Novak Djokovic: Lance Armstrong is a ‘disgrace’ to his sport, should suffer for lies

lance armstrongLance Armstrong has decided he finally feels like admitting what we have all known to be true for many years — he’s a cheater. He seems to think that by coming clean in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he can begin the process of being forgiven, but it’s hardly that simple. Armstrong lied for years. He pressured his teammates into doping. He threatened those who refused to help him cover up his scheme. For those reasons, tennis star Novak Djokovic has no respect for the seven-time Tour de France champion.

“I mean, you know, I think everybody was expecting him to (come clean),” Djokovic said during an interview at the Australian Open. “I mean, it would be ridiculous for him to decline and refuse all the charges because it has been proven. They have like a thousand proofs that he’s positive. I think it’s a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this.

“He cheated the sport. He cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story. I think they should take all his titles away because it’s not fair towards any sportsman, any athlete. It’s just not the way to be successful. So I think he should suffer for his lies all these years.”

While I certainly agree that Armstrong is a disgrace (as we outlined in detail earlier this week), whether or not he cheated the sport is debatable. As Ty Duffy of The Big Lead pointed out, doping in cycling is hardly limited to Armstrong.

It’s like steroid usage in baseball. Did players during the steroid era cheat? Certainly. But ratings and attendance numbers were through the roof, and fans certainly enjoyed watching balls fall out of the park. The players may have cheated, but the enjoyment was real. The same can be said of cycling, which gained popularity and roped in new viewers every time Armstrong was going for another Tour de France title. I’m sure the television networks aren’t all that upset that Armstrong was doping all those years.

Lance Armstrong is a liar, cheater, and bully, and one Oprah interview isn’t enough

lance armstrongLance Armstrong is beginning his tour of redemption in an effort to supposedly clear his conscience and rebuild his name. He reportedly admitted to Oprah that he cheated throughout his cycling career by using drugs and blood transfusions. He also reportedly admitted to using before he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Though it’s being billed as Armstrong “coming clean,” one interview with Oprah won’t come close to mending the damage he caused throughout his career. Lance Armstrong didn’t just cheat and lie about how he achieved his accomplishments. He didn’t just build an empire of wealth and become the face of the fight against cancer under false pretenses. He bullied his teammates into cheating along with him, and he and his people threatened the lives of others who dared speak the truth about him. As far as corrupt morals go, Armstrong and his associates are as bad as it gets.

In the video below, via BuzzFeed, you can see a reminder of how vigorously Armstrong denied cheating throughout his career:

How much in denial do you have to be to construct an entire empire on false pretenses? Once you get buried in a lie, you fall deeper in deeper in lies to protect it. That was Armstrong, who didn’t just deny that he cheated; he actually made commercials and built an entire image championing himself as someone who achieved everything cleanly. That’s sickening.

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Anti-doping expert Don Catlin on Lance Armstrong’s confession, state of PED testing in sports

Lance Armstrong is scheduled to record an interview with Oprah on Monday where he reportedly will confess to doping and using other performance-enhancing drugs throughout his cycling career. Armstrong spent the past several years vigorously defending his reputation against all cheating allegations. At one point a few years ago, Armstrong was so intent on proving he was clean that he and his Astana racing team planned to hire Dr. Don Catlin’s Anti-Doping Research lab to constantly test him. Armstrong’s team was planning to post all the testing results on the Internet for transparency purposes. The deal fell through for several reasons — logistics and financial issues are a few of them — and Armstrong’s plan was abandoned.

On Saturday, Larry Brown Sports spoke with Dr. Catlin about Armstrong’s impending confession. Catlin, who is one of the founders of modern drug testing in sports and has provided testing for the NFL, NCAA, MLB, and Olympics, said he’s not surprised to learn of Armstrong’s usage and planned confession.

lance armstrong“It wouldn’t surprise me at all,” Catlin told LBS when asked about Armstrong’s cheating. “I think [a confession] would be good for him.”

Armstrong used to boast that he had never failed a drug test. Catlin says he still had some suspicion about Lance as he would with any top cyclist.

“You can’t help but have suspicion when somebody is so accomplished and so over-the-top as one of the key members of the sport of cycling. Cycling and doping go together and they have for 40 years,” Catlin said. “You have to think very seriously about [whether a cyclist is cheating].

“You don’t like to think that way; you’d like to think that Lance and others are clean, but in reality, that’s not the case.”

Catlin believes Armstrong is only confessing as a last option.

“I think he’s cornered. He can’t go anywhere now. I always advise athletes — particularly ones I test and caught and if I get to know them — get it out fast, confess, turn the page and go on. If you try to fight it, you’re almost certainly not going to win. Fighting a drug test and trying to show that it’s not a positive doesn’t work.”

When asked how Armstrong got away with doping for so long, Catlin indicated it’s not that difficult.

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Lance Armstrong will reportedly admit to doping during appearance on ‘Oprah’

lance armstrongLast week, a New York Times report indicated that Lance Armstrong is considering admitting that he used performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career. It appears that admission of guilt could come as early as next week.

According to USA Today, Armstrong is scheduled to tape an interview with Oprah Winfrey at his home in Austin, Texas on Monday. During the interview, which will air Thursday, Armstrong is expected to admit to doping throughout his career without going into specific detail about certain events or cases.

