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Oprah on Lance Armstrong Confession: “Entire Interview was Difficult” [Video]

“The entire interview was difficult,” Winfrey said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning.” [...] Winfrey went on to explain that while Armstrong “did not come clean in the manner that I expected” and that it was “surprising to me … my team, all of us in the room … I feel that he answered the questions in a way that he was ready.” …But Winfrey stopped short of characterizing Armstrong as “contrite,” explaining, “I choose not to characterize. I would rather people make their own decisions about whether he was contrite or not. I thought that he was thoughtful. I thought that he was serious … I thought that he met the moment.” [CBS News]

NOTHING SAYS coward like running to Oprah for a confession. No one should be surprised by this or that Lance Armstrong isn’t the athlete he professed to be, which has been suspected, but this one could be expensive. The CBS video above tells the whole story, including threats against people who dared to challenge Armstrong.

Gayle King always gets the first word from Oprah Winfrey for CBS “This Morning,” with the two women long time friends.

From the New York Times:

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey that is scheduled for broadcast on her network on Thursday, Lance Armstrong confessed that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career, according to two people briefed on the interview, which was recorded Monday in Austin, Tex.

It is unclear, though, how forthcoming Armstrong was about his doping program, which the United States Anti-Doping Agency has said was part of the most sophisticated, organized and professional doping scheme in the history of sports

Professional sports lost me a long time ago.

There was the baseball strike of the 1990s. Then came the steroid scandal and the fall of Mark McGwire. What Cooperstown means now is anyone’s guess.

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13 Responses to Oprah on Lance Armstrong Confession: “Entire Interview was Difficult” [Video]

  1. jjamele January 15, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    1. The writers are doing their best to protect Cooperstown- this year was the first time the Steroid Class- Clemens, Sosa, Bonds- was eligible, and none came close to getting in.

    2. We need to remember that while Armstrong was cheating and lying about cheating, he was also smearing Greg LeMond and his bike company, sending out goons to threaten baseball bats to the knees to his critics, etc. The guy played the injured innocent in public while behaving like a gangster behind the scenes.

    3. His work with cancer undoubtedly saved lives, but it really does bring up the old “do the ends justify the means” question. It seems very likely that Armstrong’s huge push for cancer research was the equivalent of a serial rapist and coke addict becoming a Bible-thumping champion of Family Values- a massive attempt to distract from his crimes.

    4. Years ago, Armstrong’s life required absolute, determined denials delivered with a straight face and with practiced conviction. Today, Armstrong’s ability to retain some semblance of a life in sports requires a full-fledged apology. Clearly this guy will do or say whatever is required of the moment. Maybe he missed his calling, and should have dumped the bike for a podium and a campaign staff.

    • spincitysd January 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      ” Clearly this guy will do or say whatever is required of the moment.”

      And what was required of him during his run was to dope. It is that stark. The Tour de France of the late nineties and of the early millennium required riders to dope if they wanted to be on the Podium.

      Riders doped in those tours, they dope today. Bradley Wiggens, the most recent victor of the Tour, doped to get on that Podium. Cycling had always been and always be chock-a-block full of performance enhancing drugs.

      People will dope in sports because the benefits clearly outweigh the cost.

    • spincitysd January 15, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      “The writers are doing their best to protect Cooperstown.” Maybe, but it is most likely a lost cause. The present anti-doping regime of MLB is a joke; only idiots get nabbed. Unless the writers are willing to not vote for any player at all for the foreseeable future there will be a whiff of skulduggery about the player. Cooperstown may as well just fold and set up an asterisk room for the post strike era to the millenium. A nice little plack on the entrance to the room saying “Warning records in this room are possibly larger than they appear.”

  2. Uh-oh January 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Someone riding a bike, playing golf or baseball, or participating in any other “sport” really has no direct impact on our lives. Meanwhile all of the crooked, cheating politicians DO impact our lives and the media doesn’t go nearly as crazy about it. Cheating and drugs have been a part of sports as long as I can remember and frankly I just don’t care.

  3. Ramsgate January 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    For similar crimes, Marion Jones went to jail. The book was thrown at her; in her face. Hard.

    Lance Armstrong has proven he can lie with a straight face. He is on his way to being rehabilitated.

    • AliceP January 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Marion Jones lied under oath – her crime was perjury.

  4. jdona January 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    I don’t care if Armstrong doped or not actually. It was his battle against testicular cancer that I find inspiring, and I am truly thankful for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. My son had testicular cancer when he was 21, in 2003, stage 4. It came back in 2007. Our local oncologist consulted with the doctor that treated Armstrong both times via email. Armstrong’s foundation provided us with hope, with help, with information, and does incredible work. Almost all of the research in testicular cancer the last few years that has saved lives, is related to this man and his foundation. No one ever talked about this type of cancer before Armstrong, most people were never aware of it. I sure wasn’t. He opened this door and I will forever be grateful that he did. and I could honestly care less if he took performance enhancing drugs to win a bike rally. I do care that my son is alive and well in large part because of the research and treatment options pioneered by the research that was funded in part by Armstrong’s Foundation.

    • Ramsgate January 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      This is about as open and as honest a statement as I’ve heard.
      All the best to you and your son. May he continue in good health.

