Most people haven’t closely followed the unraveling of Lance Armstrong…
That’s not a huge sin because it hasn’t exactly been front page news like his winning seven Tour de France titles and dating Missourian Sheryl Crow at the height of her career were.
Far from it.
Most of the coverage in the Star and Lawrence Journal World, for example, have been little more than news blips – a paragraph or two here, a couple paragraphs there.
However as anyone who watched the 60 Minutes interview this week with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart knows, Armstrong is a first class sleazebag. A man who forged an entire career based on, not just cheating and lying, but engaging in despicable acts of intimidation directed at fellow members of the U.S. Postal Team who testified against him.
“It was tough,” Tygart told 60 Minutes. “All these witnesses were scared of the repercussions of them simply telling the truth.”
What could Lance Armstrong do to them? 60 Minutes asked.
“Incinerate them,” Tygart responded.
Say what you will about disgraced baseball stars like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clements – all of whom were denied entrance into baseball’s Hall of Fame earlier this week because of their alleged steriod use – at least they didn’t engage in some of the threatening tactics Armstrong is accused by his teammates and others of engaging in.
Here’s why Sporting should cut Livestrong loose and find a more deserving charity:
“Armstrong’s team of lawyers and public relations people launched their own campaign against the existence of the U.S. Anti-doping Agency,” 60 Minutes reports. “The CEO of the Livestrong foundation, Armstrong’s cancer charity, lobbied against USADA before congress. Several members of congress and 23 California state representatives called for an investigation of USADA’s practices and its taxpayer funding.”
Get the picture?
Despite a mountain of evidence that Armstrong cheated and was “running a doping conspiracy” the very head of Livestrong – a cancer charity with no dog in the fight – tried to take out the federal agency that was investigating Armstrong.
These are the type of folks Sporting wants to associate its name with?
Even after the release the USADA report that brought Armstrong down, Livestrong head Doug Ulman went on record last fall that, “He’s our biggest advocate and always will be,” referring to Armstrong. “Ulman said its 2009 endorsement of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was more of a problem for donors than the doping charges.”
Most of you will probably never see that report on Armstrong because it ran on 60 Minutes Sports which is only available to subscribers of Showtime.
Look, people make mistakes and Sporting committed a serious error in judgement by entering into its deal with Armstrong and his charity not two years ago.
Now it’s time for Sporting to cut its losses, admit its mistake and move on.
It’s also time for Livestrong to openly and decisively cut all ties to Armstrong, clean house of those closest to Armstrong who participated in his attempted coverup and right the organization.
That’s not Sporting’s problem tough, that’s Livestrong’s problem.