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Lance Armstrong Confession: What He Must Do to Save His Legacy

January 17, 2013

LanceArmstrongI have always agreed completely in the belief that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.  Until there is undeniable proof, or a confession from the accused, then I will always give the benefit of the doubt to the accused.  Such is the case with Lance Armstrong.

I refused to listen to any of the naysayers until he either tested positive, or Armstrong himself admitted it.  It isn’t that the accusers weren’t credible as much as that they all had enjoyed great success courtesy of Armstrong, and now that they stood to benefit more from selling him out they were more than willing to do so.

Now that Armstrong has confessed (though to what degree we won’t know until tonight) all of the previous accusers are vindicated to some extent, and Armstrong will forever wear the title of cheater as opposed to champion.  I honestly don’t care that everyone else was doing it.  That has never made anything right.  He cheated and he deserves to have all of the honors stripped from him that he acquired dishonestly.

I also see nothing wrong with previous sponsors filing lawsuits; though it isn’t like that will hurt Armstrong at all as the guy has more money than he knows what to do with.  Taking away his pride is likely the only thing that would hurt him, though his incredible arrogance may make that impossible.

I have met Armstrong on multiple occasions and always found him to be ungrateful and arrogant.  He had an air of superiority that shadowed over even those in his entourage.  All of this is not news to anyone as it is well documented that he has ruined the careers, and in some cases lives, of anyone who crossed his path and accused him of cheating.  Sadly, there is really nothing he could possibly to fix any of those problems.

That being said, there is something that he could do to save his legacy, at least in some small degree.  He could help to fix a sport that is more riddled with doping than probably any other on earth.  He is in a unique position to benefit from doing what is right, even though it may be difficult.

It reminds of the movie Catch me if you Can that featured Leonardo DiCaprio as a young check fraud artist who is being chased by a FBI agent played by Tom Hanks.  At the end of the movie DiCaprio’s character ultimately leaves his life of crime to work for the FBI helping to prevent check fraud.  The irony is that he ultimately ends up becoming a multimillionaire courtesy of the banks that he had previously spent years defrauding.

If Lance Armstrong wants to recover even a tiny bit of his legacy that is exactly what he must do.  He must come out and explain exactly how he beat the system for all these years.  He needs to show the doping agencies where their weaknesses are and how they can fix them.  He needs to put forth a genuine effort to fix the sport that made him a household name.  The only way he can repair all of the damage that he has done is by doing his best to fix the system so that those who play fairly can compete on a level playing field.

Not all of this would have to be public.  If he were to start publishing the names of people who helped him cheat he would be just like the people who tried to burn him, but he can certainly report those people to higher powers and explain exactly how he was able to take advantage of the whole system to become an international superstar.

Lance Armstrong has done a lot of good in the world.  Helping to raise roughly a half a billion dollars for cancer research is definitely worth some appreciation.  There will forever be people who will be Armstrong haters and admirers no matter what he does.  However, the vast majority of people would look on him with a much more favorable light if he would go contrary to his character and work to make sports more clean and fair, as opposed to only doing what will be best for him.  The irony in this case is that those actions happen to be one in the same.

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