independent

Friday 31 October 2014

Armstrong's arrogance shines through

DEBORAH COLEMAN

Published 23/01/2013 | 13:58

THE ONLY thing worse than a cheat is a cheat who lies about their actions. The meagre efforts by disgraced cycling hero Lance Armstrong in recent days to atone for his doping sins only serve to prove this.

This elite athlete who captured the imagination of the world has finally come clean about his years spent taking performance enhancing drugs so that he could get to the top of his sport where he reigned supreme for so long.

Year after year he denied allegations, he sued staff members and others who dared to speak out and continued to live the lie that he was the greatest cyclist to ever hop on a bicycle.

His sheer arrogance and selfishness shone through even this week during his first public admission-where else but during an interview with Oprah Winfrey-the only place to go for a real act of contrition in the eyes of the American public.

Commentators, in the wake of this interview suggested that his efforts to come clean are only a means of trying to manoeuvre his way back into the world of sport which, if true is not only shameful but makes a mockery of all those sportspersons who pride themselves on integrity and true and honest sportsmanship.

To be so hungry for glory and power and of course the vast amounts of money that comes with them that one would live such a sickening and disgusting lie baffles me.

How can it feel good to achieve something so immense as winning the Tour de France not once but seven times under false pretences?

This says so much about Armstrong's morals and personality and while there were probably many more people involved in his personal doping scandal nobody made him take those drugs.

Nobody made him lie, cheat and abuse his position to such an extreme level and nobody else made him persistently deny his actions.

While Armstrong's transgressions have been a long time coming he is just one of a long line of public heroes who have let their fans and supporters down.

There are no doubt thousands of cyclists who initially took up the sport due to Armstrong's ' shining example' and dazzling record who have been left devastated and disgusted by the outcome.

Politicians, priests, celebrities and sportspersons and many others in positions of power have abused their positions over centuries and no doubt will continue to do so while others plod along doing the right thing but getting no recognition for it.

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