The Lance Armstrong doping debacle rages on, and in the latest development, the cyclist's attorneys are demanding that 60 Minutes broadcast an on-air apology for their report a couple of weeks ago that asserted Armstrong failed a drug test. Armstrong's lawyers say the head of Switzerland's anti-doping lab denied allegations that Lance tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs at the 2001 Tour de Suisse.
Wow, sounds like more schoolyard finger-pointing to me! "But he lies! No, no, they're lying! No, I mean, she's out to get ME!!" At this point, I wonder if anyone else is getting a little bit fed up that the seven-time Tour de France winner sounds like a whiny kindergartener.
Here, several ways he's -- thus far -- (defensively) attempted to shift the blame to come off as a victim ...
1. The current assault on 60 Minutes - Check out this amazingly worded letter Armstrong's lawyer, Elliot Peters sent to CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager:
In the cold light of morning your story was either extraordinarily shoddy, to the point of being reckless and unprofessional, or a vicious hit-and-run job. In either case, a categorical on-air apology is required.
Armstrong and his lawyers must think their best strategy is to make CBS look like a bunch of hacks, so no one will believe 60 Minutes' investigation. But no amount of finger-pointing can change the fact that I believe CBS News spokesman Kevin Tedesco when he says, "We consider this the most thorough investigation into doping in the sport of cycling ever done."
2. Facts 4 Lance - If you were really innocent, would you need to build an entire website devoted not to clearing your name, but instead to smearing the people who voice their concerns about your drug use? Even trainwreck Britney Spears comes off as more upstanding with her "B.S. Alert" site (which aims to set the record straight on tabloid claims).
3. Bullying - When pressed to comment on the Sports Illustrated report that came out back in January, he said, "Dude, are you that stupid? Which part of 'I'm not commenting' is not clear to you?" Yes, because calling someone stupid is a great way to make yourself look better!!
4. Twitter - Perhaps if enough people follow his tweets -- a recent one of which read: "20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case." -- no one will question him! He does have approx. 2,800,000 followers, so clearly he's innocent, right?
5. Passing the buck - Cyclist Floyd Landis -- who is a key in the federal investigation into Armstrong's alleged doping -- says Lance was caught with syringes and drugs when the two traveled together to St. Moritz. Landis has asserted that Armstrong made another guy in their group convince suspicious airport officials the drugs were "vitamins."
6. Blaming his accusers of wanting "greed and publicity" - When all else fails, you can always say the guy who is out to get you just wants to be rich and famous. That's what Lance's lawyer Mark Fabiani is saying about Tyler Hamilton's plans to write a book: "...greed and a hunger for publicity cannot change the facts."
7. The cancer story - This is the saddest one of all. He continues to use his cancer survival story as a ploy to divert attention away from his doping. On one hand, you gotta feel a bit bad for him that he's trapped in a way in this squeaky-clean image. As BleacherReport.com says, "He is the cancer survivor who beat death to become a role model for the ages." But he's not doing anyone favors as a role model as he continues to deny, finger-point, shift the blame, and distract from the truth to save his own hide.
Do you think Lance Armstrong is fooling anyone?
Image via Paul Coster/Flickr