At the beginning of the year, Lance Armstrong sat down for an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Oprah in which he tearfully copped to doping. At that point, it was little more than a formality, seeing as a mountain of evidence had already proved as much, but it was supposed to show that Armstrong understood the magnitude of his deception and had turned over a new leaf.
He has not. Armstrong's apology tour began and ended with Oprah. In an interview with the BBC over the weekend, Armstrong complains of being treated unfairly and bemoans the suffering he has endured since his sit-down with Oprah.
"It's been tough. It's been real tough," he told the BBC. "I've paid a high price in terms of my standing within the sport, my reputation, certainly financially because the lawsuits have continued to pile up.
"I have experienced massive personal loss, massive loss of wealth, while others have truly capitalized on this story."
Armstrong seems to be returning to the narrative that the investigation against him led by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which led him to be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, is a witch hunt. In his mind, his sins were unremarkable in a sport thoroughly corrupted by performance-enhancing drugs.
"If everyone gets the death penalty, then I'll take the death penalty," he said. "If everyone gets a free pass, I'm happy to take a free pass. If everyone gets six months, then I'll take my six months."
It's worth remembering that not everyone was quite so self-righteous, not quite so ruthless in discrediting their accusers, and not so amazingly effective. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
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