The coming confession

October 17, 2012 § 186 Comments

Lance is getting ready to confess. He’ll make the announcement in the next few days, or he’ll wait until the UCI strips him of his titles and announce it then.

I’m predicting the former.

Armstrong is the ultimate in realpolitik. He showed his hand when he walked away from the arbitration hearing, betting correctly that there was no way he would beat the testimony of his closest confidantes.

Like an expert chess player losing pieces as strategically as possible to slow in the inexorable march to checkmate, Lance first lost the cycling world, then the triathlon and running worlds, then the sponsored spokesman world, and finally the queen on his chessboard, the chairmanship of Livestrong.

When Nike announced that Lance had misled them for over a decade, and that it believed he cheated to win, the game unofficially ended. Trek, HoneyStinger, Anheuser-Busch, Radio Shack all bravely reversed course after defending him to the bitter end. The only pawn left to mop up is Oakley. They’ll walk when he confesses or when the UCI strips or when they’re the last sponsor standing, whichever comes first.

The text of his confession

What’s most predictable is the text of his confession. He will admit to breaking the rules. He will admit to using performance enhancing drugs. He will apologize for having misled fans.

However, like Leipheimer and Hincapie, drug addicts whose entire careers were built on cheating, he will never admit that his actions were morally reprehensible. He will insist that he had no other choice. He will justify it with the oldest line of all: “If you weren’t there, you’ll never really understand it.”

He will never apologize for tearing down those who opposed him or who rightly tagged him as a drug cheat. He will never say he’s sorry for the damage he did to Emma O’Reilly, Betsy Andreu, Paul Kimmage, David Walsh, Greg Lemond, Tyler, Floyd, or any of the others he tarred as disgruntled liars, media hacks, serial perjurers, prostitutes, and worst of all, as ugly fat people.

There will absolutely be mention of his family, and of the difficulty he had in speaking about it with them. And there will be a brash, unrepentant sortie into the guns of his accusers with a bold statement about his real life’s work–curing cancer and helping those affected by it–and how nothing will ever stand in his way of fighting to achieve these things until his dying breath.

He will thank those who stood by him, without naming names due to their upcoming arbitration hearings and/or possibility of criminal proceedings in their home countries.

He will mention the doping culture in which he developed as a racer, without calling it a drug-crazed free-for-all that, at his apogee, he directed and ruthlessly managed for extraordinary personal and professional gain.

He will, if he’s the Lance of old, possibly issue a call to arms to clean up the sport once and for all, and name himself leader in the fight.

And if the captain’s Tecate is plentiful enough, he may even ask that those who so strenuously oppose doping take a hard look at all professional sports, and see if it’s any different from cycling.

He will reflect proudly on his victories.

He will make reference to the fact that without the drugs he would have won anyway.

And then he will tell everyone to get out of his way so that he can go fight some more cancer.

The end game

Lance’s dilemma is unique, because being branded a doper exposes him to significant litigation and because it chokes off the revenue from his nonathletic endeavors, which are vastly more important than his sporting income.

He knows all of this, and by now he’s simply reviewing the numbers. Mark Fabiani and Tim Herman have told him point-blank that it’s over, that no one who matters believes him anymore, and that soon, the people who matter least of all–the cancer patients, hobby triathletes, and Livestrong Kool-Aid freaks–won’t believe him, either.

“How much is my exposure to SCA?”

“Potentially ten million, without punitive damages. But there’s no guarantee you’ll lose at arbitration, and most importantly, that exposure is there whether you confess or not.”

“Payback to sponsors for breach of contract, fraud?”

“They won’t want the bad publicity of having blindly supported a drug cheat. Minimal risk, but, as with SCA, that exposure exists whether or not you confess.”

“Race earnings?”

“Same. They’d have huge statute of limitations problems and would be open to equitable defenses like laches and unclean hands.”

“Livestrong earnings?”

“You’ll make less since you’re no longer the chairman. But you can still charge the foundation for appearances and the usual stuff. However, there’ll be less of it the longer you hold off on the confession. Nike’s statement that they’re dumping you but keeping Livestrong may be the way forward for a lot of people on the board, and you need to stop that before it starts. You do not want the organization to conclude that it doesn’t have to have Lance to thrive. The longer you deny, the more uncomfortable the foundation will become as people begin asking THE question: ‘What’s the board’s position on his drug use, and why is a career cheater sitting on the board?'”

“Bottom line: What’s my financial risk to confessing now versus confessing after the UCI strips me versus not confessing at all?”

“Confess now, earn a little goodwill, take the heat off your supporters who are having to defend you against popular opinion, facts, and common sense. Active damage control and repositioning can begin immediately. Levi and George are still getting love even within the cycling community and are being called ‘brave’ and ‘courageous.’ Confess after the UCI strips and you’ll look like a shotgun groom. Don’t confess at all and you’ll look like a sociopath. Your value will go to near-zero. You’ll be marginalized, then pushed off the board. And that last part may happen anyway.”

How can you be so sure, Wankmeister?

I’m sure because the only two alternatives don’t fit the facts or the history. The first alternative is that he will never admit the truth because he’s a sociopath in denial. This looks like a good fit at first until you understand that he’s trying to minimize damage. A sociopath such as Bruyneel or Ferrari would have fought the charges in arbitration.

The second alternative is that he’ll never confess because he’s principled. We saw how that played out when he copped to USADA’s claims by abandoning his right to arbitration.

Most importantly, doping in cycling at such an advanced level raises questions about other sports, and the involvement of Nike and the whispers regarding its having acted as the conduit to pay off the UCI’s cover-up of Lance’s positive test in the 1999 Tour mean that real journalists–the kind who rarely cover cycling–may take the same kind of vigorous approach to football, soccer, and track and field that Paul Kimmage took to Lance’s shenanigans.

In short, the most expedient thing for him to do is to stop the bleeding and reassure the world that this kind of stuff only happens in cycling.

And nowhere else.

You got that?


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§ 186 Responses to The coming confession

  • velobob says:


    • Admin says:

      The insurance company who tried to get out of paying him his Tour bonuses because he doped. He won at arbitration, forcing them to pay. That can will now possibly be reopened, and he’ll be on the hook for $10 million plus attorney fees plus interest and punitive damages if fraud was involved, assuming the arbitrator agrees with SCA.

      Estimates of lost sponsorship as of today already valued at $30 million.

      • Robert Anderson says:

        I’m thinking SCA Promotions should get at least 16 million dollars back by my math. Am I way off the mark? SCA paid Armstrong 12 million U.S. dollars in total (bonuses, interest and legal fees) for “officially winning”, I believe, the ’03, ’04 and ’05 TdFs. If Armstrong is declared by the UCI to be, not the official winner of those TdF titles, wouldn’t SCA sue for their 12 million dollars, PLUS, the compounded interest on 12 million times 6-7 years and legal fees.

        • Admin says:

          The big hurdle will be the settlement signed by SCA. It may not be possible to set it aside. If SCA reopens the case, damages will be big.

    • Paul says:

      Dude. Don’t even bother.

    • am says:

      Before people speak with passion about EPO and red blood cells, they should first know who is Heikki Rusko.

  • Joe Yule says:

    Looking forward to it!

  • Checkerbutt says:

    Beautiful, absolutely beautiful, Wanky!

  • RP says:

    Dear WM,

    What do you think will become of the Novitsky investigation given what USADA has now uncovered? Do you think there will be any daylight shed as to why it was terminated with practically no advance notice and “no comment”? Any speculation that Andre Birotte will be investigated for possible corruption? If person(s) are found to have obstructed justice do you think these person(s) will find themselves facing time in, to quote Michael Bolton in “Office Space”; “Federal Pound Me in the Ass Prison? What about Kristen Armstrong? I understand that Tyler said she “distributed” for Drugstrong, I mean Armstrong and co.