As we know, Armstrong has spent several years vehemently denying that he cheated. Then in August, he decided to give up on defending himself against allegations and was stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles by the USADA. Many considered Armstrong’s decision to let his guard down to be an admission of guilt, and that may prove to be true if he comes clean when speaking with Oprah.

It is believed that Armstrong’s motivation behind admitting he took steroids is his desire to compete in US Anti-Doping Association-sanctioned sporting events. However, any potential admission of guilt would come with the risk of being sued by those who believe he misled them by lying about taking performance-enhancing drugs. He could also face criminal prosecution since he testified under oath in 2005 that he never used PEDs, although the statute of limitations would come into play.

As USA Today pointed out, Armstrong will still have to wait quite some time to get back into cycling even if he does come clean. If he is cooperative and helpful, his lifetime ban could be reduced to no less than eight years — unless the World Anti-Doping Agency and USADA reach an agreement to reduce the ban further.

Lance Armstrong reportedly tried paying off USADA in 2004

lance armstrongLance Armstrong has many supporters, but even his staunchest defenders will have a difficult time defending him against the mounting evidence he’s facing.

On Friday, The New York Times reported that Armstrong was considering admitting he doped/used performance-enhancers during his cycling career in order to improve his standing with the US Anti-Doping Agency. Now, USADA executive Travis Tygart is claiming that an Armstrong representative tried donating a large sum to the agency in 2004.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Tygart told “60 Minutes Sports” that an Armstrong representative tried donating around $250,000 to the organization in 2004. In the interview, which will air Wednesday on Showtime, Tygart reportedly called the gesture “totally inappropriate.”

“I was stunned,” Tygart says in the interview. “It was a clear conflict of interest for USADA. We had no hesitation in rejecting that offer.”

One of Armstrong’s attorneys tried explaining the offer.

“At some point … I thought around the mid-2000s … someone was seeking some money for testing equipment and Armstrong offered to help,” attorney Tim Herman told the LA Times. “I don’t know for sure what happened. I only vaguely remember someone in the enforcement community needing some new testing equipment.

“There was some request to us, I thought. I can’t recall exactly, but that’s my recollection.”

Armstrong has donated $125,000 to the International Cycling Union. He gave them $25,000 in 2002, and his management company gave the organization $100,000 in 2005.

Armstrong’s actions come off as obvious bribery attempts. Don’t forget that the New York Daily News also reported that Nike paid a UCI president $500,000 in 1999 to cover up one of his positive tests.

Lance Armstrong reportedly thinking of admitting drug use

lance armstrongLance Armstrong is considering admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career, The New York Times reports. The Times says Armstrong “has told associates and antidoping officials that he is considering publicly admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career.”

Armstrong’s interest in being able to compete in US Anti-Doping Association-sanctioned sporting events is the motivating factor behind his consideration, the report states.

Armstrong was the most decorated cyclist of all time. He was stripped by USADA in August of his record seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life because of overwhelming evidence that he cheated. The lifetime ban also prevented him from competing in running and triathlon events in which he hoped to participate.

Armstrong vehemently fought all cheating accusations he faced. He notoriously battled with the French press during his career following accusations of PED usage and failed drug tests made against him by two separate French newspapers. A published book and several former teammates have accused Armstrong of not only using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career, but also demanding his teammates use them too.

Many considered Armstrong’s decision not to fight the mounting allegations and evidence against him compiled by USADA an admission of guilt. If this report is true, the public may finally get a true admission of guilt from Armstrong.

The Times says there are a few factors that could impede the admission. There is a federal lawsuit Armstrong and several other former members of the US Postal Service-sponsored riding team are facing. Their contract with the USPS forbade them from doping, so an admission from Armstrong would hurt their case. Armstrong also reportedly has been in discussion with a top USADA executive about lessening his punishments from the organization.

Armstrong was forced to distance himself from the famous Livestrong Foundation, a cancer awareness organization he started, after the drug allegations against him mounted. There reportedly is pressure from Livestrong supporters who are urging him to finally come clean.

Lance Armstrong gives speech appealing to cancer donors (Video)

Lance Armstrong may be going through one of the most difficult times of his life, but the public shaming he has endured has not stopped him from continuing his fight against cancer.

Armstrong spoke at Livestrong’s 15th anniversary celebration in Austin, Tex., on Friday night — two days after he stepped down as the charity’s chairman– to appeal to cancer donors.

“It’s been a difficult couple of weeks,” Armstrong acknowledged. “When people ask how I’m doing, I say ‘I’ve been better, but I’ve also been worse.'”

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in August, and banned from cycling for life. But it wasn’t until USADA released over 1,000 pages of evidence supporting their decisions to strip and ban Armstrong that many other of his previous supporters began to turn on him.

Nike, which stood by Armstrong during his cycling career (and allegedly paid off a cycling president on his behalf), endorsed him, and supported Livestrong, officially dropped him on Wednesday. Several other companies followed their lead and cut ties with the disgraced former cyclist.

CNN even reported about several Livestrong donors who are angry and feel defrauded. One couple who has raised $200,000 for the charity say they want their money back.

“I feel we were really fooled. We were really hoodwinked,” Connie Roddy told CNN.

The criticism from corporations and individuals isn’t keeping Armstrong from rallying on behalf of Livestrong.

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