Lance, Oprah and stage-managed redemption

Following Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, reports say he is going to dob some people in. William Fotheringham is probably right when he says that these stories are probably just Armstrong’s latest attempt to muddy what is actually a pretty clear picture of one man at the centre of organised, methodical doping on a grand scale.

It doesn’t make much sense that any anti-doping organisation would offer Armstrong a deal in order to get to the real villains, because he’s the one at the heart of everything. Armstrong may well have been part of a team, but it was always his team. The race directors, coaches and doctors worked for him. He set the agenda. He devised the modus operandi.

All this turning-over-a-new leaf bullshit is neatly exposed in British cyclist Nicole Cooke’s retirement statement. She points to Tyler Hamilton as being an example of how “the cheats win on the way up and the way down.”

“Hamilton lied, lied again and then lied some more for well over a decade and only ‘came clean’ when a lucrative book deal hoved miraculously into view.”

There’s a lot of truth in that. The foundations of Armstrong’s success may well be removed, but somehow plenty will remain standing despite that. He might lose a stack of cash, but he’ll still be a millionaire. He’s still gained overall.

It’s a bit irritating.