    • Admin says:

      Too many strands in this skein! Armstrong gets out ahead of the curve with a nuanced confession, maybe? Feds? No idea! Qui tam suit proceeds regardless. Biroitte looks incompetent at best. Not sure what the statute of limitations is for the federal case; I think they were getting close to it, though. It’s going to torch a lot more people, whatever happens.

  • mike ferrell says:

    You are right. But don’t forget that as an atheist, he can claimed to be redeemed as a Christian, blame it all on the devil, and be elected governor of Texas.

  • Peter Schindler says:

    I am going with sociopath who does not confers but if he does, he will follow in the footsteps of Tiger.

  • steven says:

    So…his credibility ill actually sink even lower? Hard to believe, but that is what I expect.

    Nice post, WM. It seems to be the consensus today. But…how credible do YOU think it will be?

    • Admin says:

      Wish I knew! Whatever he admits will be shy of a full confession. Way shy…if he confesses at all.

  • He should hire you as counsel ! But he reads your blog so now he got your (good, sensible) advice for free 😉

  • Like your analysis, but I don’t think it will happen. This weekend at the Livestrong event what he says will be heavily controlled by a Livestrong board in damage control. It will all be about the 15 years of Livestrong work and he will only engage the dopage with the same lies he has always held.

    But we can hope.

    • Admin says:

      I agree with you. It seems like silence is the worst step at this point, though. He can’t ignore it. He has to respond to it. A denial at this point is not worth uttering. So a nuanced confession might at least keep him from being swept off the board, literally and figuratively.

  • off-roadie says:

    If he confesses, I hope he brings everyone down with him. Let it burn. I’m sick of the idea that Lance is evil and everyone else is a victim of the big mean school-yard bully. I’m also sick of the idea that cycling is so much dirtier than other sports. I hope the shit storm spreads to them too. Yes sir, if we’re going to do this, lets do it right.

    • Admin says:

      He’s getting a lot of pressure, you can be sure, for the reasons you suggest. A nuanced confession will reduce the heat on others, perhaps. Silence or stonewalling will intensify it. What did the board of Livestrong know? Did he deceive them as well? Were donors defrauded the same way Floyd defrauded donors with his Fairness Fund? The questions spill over to other sports, which have the same problem because sports mirror society, and we are a completely drug dependent society. However, there’s too much at stake here and my guess is a nuanced confession that will buy time, hold onto his revenue stream, and not add anything to criminal/civil liability that’s not already there.

  • Alex says:

    I think you’re totally correct. The frustrating thing is, I think with a lot of people, he’ll get away with it. He’ll spin it to suit. He’ll compete in some sport or other. He’ll still make money from Livestrong. He’ll sell millions of copies of his new book. He’ll do ok.

    The bottom line is that he looks after himself no matter what and he’s still got enough money to get all the advice he needs.

    • Admin says:

      In the big picture, you’re right. He has the resources to fight and to strategically minimize the damage. Even a federal criminal case might not be as terrible as people think, although criminal prosecution and extradition to Spain adds a twist. He’s not doing any of this without counsel, that’s for sure.

  • Alex says:

    Imagine how many copies of the “I said it wasn’t about the bike” book he’ll sell.

    Who else will he take down with him?

    • Admin says:

      Kathy Lemond’s depo transcript suggests that there are plenty of other heads destined for the block.

  • […] courtesy of Cycling News. Finally, a self-deprecating west coast cycling blogger speculates on the format of Lance Armstrong’s coming confession.  The blogger’s logic is reasonable.  One can almost hear Armstrong copping the lamest of […]

  • joe says:

    at this point the only thing the armstrong legal team should focusing on is avoiding criminal prosecution –

    • Admin says:

      Yes, but they also have to plan for civil liability and for protecting his assets and revenue stream. They’re all linked. No one game plan is a winner; he needs to delay, start shaping the conversation, and float some test messages. For years he did this with “never failed a test,” and it worked. One test message might be “I made mistakes (unspecified) that I regret and apologize for, and it’s time to move on. Cancer isn’t waiting, and that’s my life’s work.”

  • cyclespanner says:

    I wrote something similar this morning on my Facebook:
    You don’t mention the possibility of a perjury charge?

    • Admin says:

      Perjury in civil proceedings is rarely referred to the DA for prosecution, and I don’t know the SOL in Texas, where I think the arbitration took place, but am not sure. As far as I know he’s never testified in a criminal proceeding.

    • Admin says:

      Glad I beat you to the punch!

  • joe says:

    make sence

  • PooBah says:

    As ever, another brilliantly penned analysis. Before I read your piece – I really never gave him confessing any consideration….but you’ve got me wondering in earnest now. The best writing makes you think of things in a different way – and you do this time and again. If Bicycling or Outside are reading this, you need to seriously consider moving BSNYC over for Wanky….

  • Bill Stone says:

    Seth, last time I checked the Arbitration case was settled. I am not aware of courts setting aside settlements, especially as the closing documents almost always say that neither side admits liability and such and so. And l rather suspect that the sponsors made a lot of money from their associations. And it is my understanding that most states have Trial Rules that limit the time to set aside judgments based upon Fraud and similar claims. While I am sure you have researched it more fully, at least where I have practiced (admittedly only in Small Claims Court and a few Justice of the Peace Courts) the notions of Finality of Judgments generally precludes setting aside judgments and settlements, even for example when a party has knowingly used false testimony or a juror purchased.
    I have tried to follow the Qui Tam lawsuit but I cannot find that US Department of Justice has chosen to join in the action.

    And to quote Horace Rumple, the Greatest British Trial Lawyer ever, “NEVER CONFESS”.

    Now please call me names.

    • Admin says:

      Lance’s attorney has called the settlement airtight and not subject to reopening. SCA says they’re looking into that very thing if the UCI strips his titles for doping. Before a court would even look at it, it would have to go back to the arbitrator, who could, depending on the law he’s arbitrating under, rule that the settlement had been obtained by fraud. That might be grounds for reopening the arbitration, I don’t know. I can imagine no stone will be left unturned, even Billy.

  • katie glover says:

    At first he struck me as a simple cheater that got in over his head. Now that the full story is coming out he seems like a straight up sociopath. I find it interesting you rule that out as you seem to think he’d fight in arbitration if he were really a sociopath.

    Do you think he is a clinical sociopath?

    • Admin says:

      Yes, I think he is, but sociopaths can make sound strategic decisions, just as they can hunker down in the denial box. This weekend in ATX is the big Livestrong shindig. We’ll know more then, right?

  • Bravo! You said it all for us, dude.

  • claire says:

    I go with never confess. Really – does anyone sincerely think Lance is the worst of them all? All those people giving evidence – did they suddenly realize they were wrong? Years after what happened? Also it seems one is victimized as the others gang on him. So here we have one of the best sports stories that ever existed tarnished for good. Is anyone really happy about that? Drugs will still be used and it is only a matter of time when the next one will fall.

    • Admin says:

      And there’s the real issue: What about other sports?

      “Never confess” is a great strategy until you’re facing overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing and a plea deal. Whatever he says, if he says anything, will be carefully crafted. Ultimately, the decision will be made on whether he can continue saying nothing about the issue or whether he’ll have to address it. If he addresses it, I can’t imagine that he will still deny all wrongdoing, but then imagination was never my strong suit!

      • claire says:

        Yep, agreed on that one – if he talks, he will confess. There’s not much left (if anything) to do in his case. Still I go back to the others – slamming and accusing him. How do you weigh guilt nowadays? He is facing exactly an overwhelming amount of evidence and exactly that angers me. How many are the cases with so many witnesses? How come they are so talkative right now?
        As for the other sports – that is a much greater question as the consequences of Armstrong’s case will be judged much later. Now I can imagine quite a lot of frightened people, praying they don’t get caught.

