I just got back from the mountains last night and my family just got on different planes back to their homes this morning. My whole day, today, has pretty much been spent picking up things off the floor and answering emails. But, I did have enough time to read that Lance Armstrong was leaking to the media that he was possibly, maybe, considering admitting to doping.
Now, I don’t really dislike Lance because he doped. I believe we, as spectators, have some culpability for creating a sport (any sport) where we worship heroes for doing whatever it takes to win and then pretend to be shocked that ‘whatever it takes’ crosses a line that we have drawn in our minds. That line for me is not the doping, but the lives that had to be ruined in his cover-up.
But, he’s always been an asshole for a specific reason. He did whatever he had to to maintain some semblance of his innocence and to preserve his image and the massive Lance Machine. Even now, people love him. Donations to the Livestrong Foundation were record high after he stopped fighting the USADA charges.
So, what’s the point of admitting anything now? (Besides relieving a guilty conscience, finding some peace of mind, the truth, and all that.) From a purely pro/con, business standpoint, I don’t understand his game. If he admits it now, he loses lawsuits that are still ongoing; he loses – probably – those that still believe in him for whatever reason; he loses most of the machine that he has destroyed so much to keep. And, what does he gain? They say he wins back the chance to compete again. But, he’s 41. He could satisfy a desire to compete without lifting the lifetime ban. And, even if a lifetime ban is lifted, it’d still be two years at least before his short-term ban was lifted. Then, he’d be 43.
He has more to lose than to gain. And, that’s why I don’t think he’ll do it. But, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe being an asshole for that long is simply exhausting and he just wants to be done with the constant fighting everyone. Maybe.