The worst kept secret in all of sports is officially no longer a secret. Lance Armstrong, the man who for years vociferously denied doping at any point during his extremely successful pro cycling career, has confessed to doing just that during a special appearance on Oprah’s television show.
As reported by the Associated Press:
Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey during an interview Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the interview is to be broadcast Thursday on Winfrey's network.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour De France titles and banned from pro competition late last year by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Despite a mountain of evidence pointing to the contrary and his own seeming reluctance to continue fighting in a legal capacity, Armstrong defiantly maintained that any and all allegations of him taking PEDs were bogus.
That all changed about a week ago when the New York Times reported that Armstrong was considering finally giving up. Juliet Macur, the author of the story, indicated that Armstrong’s main motivation for wanting to come clean was him wanting to “persuade antidoping officials to restore his eligibility so he can resume his athletic career.”
Several outlets have reported (and I say several because I don’t remember which ones) that USADA can reduce punishment by as much as 75 percent if a party cooperates. Presumably Armstrong is doing just that.
It remains to be seen what sort of legal ramifications this purported confession will have for Armstrong. Over the past decade he has spent a lot of his time waging legal war against any and all who questioned his cleanliness as a cyclist and general sainthood – at least some of those folks will no doubt be looking for retribution.
Stay tuned, things are about to get interesting.