  • Joe Papp says:

    Not gonna happen…

  • Joe Papp says:

    I was going to belittle you for not even knowing the name of his legal counsel while claiming to be able to predict his behavior, but then I realized that the “o” key is right next to the “i” key…but still, you’ll probably wanna correct that.

    • Admin says:

      You can belittle me for anything, anytime, just as long as you don’t mind it when the wind starts blowing your direction. And it wasn’t a typo, I had his name wrong.

      Some sort of nuanced confession has got to be among the possible outcomes, regardless of whether it’s “Tim” or “Tom.”

      He will have to speak about it at some point; I think sooner rather than later. Overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing and stony denial will potentially accelerate his ejection from the Livestrong board. I think it’s a plausible outcome, and certainly one that’s worth considering, even you reject it.

      And there’s no embarrassment on my end about being wrong. Wrong and I are old friends.

      • Bill Stone says:

        Well their you have it a convicted drug dealer and serial prevaricator is the source of wisdom in all things. WM as you wrote at a time when you were apparently lucid (the diet thing has robbed you of brain cells) ‘liars lie.” I believe this was in the context of why not to buy Hamilton’s apologia. Having put many criminals in jail as both a defense and state’s attorney I can confidently say that ‘criminals lie, and lie even better when it will keep them out of jail.” Or perhaps more correctly: there is truth and then there is the truth that keeps you out of jail.

        Joe Papp is a convicted drug dealer; apparently not a very successful drug dealer, but nonetheless. Wait for his book: “How a mediocre racer became a pitifully incompetent drug dealer and then found the way.”

  • Sal says:

    My guess: “I was only following Bruyneel’s orders. He had me by the ball.”

  • […] to once and for all, finally confess.  The reasoning behind this theory is expertly described here, by blogger Wanky.  Wanky, probably very accurately, assumes that he has sought counsel on this […]

  • deserthead says:

    I’m sure his lawyers are advising him to take whatever path involves the highest probability of long-running, expensive legal action. No reason for them to get off the gravy train just yet.

    I only only hope Alex Gibney’s upcoming Armstrong documentary adequately highlights his narcissistic personality traits, correctly identifies him as a sociopath and outlines how livestrong is a self-serving facade.

    That will help offset the victim card he will undoubtedly play in his confession “I had a tough childhood, everyone was cheating, I had to do it, blah, blah”

    • Admin says:

      He will be lawyered up for the foreseeable future no matter what course he chooses. The real calculus is divining whether he fares best with a nuanced confession, denial, or silence.

  • Anne Hunt says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see armstrong confessing to crap! For him to confess would mean he was trounced and we all know how he hates to lose. Plus there’s still Johan’s case. Those two were closer than wood and monkey glue. Now we know lance is a snitch, but snitch on Johna. I doubt it.

    But question; If he does confess does that open him up to further investigation and more charges from whomever Including the DOJ? I really don’t see la confessing and leaving out names. He’s a human file cabinet and can really turn cycling on its collective heels especially all those hypocrite teams now acting like they were all white as snow and dumping the witnesses. Omerta is still alive and well. but who is controlling it?

    Nope, I don’t see lance armstrong confessing. He may step away from livestrong all together, but confess, I don’t see it. The guy has kids and he let this mess get this far. Can you imagine those kids on a playground with other kids who know about lance? How old is his oldest child? He’s placing this huge burden of his on his children’s narrow shoulders. What a bottomfeeder!

    • Admin says:

      He has already walked away from arbitration at CAS. That was for many unthinkable. You may be right, but a nuanced confession has to be part of his inner circle’s discussions.

  • Richard Sachs says:

    Having Lance Champion the cause to clean up cycling could be a good thing. Don’t know of anyone that could get better traction with the media and the powers to be.

    I would love to see it.

    • Admin says:

      It seems that in order to champion clean cycling, a doping past is almost required. Cf Millar, JV, Tyler, et al.

      “CleanStrong.” Has a nice ring to it…

  • Mike-O says:

    I can’t be mad at Lance, he made a choice and was committed to it. I doubt at the beginning he was forcing everyone around him to participate. He was brought into the fold like everyone else, cultivated, nurtured and exposed to the process by those with more experience. I can’t see it happening otherwise. I also doubt Lance will name names, but you never know. I just don’t see it as being in his character to pursue such a childish approach. I have no pitty for folks like Levi, Tyler, Landis, the other Postal Guys, Betsy or anyone else “who saw the light” and decided that Lance was the evil at the center the cycling world’s doping problem. I see Betsy as a soured wife who fully knew what her husband was doing and what he was caught up in. I suspect she got pissed that her hubby got nailed and forced out of cycling after doping and saw Lance getting away with it and continuing to have success that her husband never realized. I’m sure Lance’s attitude, which was probably “sucks to be you, but live with it” didn’t help. The same with other cyclists. They voluntarily participated in doping programs, got caught but never experienced the success others did as a result of their efforts, of maybe they did have the success (landis) but got caught anyway, Tyler and Landis both got caught and their egos couldn’t live with it, or their bank accounts either I am sure, and got pissed that somehow “Lance” continued to get away with it and as a result felt they could somehow attain some personal salvation through confession that involved taking everyone down with them. Great for them. Honestly, I can care less about doping, endurance athletes all over the world are taking supplements or “legally approved” substances to help them get through the effort of their sports, yet we rely upon this or that government or governing body to decide what you can or can not take? Great. Unless these folks were competing on “bread and water” then they were doping. Taking Sports Legs? Doping. Endurolytes? Doping, Race Caps? Doping. Barriatric Chambers, Compression suits? Doping. The list goes on. All those pointing fingers towards Lance were either involved in, or supported someone who was, doping. So, go ahead continue to pick up your stones and cast them, but come judgement day you’ll be occupying the same “corner” of the graveyard as Lance. Yeah and Joe Papp, it must be great to feel Smug about being a doper, getting caught as a doper and then naming names of all the other dopers. You know, you guys are the Titanic that said screw it and decided to sink and take all the life boats with you instead of just admitting to your own problems and getting on with your life. I don’t get it, the Media, USADA all talk about how brave all the “dopers” were who came forward… Right, brave, that’s an awful big hammer held over your head. Brave would be sit there and take your punishment and don’t drag others in to save your own skin. Yep, that would be brave.

    • Mike Curtis says:

      Anyone that didn’t dope or go along with Lance was let go. Christophe Bassoons-wouldn’t dope, Frankie Andreu-they witnessed Lance confessing to doping before cancer surgery, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton-because they wanted raises after helping Armstrong win and he wouldn’t give it to them. It was one thing to dope but when you threaten those around you if they say anthing or don’t want to dope that is another thing. Hamilton, Hincapie, Landis, Levi at least admitted to the doping and I suffered the consequences. Lance doped to win-so did his team mates. Not a level playing field. Doping must be eliminated from cycling. Doping is also dangerous. It wouldn’t suprise me that Lance got his cancer from doping (HGH, steroids, EPO, etc.)

      • Admin says:

        The most basic issue is, for me at least, the simplest. “Do the ends justify the means?” Many people believe they do.

        I don’t.

        The next most basic issue, which is slightly more complex, but also pretty easy, is this. “Is it okay to lie to people and mislead them when they make decisions based on your affirmations that you know to be false?”

        No, it’s not.

        Lance flunks both tests. Even if everyone else did it (they didn’t), the ends don’t justify the means. Plato resolved this nicely quite some time ago.

        Lance had to lie to people and mislead them in order to gain their money, admiration, and support. That’s wrong. It was wrong for him, for Floyd, for Tyler, for Bernie Madoff, and, yes, even for Charles Ponzi.

