Can Lance Armstrong fight back?
He's going to have to crawl through a lot of crap before he sees daylight.
Each week I think to myself, “Okay, this is going to be the last Lance Armstrong news for a little while.” But last Friday night I was proven wrong.
Juliet Macur of the New York Times reported that the disgraced cyclist was weighing the option of admitting his doping past. The reason for his wanting to come clean was he missed competition and perhaps admitting to his doping past would grant him some leniency.
At this point Armstrong is barred from stuffing himself into a Speedo in any event that follows the World Anti-Doping Code. Sure, he can line-up in smaller events that don’t observe these regulations, but let’s be honest, these are second-rate tiered events at best. Do you think Armstrong really gets any satisfaction racing against local heroes and a couple of thousand age-groupers? You can say what you like about him, but we can all agree he’s super-competitive and would want nothing less than to line up in Hawaii at the Ironman.
Alas, he cannot. So in a Hail Mary maneuver it’s been reported that his lawyer is negotiating with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to remove his life-time ban and allow Armstrong to return in two or four years to competition. In return WADA gets an admission to doping. But what can we really expect from the man whose long list of cycling achievements has been wiped clean from the history books?
If history is any indicator I don’t think we can get a heartfelt admission of guilt. Or one that is filled with apologies to the people whose lives he made miserable. There won’t be a tearful confession begging forgiveness from Betsy Andreu or Emily O’Reilly. “You were right Mr. Kimmage and Mr. Walsh,” is a statement we’ll never hear.
Instead I anticipate statements along the line of “everyone was doing it, so it really wasn’t cheating – I just happened to dope the best.” Johan Bruyneel is still supposed to have his day in front of a hearing panel to decide his fate, but to be honest I never thought that would happen. There was just too much evidence from too many people for the Belgian director to mount any type of believable defense to the contrary. Bruyneel is collateral damage for Armstrong. The last thing Bruyneel would hear before the bus ran him over is Armstrong whispering in his ear, “Thanks for the good times JB, but we all knew it would end this way.”
And what about the man behind the US Postal team, Thomas Weisel? If Armstrong gives it up, Weisel could be in a world of hurt. But I wonder if he has enough money to keep him insulated against the truth bombs Armstrong would be dropping on his doorstep? Personally I’d love to see Weisel and his group of chamois-sniffers see jail time or at the least hit with huge monetary fines. However, I don’t see that happening. Weisel, so far, has been Teflon in regards to his association with the Postal team.
So for the sake of argument let’s say