Lance Armstrong wants forgiveness for doping scandal: ‘I won those races’

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong appears in a gigantic feature in the August issue of Esquire. The piece is called “Lance in Purgatory,” which implies he’ll be climbing out of the punishment zone soon. Will he? Esquire visited Lance’s current Hawaiian home. It’s a borrowed mansion (loaned by a wealthy friend) with six garages and a lush wine cellar. Lance still has his magnificent art collection, and he spends his days playing golf and making special margaritas called Lanceritas.

Esquire feels sorry for Lance because he lost $150 millionish after his doping scandal. They paint a huge story about what upsets Lance the most, which is that his memory has been erased in the fight against cancer. I can see why that would sting. Lance is a cancer survivor, and he built the Livestrong foundation that has helped millions of people. They ousted him because his reputation was trashed, but I don’t blame Livestrong for wanting nothing to do with him.

Lance is still convinced that he didn’t do anything wrong when he came out of retirement for the 2009 Tour de France. He says he was clean then, and so was everyone else. He says that everyone used to dope, so punishing him is ridiculous. Last January, Lance went on an “admission” tour. He confessed to doping to Oprah and to Livestrong employees. I think he expected instant forgiveness, which didn’t happen. Now he’s raging to Esquire. Lance says he won his titles fair and square, and he should be allowed to compete at something:

He can’t even compete in a local swim meet: “Anything I try to do, any sport, even archery and volleyball, I can’t do it.”

He’s sorry for being an a-hole: He’s sorry, he swears, for the lies and the bullying and the lawsuits against journalists. “It was indefensible. Pure hubris.” But he’s not going to be a hypocrite, either. The doping charges were bullsh-t. “Nobody has stepped forward and said, ‘I really won those races.’ They didn’t award those jerseys to somebody else. I won those races.”

His friends are worried about him: “He may think he’s not going through a terrible time. But he’s going through a terrible time.”

How does he deal? “I go Zen as much as I can.”

Lance is still very angry: Did Nelson Mandela really forgive the people who put him in prison for twenty-seven years, he asks, or did he just say that for public consumption? “People are fine that Michael Jordan was a jerk, they’re fine if Wayne Gretzky was a jerk, but they weren’t fine with me being an a-hole. They expected that perfect story.”

He didn’t have transfusions of his own blood in 2009? “Bullsh-t. They’ll find out someday, ’cause they’ll perfect that transfusion test. I’ll be the first guy to say ‘Use it.’”

His punishment: “I haven’t paid a price? Okay. I mean, I can’t talk about the price I’ve paid. That doesn’t do me any good. I can’t talk about any legal stuff.”

He “resigned” from Livestrong: “It was clear that I was gonna be forced out, so yeah, I fired off a humdinger.”

Will he tell his kids what happened? “No. No. I’m not gonna share conversations with my children. No way.”

He’s confused: “Maybe this is a lesson for me. I mean, there’s so much in tone and reaction and reaction time and I can imagine–I mean, f—, for twenty years it probably really put people on their heels, and probably still does. I like to think it’s mellower now, but maybe not.”

He feels trapped: “Don’t we all, when our backs are against the wall, try to push back or fight or control certain things? But this is so far gone, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I can’t control what’s gonna happen. It’s beyond my control.” He stops. “Now I’m whining.”

He can’t take the exile anymore: “If I’m still playing golf five days a week at fifty, my head will explode.”

[From Esquire]

Lance dislikes that he must earn random paychecks by traveling to “man camps” where he bikes with attendees in an informal setting. Lance would like to return to Livestrong, and he wants to be able to make a living at competition.

Do you feel sorry for Lance? He’s not destitute. Esquire admits that Lance still owns homes in Aspen and Austin. I know he’s still pulling in money from Honey Stinger (his face is still all over the boxes) and god knows what else. Lance feels like he was singled out and punished as an example to other athletes. Maybe so, but he still cheated like crazy.

Lance Armstrong

Photos courtesy of Esquire & WENN

 

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127 Responses to “Lance Armstrong wants forgiveness for doping scandal: ‘I won those races’”

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  1. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Did he just admit that he’s a jerk? Well that’s a start at least…

  2. Esti says:

    Ugh, this man is unbelievably vile. Did he SERIOUSLY just compare himself to Nelson Mandela??

    Obviously no lessons learned. He’s got plenty of money left to live on, a lot more than many of the people whose lives he ruined because they dared to speak the truth about him. More than he deserves.

