If Lance Armstrong wants to convince anyone he doesn't dope, he needs to brush up on his excuses. To answer allegations on 60 Minutes from former teammate Tyler Hamilton that he saw Armstrong giving himself injections of red-cell boosting drug EPO, Lance has his attorneys out there doing damage control with gems like, "Most people will see this for exactly what it is: More washed-up cyclists talking trash for cash."
We've heard this one on the playground, haven't we? Although it sounded a bit more like "I know you are, but what am I?" In fact, Armstrong's entire "Facts 4 Lance" site, a blog he tweeted about last night, reads like an attempt not to clear up the allegations that have been floating around for years, but to smear the people who dare voice their concerns about Armstrong's activities.
Hamilton, whose interview with 60 Minutes is part of the CBS news show's six-month investigation into allegations about doping in cycling, gets his own page dubbed simply "Hamilton Is Not Credible." I'll save you the trouble of skimming it with this summation: the way Armstrong's camp tells it, Hamilton can't be trusted because he's doped himself and he's writing a book.
But let's consider this. A host of other people have made allegations about Armstrong. People like Stephen Swart, a teammate of Armstrong's in the '90s who claims Lance instigated EPO use by the whole team. People like cyclist Floyd Landis, who claims Lance used private planes to bypass customs with his illegal substances. People like Mike Anderson, a bike mechanic who alleges he saw "andro" in Armstrong's home (referring to androstene, a steroid). That's just the tip of the iceberg, begging the question -- are they all former dopers writing books too?
Now let's flip the coin. If we can't trust Hamilton because he's used drugs and wants to make some money with a book deal, how can we trust Armstrong himself? He's got a handful of books on the shelves. AND it's looking more and more like he is himself a junkie, a doper, a drug addict ... the sort of person he doesn't want us to trust. By his own rubric, he's a liar, liar pants on fire!
Who do you believe? Is Armstrong innocent or lying?
Image via Peter Huys/Flickr