In many ways, Lance Armstrong's debacle is old news. In October 2012, he was officially implicated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in an elaborate doping cover-up. The USADA reported its findings in a 1,000-page document. In the cycling world, this was cataclysmic — for his name was wiped from the record books and his seven Tour de France victories stripped from him. And to the world of trusting individuals, who believed in this man as a cancer survivor and a hero, the blow was devastating. What does it mean that he is deciding to talk now? Lance Armstrong is a man with an agenda, so it can only mean that he wants something that only admitting guilt can give him: a chance to ride again.
A cyclist who dopes is not something new. Since the 1990s, more cyclists have used performance enhancing drugs than not. In order to win, one had to cheat. But Armstrong has vehemently denied these accusations made by former teammates. He never hesitated to paint himself as the victim of vicious lies. He made threats to former teammates and in a stroke of obvious defiance, posted a Twitter picture that showed himself lying on a couch surrounded by his Tour yellow jerseys. This picture was taken after the October 2012 inquest. Thus, he proved himself to be cocky and unapologetic. That is until now.
Lance Armstrong's use of performance enhancing drugs is not the issue. What he chose to do to his body was his personal choice. I do not support it, and as a former athlete, I hate the idea that performance-enhancing drugs are a part of the athletic landscape. But I do care that he lied repeatedly and that he tried to strong-arm people who supported him and kept his secrets. And I care that he was not man enough to own up to his mistakes, while the others confessed.
Armstrong is aggressive and he has always used bullying tactics. Threatening a person's livelihood is a disgusting behavior for any person. But when the truth about the scandal finally reared its ugly head, Armstrong never did anything other than to suggest that this was a witch-hunt and that everyone was out to get him. Why would anyone want to take him down? If anything, the world wanted to believe that we he accomplished was real. But it was all an illusion.
So why talk now? I would love to believe that he has had a change of heart and wants to apologize. That would be wonderful, and it might restore some of his credibility. Some genuine humility might help his tarnished image. After all, the man survived cancer and this is not to be forgotten. But he did not do it in his own strength. Sadly, I believe he just wants the chance to ride again and that this is one way for him to get what he wants. I sincerely hope that I'm wrong.