Here are my thoughts on Lance and Oprah – written after the first part of the interview but before the second.
What did we learn?
Lance Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs from the early days of his cycling career to the day of his first retirement. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Lance Armstrong did not dope when he made his comeback in 2009 because it wasn’t as easy, there is more sophisticated testing and the biological passport was doing a brilliant job at ensuring it was impossible to hide. Except the biological passport that said his blood levels had only a one in a million chance of happening naturally was wrong. So the biological passport works until it doesn’t.
Dr Ferrari is a good man, a kind man, a man who never ever gave Lance Armstrong doping advice, doping programmes, doping products. In fact, Dr Ferrari is Italian so probably doesn’t even know the word doping.
Lance Armstrong called Betsy Andreu crazy. He called her crazy but he never called her fat! Because that’s actually the worst thing you can do to a woman. Say she’s fat. Ruining her husband’s career, using smear tactics to discredit her, pursuing a vendetta for years and years and years was just, you know, something that he did. But he didn’t call her fat.
Lance Armstrong gladly gives money to organisations he isn’t a fan of because he had money and that organisation, the UCI, did not and they asked him for some of his. So shrug and throw them US$125,000. Which for millionaires is the equivalent of everyday Joes putting spare change in a charity box.
Lance Armstrong wasn’t going to talk about other people because he could only speak for himself. Unless that person – and he isn’t going to call them a liar – is not telling the truth. Then he’ll talk about them and say, “I’m not going to call anyone a liar, but that’s untrue. Categorically untrue.” So that means they’re lying, right?
It’s not that easy to influence the Department of Justice to drop an investigation against you. Lance Armstrong wasn’t able to do that. But he did know that it “isn’t that easy”. Which means it’s not impossible.
Lance Armstrong is a flawed character. Could have been the trailer park upbringing. Could have been watching his single mom struggle …
Need I go on?
Oprah and Lance Armstrong