Biking to Court

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?

Sources: NPR

Photo: NPR

5 comments

  1. When hearing that Lance Armstrong was actually guilty of all the doping allegations that have followed him throughout his career, I was shocked. Armstrong, in my eyes, seemed like the perfect athlete because of his record breaking career, and the perfect role model because he beat cancer and started a massive foundation to help support those fighting cancer. It is unfortunate that someone who many people have respected and trusted was lying to us the whole time! I am not surprised that all of the entities listed above are now coming after Armstrong for every cent they ever gave him.

    I think he did the Oprah interview to try, in his eyes, to set the record straight and show everyone that he is taking responsibility for his actions but it’s a little too late! These doping allegations did not start last year, they have been haunting Armstrong for years and he has denied every single one. He should have confessed a long time ago if he actually felt bad for his actions. Instead, someone finally found the smoking gun on Armstrong and he had no choice but to finally come clean. I don’t think he will ever be unbanned from cycling but I believe the public will eventually forgive him, just look at Tiger Woods, but it will be a little longer for Armstrong because these lawsuits will probably continue for years.

  2. This situation is awful. Lance Armstrong was the all-American. He was someone for everyone to look up to, and now he is just another liar. The doping part doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the lying. Armstrong was suing people for accusing him of doping! I don’t know anything about the ‘sport’ of cycling. For all I know, everyone uses performance-enhancing drugs. So be it. But for this guy to gain our sympathy and our financial support while living one giant lie, what a ‘dope.’ Tiger Woods let us down. Roger Clemens-liar. It’s frustrating. Who are kids supposed to look up to? I guess I am just too naïve for believing that these tremendous athletes are also moral people. Venting aside, I think Armstrong deserves to be sued by all of the people he deceived over the years. Let him suffer the consequences. At the end of the day, thank goodness for athletes like Derek Jeter.

  3. My problem with this whole situation is the ruthless ways that he went about destroying anyone who attempted to blow the whistle on him. Not only did he vehemently deny any and all allegations, he went so far as to sue (and win!) for defamation. There will undoubtedly, and deservedly, be legal ramifications for his actions and I for one don’t believe that will be enough. He says that he wants to return to cycling, triathlons, and other competitions yet has shown nothing to say that he’s truly sorry. He’s probably sorry that he got caught, that he finally got caught up in the web of his lies, and that enough people said the same thing for long enough that the truth had come out. We knew that he already had used PED’s, the governing body of cycling already determined as much when they stripped him of his seven Tour de France victories. Him coming out and admitting it does not give him the ability to wipe his slate clean, he made a mistake and now must suffer the consequences of it. Unfortunately for him, the consequences involve him potentially losing all of his money, his ability to compete, and the respect of millions worldwide who looked up to him as a role model.

  4. I cannot stand hearing about Lance Armstrong anymore. I truly could not care less that he cheated and lied about it. It has become commonplace. One superstar after the next is falling from grace. It does not shock me; none of it shocks me anymore. The use of PEDs: steroids, HGH, blood doping, etc. is apparently much more widespread across the entire array of competitive sports than anyone previous thought. I don’t think there is a single professional athlete out there that would surprise me if I were to find out they had/have been juicing during all of their success. Sure, some would hurt to hear about more than others, like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, or Chuck Knoblauch. Oh wait, Knobby did use steroids. That’s probably why he stopped being able to throw the ball to first base… he couldn’t control his new herculean strength. But that’s my point. People who you would never guess in a million years were taking drugs, actually were. Therefore, it no longer fazes me. Although I will say this, if I ever find out the Chinese Ping Pong team was shooting up before Olympic matches, I may just lose my mind.

  5. Patrice, truer words have never been spoken, thank God for Jeter, Oh Captain My Captain. In response to Matthew’s first question as to why did Lance do it, I believe that he took PED’s to get on a level playing field. Cycling, perhaps more than any other sport (if you could call it that) is known for its excessive use of performance enhancing drugs. In a “sport” such as cycling where the majority of its participants are doping, it would be hard to fathom that the one “clean athlete” was able to win 7 Tours De France. With that being said, despite all the good that Lance did with his work at Livestrong, I think he is a bad person who lied so much that he believed that it was the truth and subsequently ruined anyone’s life that crossed him. For the various legal actions he brought against individuals and corporations, Lance’s admission has opened himself up to legal recourse on the part of those parties that he won judgments against.
    Although he may have done this interview with Oprah to try and decrease his ban so that he can participate in his second career as a tri-athlete, Lance still has much more to do including speaking with USADA, before he will ever be able to participate again.

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