      • Mike-O says:

        There are no innocents. Everyone made money, Trek, Nike, Oakley, the TdF, the TV Stations, the promoters, everyone. i truly believe all the teams were doping, except maybe the wild card teams. Surely, everyone in the top ten of every tour during that time frame had to have been. I mean, you see doping by Cat 3 or Cat 4 racers, even masters racers, so I am not even sure the wild card teams weren’t also involved in doping. If anyone, then I give it to you that the customers, and maybe the fans, are the true victims. Yet, if you believe anyone has won the TdF in the last 30 or 40 years without some sort of “enhancement” then I think the cloud of ignorance has become overwhelming. I surely don’t believe it. Smoking is dangerous, it kills almost 500,000 people per year. Drinking and driving is dangerous, it kills 30,000 to 40,000 people per year. Fraud by corporations, banks, wall street yahoos, that’s what truly hurts people. I get it, if you don’t like it fine, I certainly could live with cycling that doesn’t have the drama of doping scandals but I remain focused on what’s truly wrong with the world and doping by cyclist isn’t in my top ten.

        • Admin says:

          You hit one my favorite observations, which is that it’s only cycling, which the immortal Chris Hipp used to deride as a “stoooopid sport” as he won race after race.

          He’s done’ something really wrong, though, and needs to say he’s sorry.

          I haven’t seriously cared about a pro bike since I became convinced that it’s a thoroughly corrupt sport. There are, of course, many innocents. Kids who get into cycling. Parents who encourage their kids to get into cycling because they think it’s healthy. People who donate money they otherwise wouldn’t donate because they believe Lance is honest and doesn’t cheat.

          Just do what you had to do in kindergarten. Admit what you did, admit that it was wrong, and live with the consequences. Simple!

  • David says:

    Funny thing about everyone arm chair quarterbacking is simple, what would you have done. I myself know that at one point in my life I would have done anything to race if the Tour de France and even more to win it.
    Question for all you people that call Lance a sociopath. Ever lied to get out of a speeding ticket? Done it more than once? Maybe 2, 3, or even 4 times? What does that make you?
    Ever lied on your taxes? Ever been investigated criminally for even something small? Ever lied to not face justice?
    All you Holier than thou people can say “never”, I imagine that you are lying because we have all at some point in our lives lied or cheated to get ahead and you know what, we have never come clean and likely never will. You can say Lance did it on a bigger scale but guess what you, I nor the author were ever there to HONESTLY say what we would do.

    • Admin says:

      1. I was offered drugs in my early 20’s and told that this is what it would take if I wanted to get to “the next level.” For me, that meant going from Level BBB-Suck to Level AAA-Suck. I said “No, thanks.”

      2. Lots of people who were actually pro caliber declined drugs and fell by the wayside. Check out Scott Mercier, Adam Meyerson, Bassons, Simeoni, and a host of others. Just because you would have “done anything” doesn’t mean others would. This is what amazes people who eagerly cheat: That there are people out there who, given the choice, actually play by the rules.

      3. Sociopaths are not simply liars. Peruse this link,, or simply Google “sociopath.” You’ll see that lying to get out of a traffic ticket two or a hundred times doesn’t make you one.

      4. It’s interesting that you equate “being investigated criminally” for something small with the allegations leveled against Lance, which are huge, which cover decades, which involve violation of criminal and civil laws, and which involve obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars by fraudulent means.

      5. The oldest line of defense in the book is “you had to be there to know.” The Germans who supported the Nazi regime said just that. “We opposed the extermination of the Jews, but you know, we couldn’t resist. You had to be there.” Or in the South: “We thought blacks deserved civil rights, but it was so hard to fight the system. You had to be there.” What we’re waiting for is an explanation of what those unique circumstances were that were so unusual and compelling that no one could have resisted. That’s not forthcoming in any of the confessions, and it’s belied by all of the people who chose to walk away or just ride as pack fodder.

      6. You never explain how your philosophy works systemically. So no human can criticize any other human, because none of us is perfect? That’s called “might makes right,” or “anarchy” and functions great for the mighty, less well for the not-so-mighty. And there’s that Constitution thing, and equal protection, and laws, etc.

      I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but Lance has been caught and needs to man up and apologize, then let the chips fall where they may. That’s what your mom taught you. And mom was usually right about shit like that.

      • bernie says:

        exactly right … lance need to man up.

        everyone lies at some point or does things they are less than proud of. most grown ups accept responsibility for wrongdoings and take the consequences. lance has yet to do this.

        • Admin says:

          Yep. It’s simple stuff, Tardstick’s yammering notwithstanding.

          Wonder if Tardstick, after blathering about his cheating lying, has ever apologized or admitted any of it?


      • Erik says:

        My favorite part of this thread within a thread is that David linked your website when he entered his comment. The internet is hard.

      • bleucrabedesigns says:

        Seth, did you not confess that you were offered drugs in your early 20’s? Doesn’t that implicate you in Omerta? I guess I am just pissed that no one ever thought to offer me PEDs! 🙂 At least I know that my pain and suffering was obtained in all fairness to the sport!

  • Cycle Gladiator says:

    OK, accepting a possible argument from LA that he did doping because everyone else was and it was the “norm” is one thing. But the years of lying and bullying was he choice and his alone. Worse still is that his personal brand and Livestrong have been built on these lies.

    He lied to me as someone who travelled many miles to watch him ride across, up and down France and the sooner he is brought to justice be it by the state or civil law suits the better. He can then leave the headlines, the editorials and our TV screens forever and disappear into obscurity.

    Livestrong no longer need him and he is no longer needed or wanted in cycling in any shape or form.

    It is now time for UCI to be examined and new “clean” faces brought in.

    • Admin says:

      I had not thought of the people who spent thousands to go to France to watch him race because they thought they were watching a clean champion. You’re right, they were defrauded, too.

      He just needs to confess, apologize, and deal with the fallout. That’s what adults do, and most kids, for that matter.

  • David says:

    Did you read what a sociopath is? Read it again. Lying 2, 3, 500 hundred times to get out of something? Manipulating people, to get ahead showing no remorse? You get out of a speeding ticket my friend for a simple example you don’t leave feeling guilty you leave feeling that was easy I am going to do it again.
    Read it again and in its simplest form the person that does it again and again to get out of a speeding ticket can be a sociopath.

    • Admin says:

      You missed the point. No one of those things makes you a sociopath. It’s a complex psychological condition that has hallmarks, none of which by itself is conclusive. I challenge you to find any kind of clinical definition of sociopath where the person’s sole transgression was lying about speeding tickets and not feeling guilty about it. But even if you’re right, that people who lie to get out of 500 speeding tickets are sociopaths, it doesn’t help your case. Few of Lance’s opponents meet that criterion, whereas he hits so many of the telltale symptoms that it’s hard to feel he’s not one.

      Of course, it is Dr. Google, and isn’t diagnostic as much as it is informative. Many people who’ve gotten the shit end of the Lance stick have testified about specific, repeated, pattern behavior that’s hard to explain as anything other than that of a sociopath. You started off by analogizing occasional lies and dishonesty with the behavior of a sociopath, and I just tried to get you to see that you’re misusing the word.

    • David says:

      We’ve all lied about something. But I’m guessing most of us never trashed and slandered our friends in the process.

      • David says:

        Don’t guess come back with some facts.

      • Admin says:

        Isn’t that what he did to Mike Anderson, Frankie Andreu, Floyd Landis, Betsy Andreu? I don’t understand your point.

        He lied about his drug use.

        He trashed the friends who outed him, even though one of them did it in a deposition under penalty of perjury–forcing her to choose between criminal liability and lying to cover up for Lance.

        Why the objection to just ‘fessing up? Apologizing? That would greatly mitigate the ongoing damage. People do it all the time, but there’s something in the public psyche that resists giving out forgiveness to people who don’t think they’ve done anything wrong.

        He lied. He cheated. He stole.

        Say you’re sorry, Lance. You have to.

      • David says:

        You know what admin guy, I am not saying he didn’t cheat or lie or bully anyone but if we all check into our past I am sure we are all going to find skeletons. Everyone should stop passing judgement because in the end there is only one person that we have to answer to.

