Has there ever been a faster fall from grace than the one experienced by Lance Armstrong? In the span of just a few short weeks, the former seven-time winner of the Tour de France went from American hero to absolute zero, losing his victories and reputation in the blink of an eye. But now there are rumors circulating that Armstrong is ready to confess to his misdeeds – possibly to the queen of television herself, Oprah Winfrey.
For most of the week we’ve been hearing rumblings that Armstrong is considering confessing to using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) while cycling. At this point, that would actually be a revelation to practically no one, but if he does come clean it could possibly lead to a reinstatement to competition following a suspension of some sort. There are even rumors that Lance has already reached out to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to inquire about a possible road to redemption that might allow him to eventually run marathons and compete in triathlons again.
But on Wednesday there was a new wrinkle thrown into this still evolving story when it was announced that Armstrong will sit down with Oprah Winfrey for a 90 minute interview that will air on her OWN network on January 17. We’re told that the two will discuss the doping scandal and that Armstrong will directly address allegations of his use of PEDs .
The big question of course is whether or not Lance will actually confess to doping during his career and if so, will it actually make a difference with the public. At this point, the admission of guilt would probably be more surprising than the big reveal itself. After all, Armstrong has remained steadfast in his denial of these accusations, reminding us at every opportunity that he has never failed a drug test in all of his years of competition. He has told us time and again that he is at the center of a witch hunt designed to bring him down and that his accusers are jealous men and women who have an axe to grind.
If Lance is indeed looking for redemption he will be talking to the right person. Oprah is likely to provide him with a forum from which he can confess to past transgressions while giving him the opportunity to ask for forgiveness from an audience that is willing to forgive and forget. But at this point, anything less than that confession has to be seen as a bit of a disappointment. What more is there to be said on this subject other than an admission of guilt. And if he does come clean at last, we still have to ask ourselves who would stand to gain the most from such a confession?
I would argue that at this point, the answer to that question is clearly Lance Armstrong himself.
By Kraig Becker
[Photo Credit: Benutzer Hase]