Anyone who has been watching the news or SportsCenter in the last year, and more specifically, the last week or two, has probably just about had it with hearing about Lance Armstrong. The famed cyclist, who built a career stringing together victory after victory, beating cancer, and establishing well-known charitable foundations, has seen his legacy crumble to ashes. On Thursday January 17th, 2013, Oprah Winfrey’s interview was aired in which she asked Lance yes or no questions regarding his much-publicized history of doping. Armstrong answered yes to a litany of questions, finally admitting to the already convinced public that he doped all throughout his seemingly illustrious career.
These public admissions on Oprah’s network merely confirmed much of the public’s belief that Lance did in fact use Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) throughout his career. However, for Lance, these admissions will have many more ramifications. Lance exposed himself to enormous financial liability in lawsuits domestically and internationally. A suit could be re-initiated by one of Lance’s former teammates, accusing him and his teammates of defrauding the U.S. government, being that their sponsor was the U.S. Postal Service. That suit could result in tens of millions of dollars of damages. Another suit could be brought by Armstrong’s Dallas-Based promotions company, SCA Promotions, seeking recoupment of millions of dollars in bonuses paid to Armstrong throughout the years. Internationally, Britain’s The Sunday Times will seek recoupment of the $500,000 settlement it paid to Armstrong stemming from a libel suit brought by Armstrong. The British newspaper will seek roughly 1.5 million dollars from Armstrong. Australia will also look to recover the millions of dollars it paid to Armstrong for appearances he made at cycling events. Armstrong may also be required to pay back the millions in prize money he won from International events. Lance could also face a U.S. federal criminal suit for trafficking, supplying illegal drugs, as well as other charges.
Lance Armstrong cannot bike away from this pending litigation like he did his disadvantaged competition for so many years. So why did he do it? Some say Lance is so competitive that all he wants to do is reduce his lifetime ban from the sport, and by cooperating in all these investigations, exposing his co-conspirators; he may be able to compete again. Maybe he is just sick of lying. Regardless, Lance’s pockets are sure to be dipped into in the coming years. Why do you think he did it?