  3. Potato_Chip says:

    He won those races with a little extra assistance. And that’s not sportsman-like. He can take his mea culpa and shove it into his empty ball sack.

  4. WTF says:

    To Quote #AskThicke
    “How many douches would a douchebag douche, if a douchebag could bag douche?”

  5. Louise says:

    The UK tv channels have run a couple of documentaries on Lance this week. It is truly shocking to see what he actually did to people. They show his depositions etc and its a real eyeopener.

  6. TX says:

    I feel as though the cheating was one thing, like of course it sucked that he did that. But, for me at least, it was how he DESTROYED the lives/careers of anyone who dared call him out on it. Im sorry, but eff you dude. You are not a good person.

    Also, I knew he was an ass way before all of this. Did anyone read this biography “Its’ Not About The Bike”..? I read that, and left thinking “God, what an a-hole.” and if that was the white-washed version of him, I knew right then that he was probably awful.

    • Shelby says:

      “… But, for me at least, it was how he DESTROYED the lives/careers of anyone who dared call him out on it. Im sorry, but eff you dude. You are not a good person.”

      I totally agree with you TX….he destroyed lives for his own lies, we all believed him and stood by him, we all feel betrayed. Guess people will forgive if they feel he deserves it.

    • Soporificat says:

      Yeah, he is an abuser. From the way he is talking in this interview it sounds like he still has the same beliefs and sense of entitlement that made him an abuser in the first place. Hope he is shut out of the sporting world forever.

    • Venus says:

      I didn’t read that book, but I recently read Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong by Juliet Macur. Fascinating book. Anyone with just a passing interest in this should read it.

      She is unsympathetic to him, but does make the point that competition is what drives him and gives his life meaning. I’m sure he’s finding a lifetime ban from all competitive sports to be completely devastating.

      • hmmm says:

        Oh, goodie. Hell/justice does exist.

      • Aotearovian says:

        I just read that too – excellent. Also Tyler Hamilton’s book with Daniel Coyle, The Secret Race. It’s not the doping that bothers me, it’s the utter cruelty he displayed over so many years. The Manichaean (Bushian) mindset that if you weren’t with him you were against him, and in that case he would destroy you.

        He deserves everything he’s getting, and then some. The worst punishment would be his never being allowed to compete again. I hope he is still playing golf five days a week at 50.

    • Izzy says:

      THIS. Has he financially compensated his victims, the people whose lives he destroyed with legal poundings because those people dared to tell the truth? Doubt it. He cheated and lied about it, ruined people whose only crime was honesty (a concept he is unfamiliar with to this day), and now he wants to be forgiven? Did he seriously think going on an Oprah show to confess and shed a few crocodile tears would do that? Delusional, wrinkled, gnome-looking liar.

    • Wren33 says:

      Exactly. I mean, he is right that everyone was cheating and in a truly level playing field he probably would have won a few races as well. But, he was one of the driving forces behind pushing doping into the sport and tried to destroy anyone that tried to expose him.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes. He’s so disingenuous when he’s says “everyone was doing it” — as if that makes it right — when he in fact was one of the main perpetuators of doping. I cannot believe he has the ball (singular intentional) to complain about his situation and not being able to compete. He hasn’t learned or grown from this at all.

    • (The original, not CDAN) Violet says:

      This.

      Plus there’s the matter of all those athletes who competed honestly against him, the ones that should’ve won all those prizes, accolades and endorsements.

      IMO he got off far too lightly — as far as I’m concerned, all of his assets should be distributed amongst the people he cheated and/or bullied — and it annoys me beyond measure that he has the nerve to whine about being held accountable for his actions. And to compare himself to Nelson Mandela? WTF.

    • Santolina says:

      Yes, this >> “how he DESTROYED the lives/careers of anyone who dared call him out on it” is the first thought I had, too. He viciously attempted to crush anyone who dared cast doubt on his legitimacy, and now they are ones who are vindicated. I believe he’s a pathological narcissist who will never take personal responsibility and will blame others for his character flaws, to the bitter end.

    • doloreschurch says:

      I read that years ago on a rainy afternoon. I finished that book not liking him one bit. The ego oozed from the pages. After reading that, I believed all the things being said about him.

      I wonder how his 1st wife is. I am sure she is happily remarried.

      The guy is a serious jerk.

