Sadly, even Lance Armstrong’s contrition is contrived, it seems. His mea culpa to Oprah Winfrey — always guaranteed to bump a miscreant’s Q rating — is not actually about apologizing to his fans and coming clean, so to speak, about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. It’s about reducing liability and getting back on a bike in competition (in the triathlon; one assumes even an ego such as Armstrong’s knows his Tour de France days are over).
When last I broached the subject of Armstrong, it was not to declare his innocence, but to decry the relentless and costly pursuit of him by USADA. At the time, I had little doubt that Armstrong had doped, but I also had doubts about the investigation.
USADA’s report put those doubts to rest. The evidence is there and irrefutable, and that was plain when the report was released and Armstrong was silent. And he has been silent since, until he began calling people a few days ago to apologize for what was coming on Oprah’s OWN network Thursday and Friday nights.