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Page 3 Profile: Mark Fabiani, PR guru

America's very own Max Clifford?

For his part in co-ordinating positive PR coverage in tricky situations and through decades of experience in defending the indefensible, Mark Fabiani and his business partner Chris Lehane have been dubbed the "Masters of Disaster". Fabiani, described as the more "gentlemanly" of the two, is something of a Max Clifford or Alastair Campbell figure – only with a quieter public profile and a more impressive client roster. He was hired by the Clintons during the Whitewater scandal (the investigation into their property investments) and was kept on to manage the Monica Lewinsky fallout.

A philandering President? Everything must seem a doddle after that...

It's easy to assume so, until you discover that Fabiani's latest challenge is to rehabilitate the public image of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. After years of doping denials, he is believed to have confessed all in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Reports have already emerged that the multi-millionaire has made tearful apologies to staff at his Livestrong cancer foundation. But confessing all on TV is just the first step: he could face lawsuits from sponsors, fellow ex-cyclist Floyd Landis and The Sunday Times (the paper paid Armstrong a $500,000 libel settlement in 2006).

It'll take more than tears to wipe the slate clean!

You suspect Fabiani is fully aware that they will never fully restore Armstrong to the hero status he enjoyed as a cancer survivor and Tour de France champion. But he's not a bad man to have in your corner.

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