        • Admin says:

          I agree with you that most people have lied, cheated, stolen, and/or done things that they’re ashamed of and regret. I certainly have.

          Nor is the Lance thing particularly interesting to me. I’ve written about it a handful of times out of 300 some-odd blog posts, maybe three times?

          At the same time, it’s plain that Lance should do what you and I have had to do when we’ve made really bad fuck-ups: Admit it and apologize and not do it again.

          Lots of people are piling on just because they enjoy watching the mighty fall. That’s not my angle, but the louder he protests his innocence and refuses to ‘fess up, the more annoyed it makes me.

          I certainly think the other cheaters like Levi, Vaughters, Hincapie, etc. were just as bad and deserve more than the slap on the wrist they’ve gotten. People like Andreu, Landis, and Hamilton have paid a huge price, and it’s a deserved price. Lance has got to stand up and take his licking like a man.

  • David says:

    I guess my worst mistake is trying to explain my self to someone that calls themselves an author. You might be an author but your article is fiction with no fact!
    I am guessing you have never lied or cheated at ANYTHING right? And if you have why don”t you clear your conscience here?
    Tell you what I have lied and cheated. I am not afraid to admit it.
    The great author of this article hasn’t by the sounds of things….hey look there goes the author, he is walking on water!!
    You I think I have missed the point armchair quarterback!

    • Admin says:

      Hmmm. Let’s start over.

      You said that everyone who has ever told a lie is therefore being a hypocrite by criticizing Lance, as they themselves are sociopaths.

      I pointed out that you’re mistaken. Lying doesn’t make you a sociopath. You dropped that line of attack.

      Then you said that even though most people have lied, they haven’t trashed their friends in the process. I pointed out that this is correct, and it’s exactly what Lance has done, which is what makes it so reprehensible. You’ve now dropped that line of attack.

      Your next sally is to criticize yourself for trying to explain yourself to an author. That’s easy to fix: Don’t wander onto blogs and post your opinions expecting that they’ll be blindly accepted.

      Next you say you’ve lied and cheated. We all have. Now we’re back at the first point, which you conveniently dropped after I argued that a system of law doesn’t require that the members of the society it governs be perfect. Your failure to explain yourself isn’t because I’m an “author,” it’s because your opinion is without merit, and when put down in words its lack of merit is apparent in a way that it’s perhaps not when the only person in the discourse is you and the guy in the mirror.

      Next you throw out some quotes about armchair quarterbacking and walking on water. How do these relate to the most salient points: That Lance cheated and lied and stole and defrauded and needs to admit it? That those who believed him and trusted him and gave him their money and spent money to watch him race deserve more than a stony denial?

      I suspect you can’t answer these questions, because they conflict with your love of Lance and they run afoul of this Mark Twainism: “It’s easier to fool a man than to convince him he’s been fooled.”

      Good luck, but sir, you’ve been fooled by your hero. We all have.

  • David says:

    I guess the next best thing for me to say is never go to battle with an asshole, like the author, that “buys ink by the barrel and paper by the roll” if you know what that means.
    One more thing read your last post as should everyone else and tell me you just haven’t bullied me like Lance did to all of these people. I don’t support them man never have never will. You are just a shinning example of a misinformed “author”!
    By the way this Jew thought the comment about the Nazi’s and Jews was in extremely poor taste.

    • Admin says:

      I didn’t post a rant on your blog, you posted one on mine. Maybe you thought no one would read it or care?

      You’re referring to an old quote from newspaper days, when people writing in to complain about an editor got lambasted because the editor controlled the medium and the letter-writer was limited to the small space accorded him by the editor.

      On the Internet, however, everyone has equal amounts of ink and paper, and every single one of your comments has been approved and responded to. So if your arguments are failing, you can’t blame it on restricted access or inferior materials, and instead will have to pin the tail where it belongs: On faulty reasoning inartfully expressed.

      Lots of people think that the “you had to be there” argument which you trotted out is somehow limited to their own little issue. It isn’t. It’s one of the core rationalizations used by ordinary participants in mass wrongdoing. I lived in Germany and had countless people who lived through the Holocaust tell me that even though they knew what was going on they were powerless to resist. “You had to be there,” they said. I heard the same thing growing up in the South by those who were complicit in Jim Crow.

      Is it poor taste to explain that rationalizing wrong acts on Armstrong’s scale has something in common with the rationalizations used to justify some of history’s greatest crimes? Why? Can you dissect the logic? What’s in poor taste about asking people to see that the excuse they use for one bad act is the same excuse that people used for monstrously bad acts, especially since you’re the one that trotted out the excuse?

      I don’t know how I’ve bullied you. You’ve picked an argument using an anonymous name and I’ve responded to your arguments. You’ve called me “asshole”; I’ve restricted my comments to your arguments and not made a single ad hominem attack. Moreover, you came here and waded in. You can always leave the pool if you don’t like the temperature of the water. But after you do, give some thought to what’s so terrible about asking Lance to ‘fess up and say he’s sorry? Because that’s the one point you’ve avoided like the plague.

  • David says:

    No problem. My point asshole was simple, we all have made mistakes and lied and cheated. You like everyone else in the world that has written articles on how Lance should respond is wrong, you are saying what YOU think should happen and as far as I know that makes you an arm chair quarterback. I, myself would never print horseshit like this because that would make me a hypocrite.
    And read the definition of a bully “Bullying is persistent unwelcome behaviour, mostly using unwarranted or invalid criticism, nit-picking fault-finding” and the list goes on.
    Gee author I read what you have said about my posts and it sure resembles the definition of a bully.
    “So if your arguments are failing, you can’t blame it on restricted access or inferior materials, and instead will have to pin the tail where it belongs: On faulty reasoning inartfully expressed.”
    Gee author that is from your post hmmmmm…..
    By the way name is true. I don’t come on this website to lie and in my line of work I get to see a lot of lying sociopaths and people that will step on friends to keep themselves from getting in trouble.

    • Admin says:

      Okay, I’ll come down to you.

      You’re a complete fucking idiot.

      And I’m being charitable. Your illiterate spew has become tiresome. Please fuck off.

      • BOHICA says:

        David = life-lacking, illiterate troll
        Fine post, good writing, feel free to delete David’s malcontent pleas for attention.

        • Admin says:


          I hope he remains as a regular douchetributor because he voices the idiotic, illogical, contorted thought processes by which this whole mess came about. One brainless boob who can’t see beyond his own nose, behaving in bizarre ways because he thinks his opinions are facts.

          He’s awesome, and needs a name. I’m going with Tardstick unless someone has a better moniker.

    • bernie says:

      as i read the author’s article he is simply providing a logical analysis of the alternatives facing lance and suggesting the most likely choice he will make.

      you appear to be the one who is reading personal and subjective motives into this.

      • Admin says:

        That’s where I started; thanks for following the thought. But I eventually got off track in the comments when Tardstick kept calling me an “asshole” and demanding apologies.

  • David says:

    Wow, the all knowing author not going to post my comment because….I could be right?

    • Admin says:

      You’re such a douchebag.

      • claire says:

        You came to this?! Perfect example why this world is led by idiots – because people refuse to accept the others’ right to a point of view and start insulting each other, and meanwhile all perspective is lost.
        Still I happen to agree with David that it is highly unlikely all these people saw the light and suddenly became right. Lance misled so many – they helped him, they share the guilt and they are trying to get away with it. The ones expelled as well because this is jealousy and revenge for all the missed success.

        • Admin says:

          Well, there’s only so much of being called an “asshole” that I feel compelled to take here on my own blog. Or anywhere.

      • David says:

        Now will you ever apologize to me? Sociopath.

