With Lance Armstrong set for a "no-holds-barred" interview with Oprah Winfrey next week, expectations are running high that the disgraced former cyclist may – finally – come clean about the (repeatedly denied) doping offences for which he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
Mr Armstrong's mea culpa, if it comes, does have some value. After all, there are still a few for whom he remains a hero, guilty of nothing more egregious than following the norms of the age in which he was competing. A confession from the man himself would put paid to such moral relativism. It would also draw a line, at last, under an episode that has tarred the image of cycling. What it would not do, however, is let Mr Armstrong off the hook for running, in the words of the US Anti-Doping Agency, "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".