BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — They’ve waited for him to come into sight. Waited for a clean shot at a man slick as Teflon, as weightless as wind.
Now is their chance to take down Lance Armstrong. And they’re coming for him, lawyers and all.
Or are they?
It appears now that Armstrong, the once-brilliant cyclist now stripped of everything from wins to endorsements to the chairmanship of his own charity, is poised to confess to performance enhancing drug use over his prodigious career on OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s network, next Thursday.
Should he confess, it would mark a sea change for the disgraced champion. Over the years, the cyclist rabidly defended his reputation against doping, tore down his critics and even sued a British newspaper for indicating he cheated to win the Tour de France a record seven times.
But this fall, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency loosed 1,000 pages of evidence, including testimony from former teammates and others, that portrayed Armstrong not as the inspirational cyclist and cancer fighter many saw him as, but rather as part rider and part science experiment, as he used a cocktail of blood boosters, such as EPO, and blood bags to win the Tour de France.
Armstrong didn’t fight the charges, and was labeled as guilty by the media and fans. But the dogged Texan has never admitted anything publicly, ever. He has antagonized. He’s crushed those who came after him in the public relations arena, where his communications strategy has always dovetailed with legal tactics, forcing a two-front war for adversaries.
Nothing stuck to Lance. And should he confess (though Armstrong’s attorney’s wouldn’t comment on that matter Wednesday), there’s reason to think that may not change.