        • Admin says:

          Yo, Tardstick! Welcome back! You’ve garnered a supporter and several people who think you’re a deluded troll. Yes, I’ll apologize to you, but with conditions:

          1. You come join us on one of our group rides here in LA.
          2. You agree to keep posting your mindless drivel.

          Let me know! I’m sure you’re just as tough and badass on the bike as you are lurking behind your screen, coffee stains on your underpants, three-day beard growth over your triple chin, and head stuck so far up your ass the only thing you see when you open your eyes is your epiglottis.

  • brain says:

    Love it. Eloquent, well argued. I’ll probably continue to argue he will never apologise because he IS a sociopath. There will be some part of his brain that will be able to rationalise his drug-taking, maybe use the idea that he had to take drugs because his success was linked to the success of the cancer foundation.
    And true about levi and george, both are seen as legends tainted by the overbearing team leader who bullied and bought their cooperation. Said so much better than i could. Thanks.

  • No one of consequence says:

    Awesome post WM. More importantly I vote that you keep David as a regular contributor. Hillarious. You were really in your element with this one. Keep up the good work. Big fan, thanx.

    • Admin says:

      That dude is one awesome tardstick. Dumber than a fucking box of hammers, but just keeps falling off into the swimming pool and sinking to the bottom. He really spices things up; agreed! I love trolls anyway. They’re very pitifully cute!

      • David says:

        You are truly an incredible person. A true sociopath! If someone doesn’t agree with you or you feel threatened by them you be-little and bully them. Gather a crowd to help you out. I am truly sorry but in this aspect you are no better than Lance Armstrong. You are rude and arrogant and it is no wonder you have to have a blog one would ever hire a poor excuse for an author like you. Be-little away my true example of a bully!! Keep up the good work. Won’t be long before people see you for exaclty what you are.

        • Admin says:

          Welcome back, Tardstick! Give ’em hell. When are you coming out to do the NPR?

          I love the way you started off calling me an asshole and are now upset because you’ve been insulted! Go, Turdnoggin!!

      • David says:

        Read how this got started asshole! You being pompous and trying to bully me! Hence the term “asshole”. Usually when you tell someone they are a bully they stop. Not you because by the look of things you are a sociopath.

  • duskster says:

    This column is GENIUS!!! I came over from velonews story that imbedded your link in the comments (story about leogrande).

    Your speculations seem totally reasonable, and it’s sad that there is definitely a playbook/checklist for such speeches.

    As you note, Armstrong is in a bit of a bind because, among other things, he has potential civil and criminal exposure from a confessional. I agree that the money/goodwill calculation is pretty straightforward.

    However, as some of your commenters have noted, I think that the potential criminal liability is the real wild card. I don’t have any insight as to what the US ATtorney’s Office was actually contemplating charging Armstrong with. However, I would guess that the case has only strengthened with the USADA affidavits and evidence and the ensuing fallout and further witnesses coming forward.

    We don’t know why US Atty shut down the investigation. Could have been an objective and reasonable call based on resources and on the past sports prosecution failures. Could have been political pressure. It’s certainly reasonable to believe that the pendulum has now swung in the other direction and there is significant pressure to reopen.

    Right now, DOJ has the real hammer. All the other stuff is just money and public opinion, significant but not equivalent to prison time. Criminal liability is whole other ball game.

    What if US Atty had the following discussion with Armstrong: “As we stated previously that we might do, we now are reopening the investigation. We believe that we have sufficient evidence to prosecute for perjury, illegal wire transfers, RICO, criminal conspiracy, witness intimidation and tampering, etc. We will subpoena everyone in sight to get indictments and we will prosecute you in open court. However, we’ve talked with our bosses and the USADA and we believe that it would be better all around for our enforcement goals and public policy if we reduced charges and sanctions or perhaps didn’t even prosecute. In return, you must sing like a canary and turn over names and evidence for the entirety of your career. This will be done in the form of a written affidavit which we will include in the public non-prosecution or deferred prosecution agreement.

    Otherwise, start getting ready for trial.”

    Again, I don’t know what the potential charges are. Nor do I know the impact of statute of limitations. But don’t people think this is a possibility?

    Anyway, to your original point, Armstrong will not confess this weekend.: 1) legal strategy could not have been hammered out yet, 2) the gala will already be dominated by doping talk. Confessing would make it even more so.

    It’s going to be awkward in Austin.

    • Admin says:

      “Sleepless in Seattle” was good, but you’ve topped it by far with “Awkward in Austin”!

      You’re probably right about this weekend. But he’s going to have say something, so you’re going with “He’ll completely ignore it?”

      That’s pretty much what he alluded to when he said he was stepping down as chairman so as not to distract the board, so it’s a solid guess. At some point he’ll have to address it. Have to.

  • bernie says:

    i agree with the posters here who suggest he is a sociopath, and this i think is part of the reason he will confess … partially. it’s the only option that offers a path allowing him to retain influence and prestige to any degree. i don’t think he’ll be giving even a fraction of one shit about redemption.

    • Admin says:

      Totally agree. He doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong or hurt anyone. It’s all about expedience, and the question is, “What’s more expedient?”

      1. Silence
      2. Denial
      3. Nuanced confession

      I don’t think anyone has enough information to know the answer, but as it gets closer to the UCI deadline to strip him, and as all of his sponsors flee, and as people on the board start to question his presence (or donors), #3 may get called.

  • gghofman says:

    Its a topic iv written a bit about on my own blog, i dont know if we ever see a full on confession

  • Ewing Taylor says:

    Unless i’ve missed something, the sole piece of hard evidence is one inconclusive test from the thousands of times Lance Armstrong was tested for doping. Rest of the “overwhelming evidence” consists of the retelling of unrecorded and irretrievable words in the air about what L.A. supposedly said, and of USADA coerced confessions from teammates and associates as to what they themselves did, and of their speculations as to the purpose of various events taking place involving L.A., which they did not personally witness. All of these stories from 20+ persons are in sum quite suggestive, but suggestive is just that. If doping guilt can be positively demonstrated by accusation and innuendo, there seems to be little purpose to actual drug testing and use of the results. The apparent USADA zeal to find guilt by whatever means possible has in my personal opinion, all the flimsy wisdom of the judgment of a kangroo court. U.S. District Court judge Sparks, who decided that it was not within his court’s authority to dismiss USADA’s action against L.A., had a most interesting comment. “USADA’s conduct raises serious questions about whether its real interest in charging Armstrong is to combat doping, or if it is acting from less noble motives.”

    • Admin says:

      If the only evidence you can use of doping is an analytical positive, what about confessions of the dopers themselves? What about physical evidence, i.e. a guy is about to put a needle in his arm but doesn’t? Or he puts the needle in his arm and throws away the syringe, and all you have is the syringe? What about television and video evidence? What about all of the other non-analytical methods that in the rest of the world are used as evidence for things having occurred?

      Where Lance’s argument is strongest is here: USADA has it in for him.

      It’s true, they do, but every prosecution requires that you go after some people and let others slide. This is the essence of prosecutorial work–deciding, based on resources, the size of the fish, and bang of the PR buck, and the potential to deter others, who you’re going after.

      As long as the wrongdoer has broken the rule/law, he’s fucked, and won’t get a free ride just because the prosecutor chose him instead of someone else.

      • Ewing Taylor says:

        As of this writing, Armstrong has not confessed. The confessions of others to wrong doing cannot be fairly imputed to confirm the same behavior on L.A.’s part. Other non-analytical evidence that all of the rest of the world uses? The rest of the world does not impose punishment mandated by law. I believe DOJ dropped its action for the lack of analytical evidence. That the USADA’s civil action requires only “weight of the evidence” to find guilt, as opposed to the more burdensome criminal standard of guilt “beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt”, does not speak to the quality of the evidence to be considered. As you say, prosecution does require selectivity, however prosecution per se is not necessarily required. Should Armstrong choose to confess to doping, this would be definite confirmation. If he is indeed guilty, then let just desserts be served. (Incidentally, I do wish you wouldn’t indulge in potty-mouth. This does not add genuine weight to any point being made.) Thank you.

