Armstrong charm is false

In an interview with BBC Sports editor Dan Roan, shamed cyclist Lance Armstrong said he should be forgiven for doping and lying – but also admitted he would

probably cheat again.

Three people who know Armstrong well gave their thoughts.

Betsy Andreu

The wife of former professional road cyclist Frankie Andreu, she claimed, long before his public confession, that Armstrong took banned substances and bullied team-mates.

“When the going gets tough, he turns on the charm. He thinks if he can show he’s a changed man it might benefit him. The problem with that is that he has no credibility. His actions speak louder than his words.”

Andreu believes there should be no way back into cycling for Armstrong.

“He should forget it. He’s not going back into sport. He should go and enjoy something else, enjoy his family. Everyone deserves a second chance, but how many does he want? What is he? A cat.”

David Walsh

The Sunday Times journalist first raised questions about Armstrong in 1999. He wrote LA Confidential, a book containing evidence that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs.

“When I see an interview like he’s just done with Dan Roan, I just feel this guy hasn’t changed one iota. When he’s saying everyone was doing it (doping), he’s being so unfair to the people who rode the 1999 Tour de France and tours over the following years clean – and plenty did.”

Walsh believes Armstrong is struggling with being out of the limelight.

“This is a guy who would get called up by he president of the United States and asked to go on a mountain bike ride, this is a guy who had direct access to people like Bill Clinton and John Kerry… Bono was a big mate of his. Now, no-one really wants to be associated with him – and that’s tough if you were once in the place that Lance Armstrong was in.”

Christophe Bassons

A former French road cyclist, his career effectively ended when he spoke out against doping in the 1990s.

“The fact that he says that he doesn’t regret it and that if he went back to the same time, he’d do it again… I think that shows an honesty.”

Bassons, who clashed with Armstrong after making his doping claims, also thinks the American has changed – or been changed.

“When I saw him last year, it wasn’t the Armstrong that I knew in the ’90s any more. Back then, he was strong, he was hard, he would stare you in the eyes, he was brutal, he was strong and he would never make a mistake. But when I saw him last year, he was alone, he was badly dressed, he avoided eye contact, he didn’t seem happy.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/30993315

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