Thanks to Oprah Winfrey, the obvious becomes official this week. Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah to using performing enhancing drugs while capturing seven consecutive Tour de France titles.
The conversation took place in a downtown Austin hotel on Monday and will be shown on Thursday and Friday on Oprah's channel -- the OWN Network. Oprah went on CBS Tuesday morning and said that she was both riveted and mesmerized during the interview, stating that Armstrong "certainly had prepared himself for this moment" and that he "met the moment."
The interview is no doubt the first step of a PR campaign to try and re-polish the Texan's image, and it was an obvious venue - it's either Oprah's couch or 60 minutes for this kind of thing, and 60 minutes probably was ruled out since they have actively investigated Armstrong's drug use.
But the fascinating part of this story for me are the multiple reports surfacing that Armstrong is far from though with talking about this. Those reports state that Armstrong will testify against leaders of the U.S. & International cycling world.
In essence Armstrong, who has spent the last decade trying to bully and humiliate any "whistleblower" who accused him of drug use, is now considering turning into a whistleblower.
According to The New York Times, Armstrong "is planning to testify against officials from the International Cycling Union, the worldwide governing body of cycling, on how doping in cycling reaches to the highest levels. He reportedly will not testify against other riders. Armstrong gave a large donation to the organization, and he might testify that they were complicit with the rampant use of drugs throughout the sport.
The reports also indicate that Armstrong is willing to become involved - on the U.S. Department of Justice side - in a whistleblower lawsuit against his old U.S. Postal Service cycling team. Armstrong was a rider-manager for the squad, which gave him a more intimate knowledge of the team's doping activities, including other riders who used as well as the doctors involved. He would have knowledge of the financing of the doping program, who in management was aware of it, and what their roles were.
Others have intimated that the doping scandal could reach all the way up to the top of USA Cycling, which is the equivalent of the Commissioner of Baseball condoning steroid use in the Majors. If true, Armstrong certainly would be able to address that.
If he does testify against these cycling organizations, what does Lance Armstrong get out of all of this?
Right now he faces multiple civil law suits (The London Times is suing to get back money they lost in an earlier libel suit Armstrong won), as well as possible criminal investigations.
Supposedly Armstrong wants his lifetime ban from competition lifted so he can compete at the elite level of triathlons. Last year the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency called Armstrong "The Kingpin" of the U.S. Doping program throughout his Tour de France run. Perhaps he want to show that he was not the ringleader of cheating.
Or maybe since seeing his legend tarnished after being shown as the best cheater in a completely corrupt sport, he feels like fire bombing the leading organizations of the sport and burning it to the ground.