IT TOOK precisely one minute and 45 seconds for Lance Armstrong to renounce lies he maintained belligerently for decades. Unemotional, not especially contrite, but guilty as charged – he doped throughout his seven Tour de France victories, he lied, he bullied. He is a now a self-confessed fraud.
Finally the man who believed he could deceive everyone has admitted the sad facts himself. Not that he wanted to. In a 90-minute interview with Oprah Winfrey, the world’s most famous talkshow host, the American once extolled as one of the best athletes on the planet made it patently clear he would not have confessed to anything if he had not been caught.
In Part One of a highly stage-managed, and no doubt heavily strategised, coming out, Armstrong was confronted with the bluntest questions first. Ensuring there was no room for grey on matters that had never been entirely black and white, he was instructed to give yes or no answers.
Did he ever take banned substances to enhance his cycling performance? Yes.
Was one of those banned substances EPO? Yes.
Did he ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance his cycling performance? Yes.
Did he ever use other banned substances such as testosterone or cortisone or human growth hormone? Yes.
Did he use banned substances and blood dope during his seven Tour de France victories? Yes.
Was it humanly possible to win the Tour de France in seven consecutive years without using banned drugs?
Armstrong broke the one-word answer rule on this question, but his response might as well have been no.
”Not in my opinion,” he said.
Then came the extrapolation and reflection – much of it disturbingly deluded – on a litany of sins he committed not only against sport but against everyday people.
”I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times,” he said.
”The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.