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Armstrong - one of the greatest liars of all time

I’ve just had a phone call from Lance Armstrong’s agent and, apparently, he wants to sponsor¬† this site. All I have to do is give a clean blood sample and he’ll pay me a load of money.

Lance Armstrong is one of the greatest liars of all time, second to Jimmy Savile. Like Savile, he conned us big style and, like Savile, we all kind of knew.

Savile was creepy, Armstrong was beyond human but the questions that remained unanswered when these two odious individuals were in their so-called ‘glory days’ are almost as criminal. The bigger the lie, the more they’ll believe it.

I am not putting Armstrong in the same league as Savile – I just need to make that clear. Armstrong is not evil, he’s just fundamentally flawed as an individual, Savile, however,¬† is a monster.

This morning like millions of others, I watched the Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey, and although there is a part of me that respects such a candid outpouring, what amazes me is how devastatingly composed he is. This composure just begs the question: what else is he lying about?

There’s a lot more to this and I suspect there will be many more revelations in the years to come. Lance Armstrong is right when he says his confession has come too late: the lie he has told is just so monumentally massive that it’s hard to get your head around. How can a man win the biggest prize seven times and get away with it?

Lawyers knew, they knew the extent of the lie and they took the money. Armstrong sued everyone who stood in his way. Journalist David Walsh knew the truth and his paper got sued. Armstrong’s relationship with the mirror must have been remote.

Armstrong eventually told the truth because he simply could not ignore the fact that the evidence around him was so compelling. He did not volunteer this information because of some sort of Saul-on-the-road-to-Damascus enlightenment. He did it because he had to. The game was up.

The lie was so big that we didn’t really want to hear the truth. So many turned to Lance Armstrong for inspiration, yet that inspiration was founded on deceit and I don’t know if cycling will ever truly recover from this – Bradley Wiggins is leading the sport’s recovery, winning the Tour de France as a clean rider. Of course, I don’t know that for sure, but one suspects that this mess has scarred the sport so badly that it should deter even the temptation to cheat.

I don’t know what to think about Armstrong. Does one forgive and accept the contrition, or do you continue to nail this man to his own personal cross? One finds it difficult to find a place to forgive liars, but we all have to accept that we’ve all told lies, they are just not as big as Armstrong’s. Watching Armstrong, we all see a bit of ourselves in him: the white lies we’ve told and the big fat ones. I just hope we don’t ignore the truth because, without getting over-trite, the truth does set you free. Armstrong’s story proves that.

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