        • Admin says:

          I can’t resist gravitating to the gutter. I was raised in it, and it’s where I feel most at home. I know it detracts from the quality of the argument, but it’s how I talk, and ultimately this should be about entertainment.

          But I promise in response to your considered and mannerly posts, I will eschew nasty language. If I can.

          The confessions of others are used all the time to convict people. They’re called eyewitnesses. Large numbers of eyewitnesses who all claim to have seen the same thing is especially damning in any tribunal. You believe, but don’t know, why DOJ dropped its case. Others believe it was politically induced.

          Judge Sparks found that the arbitration process was fundamentally fair, and that Lance had agreed to it. Lance ran from a “fundamentally fair” process.

          He needs to say “Sorry. I cheated and shouldn’t have.”

    • duskster says:

      Ewing: Note that Judge Sparks’ found that the USADA process and procedures satisfied due process which was the bottom line of the whole claim. He did dismiss the NON-due process claims because Armstrong had agreed to USADA arbitration.

      It is pretty evident that USADA was out to nail Armstrong and it got very personal between the parties (with Armstrong giving as good as he got). But the bottom line is, as evidenced by the earthquakes happening in pro cycling now and also the potential for real, lasting and positive change, that USADA was perfectly justified in going after the kingpin and targeting Armstrong. That’s a totally rational use of prosecutorial discretion and limited resources. And we can see by the unfolding results that it may have been the objectively correct choice.

      Doping violations CAN and regularly are proven and upheld without positive results. Just as murder convictions can and regularly are proven without DNA evidence, video of the act or defendant’s confessions. There are all kinds of different types of evidence in the USADA file. They are damning, they corroborate each other, they are persuasive, and frankly, any reasonable judge would conclude that Armstrong doped, that he intimidated witnesses, that he retaliated, etc. etc. There is certainly some speculation and shaking stuff in the file, but there are TONS of rock solid evidence. This is way more than suggestive.

      How exactly did USADA coerce witnesses? They have no subpoena power. Witnesses volunteered. All riders received lessened sanctions, but how did that incentivize Hincapie, who was retiring anyway? USADA wiped out years of results. Leipheimer was released from his team. There is a very good argument that the rider witnesses lost more than they gained from testifying.

      What I don’t get is the willful blindness from many people. I would bet that if it was not Armstrong and folks were looking at just one quarter of the evidence available, they would conclude, “he’s guilty as sin.” The emotion of the situation is clouding people’s vision.

      I totally understand that. He’s very inspiring and it’s a total tragedy. But at some point, we need to apply some critical and rational thinking.

      • Admin says:

        The witnesses were caught in a vice. They testified under oath to the grand jury. Then a DOJ employee was present when they spoke with USADA. If they’d changed their story, BAM.

        As for evidence, the information coming out in Italy from the Padua prosecutor confirms that there was a network operating to break the rules. Those who could afford to work with Ferrari got much more than a leg up.

        Time to say “Sorry!”

      • Ewing Taylor says:

        Mr. or Ms. Duskster, 10/22/2012

        If the USADA’s process of going after Armstrong has been as justified and well-reasoned as you think it to be, what then do you make of Judge Sparks’ comment about the distinct possibility of ” … less noble motives.”?

        I wonder if the public will ever get to see the rock solid evidence which you say the USADA has in its files? I agree that the person being Armstrong, there is a lot of emotion invested here. Consequently, by all the heat generated in this legal action, anything less than complete transparency would be deleterious to the USADA’s reputation. I wonder how well it would stand up to the level of scrutiny and investigation it has afforded to Armstrong?

        I for one have plenty of nuts-and-bolts questions which I’ve not seen discussed, concerning the legal authority of the USADA. Just when did it come into existance? I can’t recall hearing of it during the Armstrong years of the Tour. Perhaps I wasn’t paying attention. Under what section and sub-section of the U.S. Code is Armstrong being charged? Did that code exist during those years? (Ex post facto?) What part of the U.S. Code explicitly makes it illegal to use drugs to win competitions in foreign countries? Where is the understanding in international law, to which the U.S. is a signed-on party, that one country can legally invalidate awards/honors/wins in sporting competition earned in different country?

        As to willful blindness – Along with many others, I am of course upset by the thought of Armstrong’s record-holding wins being unjustly earned. Which is precisely why there needs to be unassailable authority and justification in USADA’s actions.

        Ewing Taylor

        • Admin says:

          Nice. You ask me not to curse because it detracts from the argument. I agree to not curse with you. Your next comment begins with a schoolyard taunt. Are you related to Tardstick?

          Have you read the reasoned decision in its entirety and the supporting documentation? It doesn’t sound like it.

          Please cite the specific sections with which you disagree, and explain your reasoning supported by law and/or fact, and perhaps we can have a discussion.

          Until then, shut the fuck up.

      • Erik says:

        The substance of Ewing Taylor’s arguments seems to me quite indicative of the I-Heart-LA hobbyist triathlete that seems to be so vocal on facebook lately. Namely, that if you still HAVE to believe in Lance for some reason, you’re willing to go through all sorts of mental gymnastics and regurgitate whatever illogical arguments the LA PR machine has generated in order to get there.

        Ewiing’s particular perspective seems more informed than the typcial cries of “Witchhunt!”. But it’s a cry of “witchhunt” nonetheless.

        The underlying cause of LA’s ability to perpetuate this myth in the public consciousness is the loss of true public understanding of “reasonable doubt”, which to most people now means: “whatever doubt I can concoct in my own mind, not matter how convoluted or fallacious, so that I can continue to believe that the charges are baseless, regardless of the actual evidence.”

  • michaelfury says:

    And did they get you to trade
    Your heros for ghosts?
    Hot ashes for trees?
    Hot air for a cool breeze?

    • Admin says:

      Now that’s nice writing. Thanks–

    • Ewing Taylor says:

      A few clever figurative analogies do not negate reasoned arguments, whatever their conclusions may be.
      Ewing Taylor

      • Admin says:

        These are not analogies. They are eyewitnesses testifying under oath. People are routinely executed with a fraction of such conclusive evidence, yet you’re saying we can’t conclude that he’s a liar and a cheat?

  • Michael Russell says:

    Thanks for your analysis. You might well have a secondary career as an ethics writer. The saddest part of this that all those decent hardworking riders in the Peloton who began to see decent incomes from the multi-billion dollar industry that LA certainly brought to life are on the front line of those who will be hurt.
    Whether or not he confesses a whole industry of people are hurt as is good will for the sport. In the end the trophy isn’t really yours if you had to cheat to get it. Time for a bike ride!

    • Admin says:

      Bike ride = cure all.

      Rabobank just pulled the plug on road cycling; more careers down the tube.

      The collateral damage is huge and swelling. Who would invest in the pro sport now except for those tied to the bike industry?

      Of course, there is a sport called “women’s cycling,” and it’s uh, cleaner. I think.

  • kolembo says:

    Good writing.

    I don’t think Lance will own up to anything at all.

    In the face of such an affront to his sense of importance, he’s a coward.

    Its a shame. So much good in one man, corrupted by things of men – the need to win.

    Its a tragedy.

  • great article. some may have mentioned it already here, and has been suggested elsewhere, that Lance orchestrated the whole sponsorship-dropping thing to happen all at once and is prepping to make an announcement at the 15th anniversary of Livestrong. Tonight. Plausible, and wouldn’t surprise me in the least that he is STILL in utter control.

  • Edmund Dantes says:

    This is another interesting perspective:

    It hints at an outcome nobody else has predicted. Lance will simply redefine the way PEDs are viewed. By changing the rules, he will never have been guilty of anything. If anyone can do it, he can.

    Also, you’re a wanker.

  • Placing quote-marks around things it this fiction is evil and misleading, Mr. High and Morally Pure.

