Haight-Ashbury Correspondent, White Cover Magazine
To be fair, this wasn’t today today. It was Saturday today. But, the ongoing legend of Lance Armstrong continues to grow and grow, and it certainly wasn’t about to escape the all-seeing eyes of the world’s most accountable newspaper, The Guardian of London.
Guardian sports reporter Paul Kimmage has been on Armstrong’s case since anyone else was, and he recounted his own (professional) relationship with Floyd Landis, Armstrong’s former teammate who was the first Tour de France winner who had his reputation soiled from his own doping.
“The saddest story I’ve ever heard about sport was told to me in November 2010 by a man who cheated to win the Tour de France. We were sitting not in the plush surrounds of a five-star hotel in Texas, but in a sparsely furnished cabin in the San Jacinto mountains. Floyd Landis‘s old racing bike was standing just inside the doorway; his underwear was drying on a clotheshorse; the cupboards were bare, the carpet was worn; it had been a while since President Bush had called.
“Darkness was falling on the mountain. Five hours had passed since he had begun telling his story and had covered most of the bases: his boyhood as a Mennonite, his doping apprenticeship with Lance Armstrong, his Tour de France win in July 2006 and the 12 months he spent lying after he tested positive. We have now reached the moment he knew the lying would have to stop.”
But, while Landis fell on his own sword, Armstrong kept living the lie.
So, when Lance went on Oprah last week and only partially told the truth he vowed to spill, Kimmage was like everyone else watching those self-promotional “confessions”: unmoved and unconvinced.
“Armstrong has always shown a talent for pulling rabbits out of hats, but this was magic. He did not dope during his comeback in 2009 and 2010 (Armstrong said). Why not? Why would a guy who had doped with impunity, who didn’t even regard it as cheating, suddenly decide he was going to do it clean? Wait, he explains it…
“Because Kristin, his ex-wife, “believes in honesty and integrity and the truth” and asked him “never to cross that line again.” And “I never would have betrayed that with her”?
“Is this the same guy who dumped his wife for Sheryl Crow? Is this the same Kristin who, according to witness statements given to Usada, wrapped tablets in tin foil for Armstrong at the World Championships in Valkenberg? Who told a team-mate, Jonathan Vaughters, they kept EPO in the fridge? Who watched her husband vilify Betsy Andreu and did nothing?”
They’re all good questions, but if we know anything about Lance, it’s this: he won’t answer them.