The Lance Armstrong confession to Oprah Winfrey is said to have wide reaching consequences. Not only will the seven-time Tour de France likely be punished, but friends and others in the sport of cycling will be effected.
According to USA Today, ex-Olympian Christine Thorburn competed for the United States in the 2004 and ’08 Olympics, so understands the world of elite-level cycling. Thorburn believes that Lance Armstrong is not “remorseful at all” and that his confession to Oprah was probably strategic:
“I agree with Oprah (in Part I of the interview) when she used the term ‘jerk.’ I don’t know him. I’ve just been in a room with him once, but I’ve heard enough from people who know to know that he’s not a role model. He basically suggested last night that he was not planning to confess — he thought it could go away. I didn’t think he seemed particularly remorseful — or remorseful at all. He got caught and was basically trying to salvage his reputation.”
According to Sports Illustrated, critics believe that Lance Armstrong’s confession was likely designed to persuade the US Anti Doping Agency to reduce his lifetime ban from competitive sports, which follow the World Anti-Doping Code to an eight-year ban. When Lance Armstrong confesses to USADA he cannot lie any further because otherwise he would be open to criminal perjury charges. If he does not follow the rules precisely, Lance Armstrong’s only other option for his cycling career is to compete in non-sanctioned races. Still, Lance Armstrong faces the problem of having a past where he sued USADA for defamation.
Speaking of the law, back in 2005 Lance Armstrong gave sworn testimony where he denied doping charges. So it’s obvious he lied eight years ago, but he benefits from the five-year statute of limitations for federal perjury charges. Sports Illustrated believes that Lance Armstrong should be worried about other laws he may have broken:
“Related criminal charges range from illegal distribution of steroids and prescription drugs, conspiracy (collaboration with others to commit crimes), racketeering (illegal business activity), misuse of public funds and embezzlement. While the statute of limitations on these charges has ostensibly expired, Armstrong should still worry about a court reasoning that the charges remain possible.”
The Lance Armstrong confession will also change the results of other pending litigation. Former USPS teammate Floyd Landis is suing Lance Armstrong in a whistle blower lawsuit. Companies who promoted Lance Armstrong and his team will likely try to get their money back, which leaves Lance Armstrong liable for millions of dollars. Lance Armstrong has also sued others for libel, and I’m sure those targets will want that money back as well.
The only good news is that the Livestrong foundation is unlikely to be affected by the Lance Armstrong confession to drug doping. The cancer charity was formed in 1997 and has made a clean cut with Lance Armstrong. Donors will not be able to ask for their money back, since they were given as gifts.
What do you think about the Lance Armstrong confession to drug doping?