Here are the thoughts of our newest VeloVoice, Ant, on you-know-who.
I used to be a fan of the Texan drug baron back when it was still feasible to think he wasn’t a doper. I enjoyed watching him race and admired him as a rider. He never struck me as somebody who I’d actually like as a person but I understood that winners need that element of arrogance and selfishness. It didn’t dawn on me how far that arrogance, selfishness and desire to win had pushed him. Thankfully the truth has been exposed and we’re in no doubt as to what lengths this obsessive, almost crazed bully – I can call him crazy, as long as I don’t call him fat – would go to in order to win. Some of the stories that have been unveiled are nothing short of shocking, and his behaviour in recent months nothing short of bizarre.
As Tim suggested, ‘Doprah’ was most likely just the first move in a strategy to turn this PR freefall around. I haven’t watched the chat show confession but I’d be a hypocrite if I said I had no interest in it as I’m writing about it – I just couldn’t bring myself to watch him being indulged. In my ten wishes for 2013, I wished for Lance to man up and confess or fight. He’s sort of done that, but this is not really enough. I don’t think his repentance is genuine. I think that he’s saying what he knows he needs to say, without meaning it. I also don’t see any honesty about what motivated his confession and see his ‘need to compete’ thing as a smokescreen. Yes, he’s ultra-competitive, but how many years of top-flight triathlon competition has he got in him? Two? Five? After being obstinate for so long, would that be enough to get him to u-turn away from his strategy of aggressive denial? I doubt it and I fully believe that there is an alternative endgame.
Can Lance redeem himself? He has an interesting psychological make-up and certain aspects, such as the desire to win, will be consistent amongst many cyclists, as will the circumstances that led him to dope. I want him to use the insight gained from his own demise to help others and to help the sport clean itself up.
Lance was a big part cycling’s problems, and remains so with this continued pantomime. But certain individuals out in the crowd heckling the bad guy are also part of the pantomime, and neither party is currently producing a solution. I don’t like him and I don’t like where he’s at right now, but his demise and destruction is not a cause for celebration. If he goes down, we’ve all gone through pain for nothing. There are no winners from that outcome. He’ll never repair what he’s done but a romantic part of me believes in redemption, and there is still a chance that he can salvage something good from the disgrace that has been his career.
Oprah and Lance Armstrong