Lance Armstrong may be finally ready to admit that he took performance-enhancing drugs, but insiders believe that is far from his only transgression.
In the wake of his interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he finally admits to doping, Lance Armstrong is fielding criticism from commentators who recall the fervor with which he denied those claims in the past. That includes attacking and using his team to attack those who dared to tell the truth about his extensive use of performance enhancing drugs, critics say.
Yahoo! Sports writer Dan Wetzel details some of those allegations in an article printed Tuesday. In it, Wetzel recalls some of the people who spoke out against Lance Armstrong, only to see Lance and his close associates attack them and try to destroy their reputations.
Among those was former teammate Tyler Hamilton, who spoke to 60 Minutes about the doping program Armstrong used. Lance reportedly ran into Hamilton in a restaurant and told him, “I’m going to make your life a living hell both in the courtroom and out of the courtroom.”
Or Emma O’Reilly, a young Dublin native hired by the U.S. Postal team as a massage therapist. After she testified that she was used to carry drugs across international borders, Armstrong reportedly went on the attack.
“Her story was true, Lance, wasn’t it? And you knew it was true. Yet despite knowing it was true, you, a famous multimillionaire superstar, used high-priced lawyers to sue this simple woman for more money than she was worth in England, where slander laws favor the famous. She had no chance to fight it.
“She testified that you tried to ruin her by spreading word that she was a prostitute with a heavy drinking problem.”
Though many have tried to lessen criticism of Lance Armstrong by noting that doping is rampant in cycling, or that his Livestrong Foundation did much good for cancer survivors, Wetzel still isn’t buying it.
“In the end, Armstrong did far more good for the world – particularly in the cancer wards where inspiration is so desperately needed – than bad. He rides a bicycle. He didn’t kill anyone.
“He did, however, try to destroy some people – their finances, their businesses, their reputations, their names. These are the victims of Lance Armstrong, and the only hope is that Winfrey didn’t just let Lance brush aside the truly aggrieved parties or the obvious questions.
“Armstrong isn’t necessarily a bad guy for doping. He is a bad guy for the way he used his immense power, fame and fortune to attempt to ruin anyone who dared to speak the truth to his avalanche of lies.
“That was some punk behavior.”
Others have attacked Lance Armstrong for his years of lying about performance-enhancing drug use. The New York Post skewered Armstrong in a story on Tuesday using the headline “Liestrong,” saying that his lying was just as much a part of the scandal as the doping itself.
One YouTube user even uploaded a supercut of all the times Lance Armstrong had denied using performance-enhancing drugs over the years. Within two days it reached nearly 50,000 hits.