Well it’s about damn time. The New York Times reported that Lance Armstrong is “considering” confessing to his use of performance-enhancing drugs during his professional cycling career–something he has vehemently denied for years. But now, it looks like he might be having a change of heart–although not for the right reason.
The NYT released a shocking report on Saturday stating that the seven-time Tour de France winner who was stripped of those honors last fall may finally confess about his illegal drug use:
Lance Armstrong, who this fall was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping and barred for life from competing in all Olympic sports, has told associates and antidoping officials that he is considering publicly admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career, according to several people with direct knowledge of the situation. He would do this, the people said, because he wants to persuade antidoping officials to restore his eligibility so he can resume his athletic career.
That’s right…he would confess so he could “resume his athletic career.” Not because it’s the right thing to do. Not because he owes fans and supporters and sponsors an apology. Not because he outright lied over and over again. And not because he wants to be a decent role model to his children. No, Armstrong would confess so he could continue competing in marathons and triathlons where he has been banned. It all seems very contrived and self-serving.
But would the USADA really listen and care what he has to say at this point? Apparently, they would.
As the NYT noted yesterday, both Armstrong and the USADA could benefit here:
Yet within the last month, Armstrongâ€™s representatives reached out to Tygart to arrange a meeting between Armstrong and the agency. The goal of that meeting was to find out if a confession could mitigate Armstrongâ€™s lifetime ban from Olympic sports, according to several people with knowledge of the situation. Those people did not want their names published because it would jeopardize their access to sensitive information on the matter.
Tygart welcomed the invitation, and that meeting occurred last month, one person familiar with the situation said. In the end, no matter how much Tygart and Armstrong had fought each other, they still need each other. Armstrong, 41, would like to resume competing in triathlons and running events that are sanctioned by organizations that follow the World Anti-Doping Code. Tygart wants to know how Armstrong so skillfully eluded testing positive for banned drugs for nearly a decade.
Ah, so that’s the real story. Two people who have publicly hated each other in this all-out war are now considering reconciling to help themselves. Interesting. And once again, disappointing.
The USADA should not even consider letting up on their decision to indict Armstrong. Just like sponsors and fans should not consider letting him back into their hearts. This is the guy (who was once my idol) who publicly deceived, lied and cheated for more than a decade. Along with that came millions of sponsor dollars, donations to his Livestrong Foundation, and fans (many of whom were children) who looked up to him as a positive role model.
It’s maddening that all of that could simply be made right with a long overdue confession.
Tell us what you think. Would you forgive Armstrong and support him again if he confessed?