During Lance Armstrong’s career it was his skill on the bike, combined with ruthless ambition and a willingness to use any means available, which set him apart. The US Postal Service cyclist used insider knowledge to anticipate the arrival of drug testers so as to escape condemnation and leave behind only a scent of suspicion.
The American applied the same single-minded and calculating mindset to his confessional interview on Oprah Winfrey’s show. He admitted enough “mistakes” to seek forgiveness, but denied any wrongdoing in his career either side of his seven annulled Tour de France victories. For some viewers this may have been enough. However, Armstrong’s refusal to elaborate by naming collaborators or discussing other controversies in his career reveals how carefully managed his confession was.
Cycling needed Armstrong to admit to his crimes against the sport. Yet when he put himself forward for a “no-holds barred” interview, he remained unable to answer many of the allegations that continue to follow him.