Lance Armstrong has been a hero to many of us who bike or run for years and years. We have heard about his amazing body that was built for endurance and speed. He was basically the closest we would ever get to a superhero in this culture, his blood, muscles, and lungs all stronger and better than ours.
And then we found out it's all a lie. We have known for months that Armstrong likely doped. He has been stripped of his titles and generally disgraced. And now reports say he has finally admitted to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that is scheduled to run on Thursday of this week.
Cynics say this admission is all part of his "comeback" and maybe it is. But he would have a hard time making any real comeback and, as a runner and cyclist who greatly admired Armstrong, I will never see him in the same way again.
It's a strange thing and something no one expected from Armstrong. For many, he was a hero, battling cancer and coming back stronger, fitter, and faster. He could do anything.
For years he LIED about doping, which only made it harder on his fans. If this is his attempt at a comeback, then he has failed.
He also let down his cancer charity. Remember all those inspiring yellow bracelets? Well, forget them now. He apologized to staff at the Livestrong cancer charity he founded, but is that enough? They are out of work, basically, and now nothing he says can be believed.
Some are saying that Armstrong is going after officials from the International Cycling Union, the sport's worldwide governing body, about their involvement in all this, but the damage to his reputation has been done.
It's impossible to understand the kind of pressure I am sure he was under. He had to perform. He had to win. But cheating? No. That's never OK. He has let so many people down, and coming back from that is going to be a true uphill battle, the kind he may not be able to win.
I support him as a human being who makes mistakes and I am glad he is coming clean. But as an athlete, he is disgraced and that should be permanent.
Why do you think Armstrong is coming clean now?
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