      • ladywalker68 January 16, 2013 at 2:57 am #

        While I agree with Ramsgate and wish all the best to you and your son, who were obviously helped, there were many others whose lives were made awful by Armstrong, and that is inexcusable. He defrauded many of his sponsors including the Federal governement. But again, one can always say “it’s only money” what does that matter if he is saving lives?

        Well, you can destroy somebody’s life without them dying and make their life a living hell. This he did to anyone who got in his way to bring the truth to light about his deception.

        Most notably, the woman who outed him, was bullied by Armstrong and this article does a good job of documenting that:

        Here is a quote:
        “Possibly no one took more grief from bullyboy Lance than Betsy Andreu. Her husband Frankie was one of Lance’s best friends and rode with him until the two of them testified that they heard the troubled Texan admit to a doctor he had used performance-enhancing drugs. The confession came in Indianapolis when Armstrong was being treated for cancer. Lance constantly attacked the Andreu’s publicly, made it all but impossible for Frankie to get sponsors or even work, and suggested that Betsy was simply troubled and jealous of Lance’s success. Instead, she was a truth-teller who refused, unlike many people, to get wrapped up in the lie being told by Lance Armstrong. She won. He was defeated by a diminutive, principled woman, who was the first to stand up to him.”

        So he saved some lives, but tried to destroy others. I would rather donate my money to causes that save lives where the organization is not built on a cesspool of lies and deception.

        • jjamele January 16, 2013 at 7:16 am #

          Great post- I could not think of a way to reply to “I don’t care if Lance Armstrong was a wretched excuse for a human being, a serial liar, who did a great deal of damage to his sport and other human beings, because he helped my son.” I think your comments were as close as one could get to a reply.

          • ladywalker68 January 16, 2013 at 9:29 am #

            What I liked about this article is the reference to the “Magic Cancer shield”:
            “But Lance gets a defense most cheaters and lawbreakers don’t. He is able to raise what one critic calls, “The Magic Cancer Shield.” Because he’s done so much for so many others, can’t we just let it go?”
            End Quote

            And it is a powerful shield, especially which such hear-felt and personal stories as the one posted here. While this is no doubt true, you can bet your can bet your Speedos that Team Armstrong-Live Wrong is concocting tons of such stories because they tend to shut down the conversation. After all, how can you possibly take issue who someone who feels that Lance saved his son’s life and therefore, all else is moot?

            Here is why we should take issue. The elephant in the room are the side effects of the drugs, supplements, <> any of these athletes are taking.

            For example, this article references the side effects of anabolic steroids:

            SIde effects include….
            In men, anabolic steroids can:
            Reduce sperm count.
            Shrink the testicles.
            Cause you not to be able to father children.
            Enlarge the breasts.

            In women, anabolic steroids can:
            Increase body hair.
            Make skin rough.
            Decrease breast size.
            Enlarge the clitoris.
            Deepen the voice.

            In both men and women, anabolic steroids can cause:
            Bone growth to stop before it is complete in a teen. The teen may not reach his or her full adult height.
            A heart attack or stroke, even in a very young person.
            High blood pressure.
            Higher levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
            Liver disease and possibly liver cancer. The chance of these problems is higher when steroids are taken as a pill.
            Oily skin and acne.
            Male-pattern hair loss.
            Skin infections that can become severe if the drug was tainted with bacteria.
            Irritability, rage, uncontrolled high energy (mania), or false beliefs (delusions).

            Now I have no clue about what Armstrong used, but the long-term side effects of most of these substances are unknown, and my layman’s gut tells me when you take stuff that messes with your natural bodily processes as far as body tissue, muscle mass, etc. you are asking for trouble.

            So for every life Lance Armstrong saved, he could potentially be negating that because of the damage of the side effects to young people who follow his example, and the examples of all of the other cheaters in the other sports today who have confessed. When use of these substances becomes the norm and people start believing it is OK to treat these people like heros because “everybody does it” then “Houston, we have a problem.” We are ignoring the elephant in the room because over time, most of this stuff is not good for you and nobody should be taking this stuff for performance enhancement.

  5. Taylor Marsh January 16, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    jdona January 15, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Good health to you and your son.

  6. Cujo359 January 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Quite by chance, I found this article that largely expresses how I feel about all this. The author feels, as do I, that the best way to measure an athlete is against those he competed against. Just as Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds should be measured against the Major League baseball of their time, so too, should Armstrong be measured against his. Based on what a whole lot of observers of cycling have written over the years, cycling in Armstrong’s time demanded that its participants dope. In that environment, he was better. He won the Tour De France seven times against opponents who also doped, whether the cycling establishment chooses to believe that or not.

    As for being an example to young people, I’d say he was a mixed bag, but not because of the doping. As that author points out, he dealt ruthlessly with his critics, and that is something he should be ashamed of, given that he was doing it to cover up a lie. When everyone is doing the same thing, doping isn’t “cheating”, it’s the environment. If you want to set an example for youth, support sports where that sort of thing isn’t tolerated. The people we choose to call heroes are never perfect, and I think it doesn’t serve children well to pretend otherwise.

    Never having been terribly good at sports, I suppose I’ve never had any illusions about them or the people who were good at them. Often times, they were jerks. Why would I expect that people who rose to the top of that endeavor are any better? Enjoy sports for what they are, which is an expression of the possibilities of human physical achievement, and don’t romanticize them. I think you and your kids will be much better off.

.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong