Tough to answer for wrongdoing
Renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong was in the news again on Wednesday. This time, the former champion — who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles — switched gears, if you will.
The Associated Press reported that Armstrong’s lawyer has said his client will not speak to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to reveal his knowledge of doping in cycling.
The USADA gave Armstrong until Wednesday to decide if he wanted to talk to the agency as part of a deal to potentially lift his lifetime ban from sports.
The AP reported that Armstrong’s attorney, Tim Herman said Armstrong will not “participate in a process designed ‘only to demonize selected individuals.’”
That comes as a surprise to us because, just a month ago, Armstrong agreed to a televised interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey where he disclosed his use of performance-enhancing substances during his run at several cycling titles.
During that interview, which was broadcast nationwide and received international attention, Armstrong admitted to using drugs and, even appeared to be remorseful about it.
But, that remorse has taken a big step back with this latest development.
Armstrong, who had faced numerous legal charges, could have been exposed to more legal issues during an interview with USADA officials.
However, we see that as a poor excuse to not speak to the agency that oversees doping in professional sports.
He has already admitted to a national audience he broke the rules. The only professional thing to do now is to continue to tell the truth about performance-enhancing drug use in sports.
Instead, Armstrong has said he would like to create awareness and help clean up the sport by “participating in an international effort.”
For us, that just doesn’t seem to cut the mustard.
It is the responsible thing to do for Armstrong to speak to USADA officials about what he knows. It isn’t as if this was a witch hunt similar to the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s. The USADA is making an attempt to further understand the ramifications of performance-enhancing drug use in sports and, as an admitted user, Armstrong should be compelled to tell the truth.
It sends a negative message to those who might still idolize Armstrong when he decides not to talk to officials about illegal activity.
Just when we thought that Armstrong had done everything possible to damage his credibility, this latest action shows he has not quite reached the summit of that damage.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark