FALLEN HERO: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his Tour de France titles
FALLEN HERO: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his Tour de France titles Robert Laberge

Armstrong confession just to get him back into sport

MONDAY'S EXPERT: Dave Arthur has a closer look at Lance Armstrong's confession.

WHAT to think of Lance Armstrong's mea culpa in Oprah's front room?

I must admit I don't really know! It was gripping drama for the first few moments as staccato-like questions were similarly answered, yes, yes, yes, YES!

Alas from then on it disintegrated and devolved.

Cynical Dave knows the whole shebang was a carefully stage-managed public relations exercise designed to facilitate his return to competitive sport sooner rather than later.

One can certainly imagine him surrounded by a crack crisis management team offering sage advice as he rehearsed every possible angle and question. Frankly, we learnt nothing that we hadn't already suspected or had confirmed as "fact".

But there is some small part of me that feels weirdly sorry for the former seven time Tour de France champion.

While he could never be accused of being lovable - his brusque, categorical and uncompromising character saw to that - stripped bare of the bulletproof veneer of sporting immortality, Armstrong cut a shambolic figure.

Tears were shed and there was surely some sorrow as he finally realised he had, along with his sycophantic cronies, seriously affected lives through his deeds.

Snap out of it! Why on earth should we believe him now?

Surely it's nigh on impossible to countenance that weeks of self-reflection and a few sessions on a couch could have cleansed him of the ingrained habits of his professional life.

Despots and dictators the world over would be proud of the systematic and wholesale deceit he perpetrated on every single one of us and he'd be a Mob Godfather for his intimidatory, bully boy tactics. I sincerely hope that one day the whole story will be told. That story is not Lance Armstrong's however; his fable is now written.

Cycling, indeed all sport needs the whole fabrication of lies and complicity to be investigated properly. The methods, the systems, the lies and those who have been part of the conspiracy should be brought to justice.

A television show is no place for public execution however guilty the parties and especially as the star witness is a compulsive liar.

And when all is said and done, sport should be the better for it and our wavering belief will be partly restored.

This is non-negotiable if Armstrong is to be redeemed.

Dave Arthur is a senior lecturer in sport business at Southern Cross University and owns and operates a successful sports business consultancy. He loves your feedback on all matters sport at darthur@scu.edu.au or you can follow him on Twitter @drsportbiz



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