Did Lance Armstrong dope? Of course he did. Are we surprised at this news? No, we are not. At least we shouldn't be.
If you were still sitting in his corner professing his innocence, I'm sorry you were let down. That hurts, I'm sure. But really, the only surprise is that he continued to profess his innocence as long as he did.
Don't get confused here, Lance's big announcement is nothing but his first step in trying to repair his own standing in the eyes of the world. There are several handfuls of people he could have sat down with to "come clean", but he chose Oprah Winfrey. Because she's an expert in cycling. Or sports. Or news. *clearing my throat* No, there's a reason it was Oprah, and that's her reach and her power.
Was I disappointed in him? Yes, of course. I was disappointed when the charges first surfaced and it looked like they were probably right. I gave him the benefit of the doubt for a very, very short time before I realized the truth: the entire sport was tainted.
Which is why I get annoyingly frustrated when I hear people say "He's the biggest cheat of all!". No, he's not. Not even close. He IS the best cheat in cycling. That's right, he won at cheating. He did it the best. How can I say this? Well, how do you think he got ratted out in the first place? He got ratted out by other cheaters. The disgusting part is that he proclaimed to be the only "clean" one in the pack. Really?
*Always remember, liars and cheaters will take down everyone who knows about it with them when they fall. The other cheaters took down Lance, and now Lance is prepared to take down the officials that knew. Steer clear of cheaters and liars. It's a big fat row of dominoes that might actually do some good, if it ultimately cleans up the sport. Though I'm not holding my breath that that will happen.
What I do find really sad is that his ties with Livestrong have hurt the foundation. And that we now question whether he has used the good of the foundation simply to bolster his own image, as something to hide behind. I've used the services, free services, provided by Livestrong when helping family members dealing with cancer. One of the reasons I've supported Livestrong was their work with the people in the fight, instead of just being a research fundraiser. (I steer clear of the research fundraiser because I think they are often misguided. Another post, another time.) Livestrong does some good work. They really do offer help to people fighting cancer. I hate to see that kind of help lost because of one man's selfish ploy to save his own butt.
Even more sad is the many, many people he hurt in the process of maintaining his lies over the years. He has ruined people's lives. Small people, the little guys and gals that got caught in his web. I won't take the time to tell their stories here, but their stories are out there to read. For them, I can only hope that Karma is real. I can only hope that it's true that at some point he will face his own due.
*Sigh* Part of his whole plan is getting people talking about it again. I mean he went on with Oprah, for crying out loud. You don't sit down with Oprah if you don't want people talking about it. And I'm contributing right here --- by talking about it. Guilty as charged. But it's been frustrating to watch people call him the biggest cheat, while ignoring the larger picture. And my blog is where I get to share my frustrations if I choose. So here it is. My summary: A dirty winner in a dirty sport who lied about it for years and years, not caring who got hurt as long as his head stayed above water. And that will completely overshadow any good that got done on the side along the way. It will overshadow the increase in cycling fans and participants - the good it's done the lower echelons of the sport, and it will overshadow any good that Livestrong has done. But hey, it's going to bring some great ratings to Oprah's sinking network.