Apparently Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah yesterday that he did indeed engage in doping during his cycling career (despite the many times he has out-righted lied and said “I have never doped.”) We all knew this was coming (even his die-heard fans on Facebook who refused to believe it could be true all this time). So why is everyone really shocked or surprised that Armstrong finally confessed? And what does this really mean at this point?
According to ABC News, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Armstrong yesterday and sources say that he finally admitted to doping during his career, although Oprah told CBS This Morning that he “did not come clean in the manner [she] expected.”
What does that mean? Does that mean he kind of confessed? He admitted to using certain drugs but didn’t know they constituted doping? He thought it was OK to do because everyone else was doping too? We don’t know.
What we do know is that Armstrong is now completely and officially screwed. He will likely lose any remaining fans and sponsors–and he’s opened himself up to a huge lawsuit with the federal government who will want to recoup millions that were given to him and his U.S.Postal team during the Tour de France years.
Was this also discussed in the interview? Oprah didn’t say. While not giving too much away, she did tell CBS This Morning that the interview got intense:
We were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers. I feel that he answered the questions in a way that he was ready. … He certainly had prepared himself for this moment. … He brought it. He really did.
Oprah went on to explain that is was an obviously difficult interview for Armstrong:
I would say there were a couple of times where he was emotional. But that doesn’t describe the intensity at times.
So here’s the big question: Is he truly remorseful for what he did? For all the years of lying and cheating and deceiving? Or is this simply another publicity stunt in an attempt to save what’s left of his brand and his reputation and his future career?
It’s obvious that this is not about coming clean because it’s the right thing to do. There have been prior reports that Armstrong is trying to strike a deal with the USADA so that he can compete again in sanctioned triathlons and marathons. So all of this feels very self-serving and meaningless.
What does a confession at this point really mean? Is he even sincere?
Oprah says that’s for us to decide:
I would rather people make their own decisions about whether he was contrite or not.
The interview will air on the OWN network this Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. Will you be watching?