology are making it possible for elite athletes to stay at their level for longer, with less injury and physical degradation. Besides, in particular with the TdF, as Debo270 basically asks/implies if they all were doping, then he still was the best anyway.

But the bit about the lawsuits and especially the attacking of that assistant:

Mr Bismarck: That aggression against people is what burns me on Lance. Never mind cheating, but the flat out destruction of anyone who might even attempt to pull back the curtain is something there aren't enough apologies for.
I wasn't aware of that, I thought he was either innocent or just denying using, and that's it. But wow- now I'm fairly sure he's an undiagnosed, sub-clinical sociopath, and a total, unredeemable prick.


Fuck Lance Armstrong. Fuck him into a shameful grave.

posted by hincandenza at 06:26 PM on January 18

I'm totally okay with pros using PEDs ... with less injury and physical degradation.

Aren't these two concepts incompatible? Steroids and other PEDs have some pretty serious side effects and have been linked to cancer.

posted by rcade at 06:34 PM on January 18

Rick Reilly does not accept Lance's apology to Oprah, or his emailed apology to him.

posted by rcade at 07:35 PM on January 18

Oh man, I forgot how much Reilly stood up for Armstrong!

Okay, the humiliation of Rick Reilly is probably one of the few great things about Lance Armstrong's downfall.

posted by grum@work at 08:33 PM on January 18

The article about the bike mechanic is what I always think of lately whenever Armstrong's in the news again. Sweet, sweet karma. But in general, fuck this guy. I hope he loses absolutely everything over this.

posted by evixir at 10:48 PM on January 18

Me in 2004

I've put a little mea in my culpa since then, thanks to reading a lot more about the bike culture of the late 90s, as the omerta has gradually been chipped away and the early whistleblowers have been vindicated. Simeoni doesn't need my apology, but he has earned some (non-wage-earning) satisfaction.

all are to me just ways in which science and biotechnology are making it possible for elite athletes to stay at their level for longer

Except that they're also making it possible for aspiring elite athletes to drop dead, something which you apparently refuse to acknowledge, conflating "science and biotechnology" with folk medicine and "if this works, take twice as much and see if it works twice as well".

posted by etagloh at 12:17 AM on January 19

I'm with George Carlin.

Guess Armstrong will pocket a bucket load of cash from the Oprah gig - just more salt in the wounds of the many whose lives he has damaged. I am assuming there are laws that allow authorities to seize property obtained via crime in the US.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:40 AM on January 19

I am assuming there are laws that allow authorities to seize property obtained via crime in the US.

Unless he testified under oath that he didn't use PEDs during the TdF (therefore possibly setting him up for perjury charges), I don't think any crime has been committed. Cheating in a sporting event isn't a crime.

Even if he did perjure himself, property seizures are for drug dealing/terrorism crimes only.

posted by grum@work at 01:03 AM on January 19

I just want to go up to LeBron James and give him a huge hug and tell him he can sit down with Jim Gray anytime he wants and make us watch whatever he and Jim want to talk about and it won't matter, it's all good.

posted by beaverboard at 07:54 AM on January 19

I read somewhere this week that the statute of limitations on the last crime Armstrong committed involving PEDs expired recently.

posted by rcade at 08:48 AM on January 19

I just want to go up to LeBron James and give him a huge hug and tell him he can sit down with Jim Gray anytime...

Do basketball players use PEDs or have drug testing? I don't recall hearing too much about that.

posted by jmd82 at 10:46 AM on January 19

The statute of limitations may have expired, but I expect to see a lot of "settled out of court" in Lance's future. Only this time it'll be him handing over money.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:47 AM on January 19

Do basketball players use PEDs or have drug testing?

I just meant that as vigorously as I disliked LeBron's "Decision" interview at the time, it is now a sunny triviality in comparison with the Armstrong interview.

LeBron was just a poorly advised, self-centered young guy. Armstrong is evil.

posted by beaverboard at 11:51 AM on January 19

I read somewhere this week that the statute of limitations on the last crime Armstrong committed involving PEDs expired recently.

As much as I hate FTFYs, I think you mean "the last crime Armstrong has admitted to committing".

posted by Etrigan at 12:34 PM on January 19

It's too bad George Carlin isn't still around. Armstrong is a sociopath.

posted by insomnyuk at 03:43 PM on January 19

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