Arm­strong’s ar­ro­gance shines through

Bray People - - COMMENT - DEB­O­RAH COLE­MAN

THE ONLY thing worse than a cheat is a cheat who lies about their ac­tions. The mea­gre ef­forts by dis­graced cy­cling hero Lance Arm­strong in re­cent days to atone for his dop­ing sins only serve to prove this.

This elite ath­lete who cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of the world has fi­nally come clean about his years spent tak­ing per­for­mance en­hanc­ing drugs so that he could get to the top of his sport where he reigned supreme for so long.

Year af­ter year he de­nied al­le­ga­tions, he sued staff mem­bers and oth­ers who dared to speak out and con­tin­ued to live the lie that he was the great­est cy­clist to ever hop on a bi­cy­cle.

His sheer ar­ro­gance and self­ish­ness shone through even this week dur­ing his first pub­lic ad­mis­sion-where else but dur­ing an in­ter­view with Oprah Win­frey-the only place to go for a real act of con­tri­tion in the eyes of the Amer­i­can pub­lic.

Com­men­ta­tors, in the wake of this in­ter­view sug­gested that his ef­forts to come clean are only a means of try­ing to ma­noeu­vre his way back into the world of sport which, if true is not only shame­ful but makes a mock­ery of all those sportsper­sons who pride them­selves on in­tegrity and true and hon­est sports­man­ship.

To be so hun­gry for glory and power and of course the vast amounts of money that comes with them that one would live such a sick­en­ing and dis­gust­ing lie baf­fles me.

How can it feel good to achieve some­thing so im­mense as win­ning the Tour de France not once but seven times un­der false pre­tences?

This says so much about Arm­strong's mo­rals and per­son­al­ity and while there were prob­a­bly many more peo­ple in­volved in his per­sonal dop­ing scan­dal no­body made him take those drugs.

No­body made him lie, cheat and abuse his po­si­tion to such an ex­treme level and no­body else made him per­sis­tently deny his ac­tions.

While Arm­strong's trans­gres­sions have been a long time coming he is just one of a long line of pub­lic heroes who have let their fans and sup­port­ers down.

There are no doubt thou­sands of cy­clists who ini­tially took up the sport due to Arm- strong's ' shin­ing ex­am­ple' and daz­zling record who have been left dev­as­tated and dis­gusted by the out­come.

Politi­cians, priests, celebri­ties and sportsper­sons and many oth­ers in po­si­tions of power have abused their po­si­tions over cen­turies and no doubt will con­tinue to do so while oth­ers plod along do­ing the right thing but get­ting no recog­ni­tion for it.

Com­men­ta­tors in the wake of the Lance Arm­strong in­ter­view sug­gested that his ef­forts to come clean are only a means of try­ing to ma­noeu­vre his way back into the world of sport.

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