Cycling: Lance Armstrong's sorry tale met with ridicule and doubt
Key figures give their reaction to the second part of Lance Armstrong's public confession – and the verdict does not point towards redemption hopes
Sunday 20 January 2013
'He's a little delusional'
"Boo hoo. He's not getting it. What about Greg LeMond's bike company that was completely destroyed? What about Scott Mercier [who refused to dope] not having a career? Christophe Bassons [who also refused] not having a career? Other guys who didn't want to do what he wanted them to do not having a career?
"You can't put a price on opportunity lost and we're not even talking millions of dollars, we're talking about people who just want to pay a mortgage and save some money after."
"So many people in the saga have been hurt. Greg LeMond for example, [Armstrong's] children, people who defended him. He hurt the sport of cycling. He caused it irreparable damage.
"In a way I don't think he understands the magnitude of what he's done. He's trying to reason this out. He's just not being logical. I think he's being a little delusional.
"When Frankie and I spoke with him [recently] we felt that he was sincere and genuine. The way he was on the phone with us was far different to how he's portraying himself on TV. I don't know if it's because he was very nervous, he's trying to be stoic or have a stiff upper lip, but I think it would have been a great benefit to him to let the guard down.
"Part of the problem is telling the truth and being contrite, apologising... it's a new concept to Lance.
"I hope he will testify to Usada [the US Anti-Doping Agency] and tell the truth, and the right thing can be done. But he has to pay the price, some way, somehow.
Betsy Andreu wife of Armstrong's former team-mate, Frankie, who testified he had admitted to doping in 1996 and was subsequently labelled "crazy" by the Texan
'We need to know names'
"I believe the only reason he's come clean is that he would love to race again and he'd give anything to do that. I don't think at the moment he's done enough to be given a relief on his life sentence... we need to know names and how he managed to trick 500 [drug] controllers throughout his career."
Phil Liggett cycling commentator and long-time supporter
'He's a broken man'
"I think he's still confused and not 100 per cent sorry. I think he's in the process of learning how many lives he ruined. It's sad to see him like that. He's a broken man"
Tyler Hamilton former team-mate
'What a piece of work he is'
"Lance responded to my accusations that he was a drug cheat by branding me a prostitute and an alcoholic. [In the interview] he said I was one of the people who had been 'run over' and that he owed me an apology, but more crucially he confirmed that my story about a backdated prescription was true.
"There was this tightness in my chest that was suddenly released.
"He said he had reached out and tried to contact me. I want to speak to him but I'd rather do it face to face. I'd like to explain why I told my story in the first place. I'd like to ask Lance how he could come after me in the way he did when he knew what I was saying was true. He told Oprah he couldn't remember suing me, but I don't believe that.
"There is a part of me that does have sympathy for Lance. I know this will be killing him. But at the same time I think about the way he hid behind cancer in trying to defend himself. What a piece of work he is."
Emma O'Reilly masseur who accused him of doping, as told to Daily Mail
'Our legal case is stronger'
"We noted his numerous admissions regarding taking performance-enhancing drugs. The Sunday Times believes that our case for recovering the £1 million he obtained from us by fraud is now even stronger. We will be pursuing that case vigorously."
Sunday Times spokesman
'Only part of the story'
"I think a lifetime ban is the only option and plea-bargaining isn't acceptable.
"People around him helped and it's very frustrating not to know who was involved in this major conspiracy.
"It was a very carefully constructed interview and he's not going to tell the truth where that's going to have a further impact on him, possibly financially, so we've only got part of the story."
Michele Verroken former director of ethics at UK Sport
'His comeback was clean'
"He cheated in these seven Tours [de France] but still he won [them]. So he still was a good rider and he made his comeback and got beaten the first year by Alberto and me. I know that I always was a clean rider... so why should he be doped and be behind me? So I believe in his comeback that he was clean."
Andy Schleck retroactively awarded 2010 Tour de France win last year
"Oprah pressured him, the apology was, I thought, hesitantly promised. I didn't ask for it, but, yes, if it's offered, I accept."
David Walsh, Sunday Times journalist
'We will sue him'
"No one should underestimate the resolve of SCA. If it doesn't get back its money, SCA will sue Mr Armstrong for the refund of that money, and it will be soon."
SCA Promotions seeking $12m it gave him for his Tour de France wins
What Lance said...
"I feel humbled and I feel ashamed. This is not good stuff." – On his general feelings
"Do I have remorse? Absolutely. Will it grow? Absolutely. This is the first step and these are my actions. I am paying the price but I deserve it." – On whether he has regrets
"The foundation is like my sixth child, and to make that decision and to step aside was big. It was the best thing for the organisation but it hurt like hell. That was the lowest."– On stepping down from his cancer foundation, Livestrong
"It might not be the most popular answer but I think I deserve it, maybe not right now. When you see the punishment – I would go back and say you are trading my story for a six-month ban so I got a death penalty, meaning I can't compete. I'm not saying that is unfair but it is different." – On why he should be allowed to race again
"I've lost all future income. I don't like thinking about it but it was a $75 million day. All gone and probably never coming back." – On being deserted by his sponsors
"I've been to a dark place that was not my doing, where I didn't know if I would live... This is not a good time but it isn't the worst part of my life." – On his current plight compared to when he was diagnosed with cancer
"I saw my son defending me, saying, 'That's not true. What you're saying about my dad is not true.' That's when I knew I had to tell him." – On the moment he decided to tell his children the truth
"I think the claim was $250,000, it was a broad number but they narrowed it down. That's a lot of money. I would know." – On accusations that one of his representatives tried to pay off the US Anti-Doping Agency
"There's another moral to this story. For me, I think it was about that ride and about losing myself and getting caught up in that and doing all those things along the way." – On where it all went wrong
"The ultimate crime is the betrayal of these people who supported me and believed in me and they got lied to." – On letting people down
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