Lance Armstrong probably wants to let you know that he’s sorry for lying about his doping habits for a decade. This past Monday Armstrong filmed an interview with Oprah where he admitted to doping and lying to millions of people. Ever since Armstrong charmed the nation with Livestrong bracelets there have been people that have accused the cyclist of doping. Trainers, journalists, and even Armstrong’s own teammates have made a variety of complaints about the Livestrong founder’s performance enhancing drug use, and each time Armstrong vehemently denied every accusation.
When the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) accused Armstrong of both doping and the trafficking of drugs in June 2012 the cyclist celebrity could have handled it better. He filed a lawsuit in Texas in hopes of barring the USADA from pursing its case against Armstrong and issuing any sanctions against him because he felt that the organization was violating his constitutional rights.
(Fun fact: The US constitution protects citizens from being called out on their blatant lies)
Up until that point the public didn’t seem to take the allegations seriously and rallied behind Armstrong, but that all changed on August 20th when the US District Judge Sam Sparks ruled in favor of the USADA. Four days after the ruling the USADA stripped Armstrong of all competitive results from August 1, 1998 up until the present time.
The fallout from the USADA ruling was pretty typical for celebrity scandals, but it still dealt a heavy blow to Armstrong’s wallet. RadioShack and Nike officially dropped Armstrong as their sponsor on October 12th, and on the same day Anheuseur-Busch made an announcement that they would not continue their relationship with Armstrong after 2012. 24 Hour Fitness, Trek Bicycle Corporation, Giro, and nearly every business that was endorsed or involved with Armstrong cut ties with him. The organization people are most worried about taking a big financial blow from the scandal is Livestrong, and some worry that it may not ever be able to make the money it used to.
The interview aired on OWN yesterday, and today people are wondering what consequences the interview will have. Armstrong wasn’t exactly beloved in America before his interview, but this interview made sure to crush any more support for the man who used to be the country’s go-to guy for inspirational stories. Others in the business world are using the interview as an opportunity to examine the troublesome side of corporate sponsorship.
There is one thing we can be sure of, Oprah’s struggling network OWN got a nice amount of publicity from the interview. At least when we reflect on the impact Armstrong had on our society we can know that when he went down in roid fueled flames he helped out America’s #1 inspirational story.