    • Admin says:

      Oh, boy, another grammar infraction. Too bad you didn’t read the About section!

      • David says:

        How old are you bully, are we still in school?

        I am going to keep commenting here because you keep making yourself look worse when you are critical of other people, like you have been.

        • Admin says:

          I love your comments. This is obviously the first time anyone’s ever noticed your existence…such as it is.

    • Admin says:

      Hey, I just went back to see what you were talking about. Wow, you really are stupid! I can’t use quotes to show dialogue unless it’s factual?

      Are you related to Tardstick? Wait…I don’t want to know.

      I like the way you’re riffing on the idea that anyone dating to criticize Lance is a hypocrite unless they are morally blame free.

      Nice extension of a failed argument that’s already been buried.

  • Bravo; well-written.

  • PureBlonde says:

    A really impressive article – I’m not that heavily into cycling, but you have really opened my eyes to this case. Thank you!

  • David says:

    Well I am done with your waste of time of a flog or should I say flop. Hopefully you continue to attract narrow minded, self centered arrogant people like yourself.
    You really need to find yourself some sort of useful employment so you aren’t a drain on the system. Maybe even move out of mom and dads basement.

  • David says:

    Oh by the way a good use of the Nazi would have been comparing them to you, Defy us and pay the price.

  • pontificators says:

    The fallout from this will reach far and wide. The sport will suffer greatly. In Australia two key figures have been forced to step down for being involved.
    Lance Armstrong; it’s a long way from the penthouse to the shit-house … but it can be a quick ride! and I guess doping will get Lance there just that little bit faster.

  • pontificators says: forgot to add this to the previous post. There is an interesting article from an Australian Newspaper calling for jail time for drug cheats, linking drug cheats and fraud.

  • marksolock says:

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

  • Marc says:

    And Lance Armstrong should apologize in behalf of Americans blaming – who else – “the French” through countless odious accusations, even his own team blaming French officials for tainting his urine samples. Armstrong famously sacked Christophe Bassons from his team in the 1999 TDF, simply because Bassons refused to dope, ruining his professional career in the process (as well as others, btw). Yesterday in a French sport magazine, Bassons had the class to speak of Armstrong with compassion. L.A is nothing else than a charismatic, lying bully.

    • Admin says:

      No argument here, although Bassons got a one-year doping suspension handed to him today for missing an in-competition test.

      • Marc says:

        There’s no way Bassons would risk his reputation and especially right now, in my opinion. He admittedly headed home after quitting and checking out of the race but did not wait to see the list of names for testing before getting a call from officials while still driving home. He got the suspension before he could drive back to the event (source: l’Equipe). He made a mistake but there’s just no way Bassons would be that stupid, he’s just not that kind of person.

        Great blog, by the way.

  • Peregrine says:

    Confession is the way to go. It would only require a minor reworking of the myth anyway- “when I came back into cycling, it quickly became clear to me that the people who were winning were all doping, and there was no way to win without joining them. But they were all doping on a crazy, ad-hoc basis. My cancer experiences taught me that the way to approach this was on a scientific, team-wide basis, and that’s what we did. Our doing program was the safest, because it was scientific and it was the best. We didn’t offer team-members the choice between doping or being sacked, we offered them the choice between the safest program or some other teams half-assed, dangerous version.” (re-establishes the link to and the veneration of the cancer doctors, whose vital work we are now trying to support in any way we can..).
    “The whistle blowers were all failed blackmailers who were in it up to their necks etc.”
    “I will pay back all monies to parties I have defrauded.” (fight like HELL behind the scenes over the details of what that means, with the leverage that what Lance is now trying to do is fight cancer and clean up cycling, and any nit-picking over getting it all back is damaging both those higher goals, which all can see are greater than the vindictive destruction of the great cancer-fighter or a million either way on a multi-billion dollar corporate bottom-line).

    Should be able to get away with a decent retirement fund and some residual standing as a public figure, especially if he palys his cards right about what the UCI knew and when.

    • Admin says:

      Yes! Forbes says he’s worth $125M anyway, so it’s not like he’ll be homeless. A cynical, nuanced ploy like this, or something similar, will happen as the mud thickens.

  • Mike says:

    Nice post, Wank. I think you’re right that confession is his best course of action, I’m just not sure he’s capable of actually admitting it. If he does, I wonder if he’ll burn everyone (Bruyneel, Carmichael, Ochowicz, Weisel) and make them his own personal villains.

    The turdstick affair was hilarious! I think calling you admin is more offensive than asshole, but…meh.

    • Admin says:

      Turdstick! I love that dude! Wish he’d come back and play some more. “Admin,” indeed! Worst cutdown yet!!

  • Mike says:

    Nice post, Wank! I agree that confession is his best course of action, I’m just not convinced he’ll actually be able to do it. If he does, I wonder if he’ll burn everyone (Carmichael, Ochowicz, Weisel, Bruyneel) and make them his own personal villains/scapegoats.

    The whole turdstick affair here was just hilarious, you dove in a post earlier than I thought though!! And, I’d have been more offended by him calling you admin, than asshole…

  • steven says:

    Wow…150 comments. “Tardstick”, as in “The ‘stick by which all tardlly-ness is to be judged”. One vote from me. Almost as funny as “sprunt”. I too are a sprunter. But there is only one Tardstick.

    More entertainment value in that whole exchange than I would have thought possible. So thanks for that. You too, WM!

  • MichaelEdits says:

    He’ll get a book deal out of it and sell lots of (ghostwritten) copies.

  • Philip says:

    Why take down our hero? Why take away his titles? Give them to who? Pantani? Ulrich? Even a bigger joke. They all did it. All he has to say is “I did it too, I’m sorry”.

  • bleucrabedesigns says:

    Thanks Seth for all the fun but I better get something else accomplished besides reading your blog! 🙂

  • Adam Bell says:

    Ummm, UCI have delivered. Lance’s silence is deafening…….

    • Admin says:

      I can’t tell you the day or the minute or the hour, not being in the televangelist trade (yet!), but he will. The alternative is permanent silence, which is even more improbable than a nuanced confession, or further denial, which is looking incompatible with reality…finally.

  • […] 10-17 Cycling in the South Bay: The coming confession […]

  • pontificators says:

    And it continues. There is an interesting article that appeared in this weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald. Bradley McGee was a professional cyclist who raced against Armstrong, he has some interesting things to say.

  • pontificators says:

    To quote Australian Sports commentator Peter Fitzsimmons ”
    What the hell was the total of $125,000 in ”donations” made by Armstrong and his management company to the UCI in 2002 an 2005 for, if not to gain influence? They really thought Armstrong was donating money to help in the fight against drugs? Bullshit.”

    Read more:

    • Admin says:

      Told ’em he would!!!!

      The “Will he, won’t he?” stuff is just being floated so the focus group of the Internet and Twitter can help them hone the confession.

      Bottom line is this: His only long-term source of income is Livestrong and triathlon/running competitions. That’s it. The lawsuits are going to be there regardless, but if he can at least earn money he can fight those as rearguard actions. Without income, his outlook is bleak beyond belief. So he confesses, takes the punishment, and starts over again with the people who don’t care whether he doped/lied/cheated/bullied, and who only want to sniff his jock.

  • […] a certain Texan is a calculating SOB? That she doesn’t know every commentator from here to Los Angeles has been prognosticating on his endgame since roughly the time that Floyd Landis started […]

  • […] like Douchestrong’s confession, it was PREDICTED HERE FIRST: Now, get ready for the pilot TV show based on Cycling in the South Bay, followed by the mother of […]

  • […] back to the question: is Lance Armstrong a forgivable hero or just an arrogant bastard? The answer may be a little of both. Regardless of his fall from grace, Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG […]

    • Admin says:

      Not sure what the hell this is…someone posting something about an article about The Cyclist?

      My take on the matter remains unshaken: Go ride your bike.

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