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Rationale Behind Lance's Admissions

Peter DeJong/AP

From the moment Lance Armstrong radically reversed tactics — admitting that he used performance-enhancing drugs — he started banking that his confession will have value in two arenas that have nothing to do with Oprah Winfrey’s television ratings or his standing in the public eye.

One is the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which has the latitude to shorten his lifetime ban from competition. The other is the U.S. Justice Department, which is weighing whether to join a whistleblower suit that could cost him nearly $100 million.

Confessing his doping after years of vehement denials won’t be...

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