Lance Armstrong admits cheating during Oprah Winfrey interview
News broke last week that Oprah Winfrey would be interviewing the once championed 7-time Tour de France winner on January 14th. The interview will air on Oprah’s fledgling network, OWN, in a 90 minute special starting at 8 pm central. Oprah has confirmed that Lance Armstrong did indeed admit to cheating, but “not in the manner she expected.” I, like millions of others, will be watching the interview.
Armstrong was one of my heroes during high school. I often wore his Livestrong bracelet. Allegations of cheating had stained the star’s career for several of the past years. I remained resolute in my convictions and believed he was wrongly persecuted. Last October I posted that I had finally accepted the fact he is a cheater. I couldn’t look the other way.
At the time I wasn’t angry.
I was simply let down.
I was let down by a hero I used to know.
I feel duped. I don’t feel he owes me an apology though. I feel he should apologize (as he did on Monday) to his foundation. I’m curious to know why someone would cheat for so long. He apparently took performance enhancing drugs before he got cancer. Some theorize that the drugs could have increased the probability of getting cancer. I don’t know if that’s true. I’m not a doctor and will not pose to be one.
I hope children and young adults watch this interview. I hope they watch it so they can understand that no matter how well you think you hide it, the truth will always come out. Players should really think if it is worth ruining their career over short-term satisfaction. It is short-term because sooner or later they will get busted.
Some have asked if he should have to pay back his endorsement deal money to the respective companies. I’m in the minority who doesn’t think he should. The companies themselves shouldn’t be found liable of any wrong doing unless they were complicit in the crime. They were only promoting an athlete that was at the “top of his game.” It wasn’t a case of false advertising. At least not one that they could prove. You have to understand that practically everyone in his team, as well as trainers, doctors, etc covered this up. The cover up itself is massive. He shouldn’t have to repay anything because these companies certainly made a profit because of his endorsement. Would they then have to pay him back the estimated amount he brought in to each company simply by liking their brand? His endorsement at this point isn’t worth anything, but back then it was one of the most highly sought.
I’m looking forward to watching the interview. I don’t think Oprah will go “easy” on him. No matter what he says, I will remember that he’s:
Somebody I Used to Know.
Do you think he should have to pay back the money?
Will you be watching the interview?
What do you think of him now?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate