Editorial: A confession is not enough

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Even if Lance Armstrong had come across as the most contrite of penitents – which he did not – an interview with Oprah Winfrey on American TV is not sufficient to allow the cyclist to draw a line under his disgrace and "move on". Not by a long chalk.

The only advance made by this much-anticipated encounter was that the viewing public heard from his own lips what so many had claimed for so long, that his glittering career had been fuelled by banned drugs and techniques, over a very long time. Yes, his reputation is destroyed; yes, his charities are likely to be shunned; yes, his income from sponsorship will dry up. But the damage that Armstrong has done to his sport warrants considerably more.

First, he should be left in no doubt that any thought of a comeback in another speciality is out of the question. Second, he should be required to name the names of those who were complicit in his fraud. And third, former funders, sponsors and prize donors should use every means at their disposal, including the law, to recover the money that they clearly paid out under false pretences. Until he feels, and the public feels, that Armstrong has paid a proper price for his cheating, this canker will not have been excised.