    • Kat says:

      EXACTLY how I feel. I watched the BBC doc about him the other night, and although I already knew from reading David Walsh’s book how much of a DICK he was in the depositions it was shocking to see it on tape. He was so casual, so effortless in discrediting Greg LeMond (‘serious drink and drug problems’), Betsy-making her out as unstable and that Frankie was only telling the same story as her ‘to support his old lady’, and Emma the masseuse who he called an alcoholic and a whore!!! Makes my blood boil the casual sexism and misogyny he used to discredit witnesses and try to destroy these people’s lives…I mean implying a woman is ‘unstable’ so can’t be believed (Betsy was emotional in the courtroom probably because she was 1000x more angry and frustrated than I can even imagine) is just the oldest trick in the douchebag handbook. Sociopath through and through

  7. solo says:

    Cheated and lied about it. For years!

  8. aims says:

    He did it to himself. When the press and other athletes where starting to question his stick, he used intimidation and bullying methods to shut them up. He cheated plain and simple. Then his ego got involved and still is. He deserves it he really is the bully on the playground and I can’t stand bullying.

  9. ncboudicca says:

    Still an assh*le. Thanks for the update on that one, Esquire. pffffft.

  10. merski says:

    He should be ashamed of himself. However, as he has proven time and time again, he clearly is not.
    No sympathy from me.

  11. joy says:

    Gosh he just sounds like such a sweetheart! I can’t imagine why the media and the world would turn on a guy that tried to cut down everyone who pointed out his cheating only to then come out and issue a half assed apology. He’s the classic I’m not sorry I did it I’m sorry I got caught guy.

  12. jj says:

    You’re a liar, a cheat and a c##t! You deserve to be humiliated for the rest of your life!

  13. Tammy says:

    He has a point…everyone was doping. But he’s such an arrogant jerk & what he did to anyone who questioned him is why he’s not going to get forgiveness. The only way to punish him was to ban him from ever competition again because he simply refuses to comprehend what he did was wrong.

  14. FingerBinger says:

    There are two Lance Armstrong movies coming out so I’m guessing this is him trying to drum up some interest.

  15. Haolebunny says:

    He hasn’t changed one bit. By the way, I would LOVE to have a rich friend let me live at their palatial estate while nursing my hurt feewings. He is such an asswipe. It’s the non- apology of apologies.

  16. OhDear says:

    Lance Armstrong is simply misunderstood. He’s actually a kind, gentle soul brimming with generosity and love.

    Hahaha, of course not. He’s a classic case of “you made your bed, now lie in it.”

  17. anne_000 says:

    There were at least two women whom he called women-specific bad names because they told about his use of drugs or whatever. One of them said that though he knew she was telling the truth. he (multi-millionaire) sued her refuting this knowing that she couldn’t afford the legal fees. Not a nice guy.

  18. GeeMoney says:

    “People are fine that Michael Jordan was a jerk, they’re fine if Wayne Gretzky was a jerk, but they weren’t fine with me being an a-hole. They expected that perfect story.”

    Jordan and Gretzky may infact be jerks, but at least all of their sports achievements were earned by NOT cheating.

    STFU Lance and take your penance like a man.

  19. videli says:

    Mel Gibson, and now Lance…it’s Douchebag Tuesday at CB.
    He ruined the sport for a whole generation of athletes. Did he really think he was going to have his way until a glorious retirement?

    • Lizzie K says:

      This struck me too. I don’t remember seeing this before — an outbreak of unrepentant celebrity a**holes telling the public it’s time to get over it. LOL, are we about to hear from Chris Brown and the Bieberbaby too?

      “Get over it, and get back to the worship, worms!”

  20. FLORC says:

    Has anyone here watched The Armstrong Lie?
    It’s a great doc. A film crew was following him for his return to the Tour De France, but as the scandals broke the story changes. Oprahs interview is in there too with Behind the scenes stuff and many former teammates and their wives speaking out about what happened. Also how he intimidated people who were speaking out against him in court proceedings. A great part was when their bus and crew faked a breakdown so their could blood dope before checking into the hotel.

    And Armstrongs interviews… Douche. The way he laughs and talks about what he did… Douche.
    There just wasn’t any humility. I doubt he’s reallly there yet.

  21. steffie says:

    He really does have a point
    Everyone was doping and he won fairly, as it was a levelled playing field.
    He was punished way to hashley
    Other riders that doped are still riding today (in the tour the france, as we speak)
    Sure he did horrible things to protect his lies, but i could see how one thing leads to another.
    As an avid cycling fan i can see he was and is a legend and a great and social rider. He would often let someone win a stage or controll the peloton when things became dangerous.
    They shouldn’t have taken his victorys

    • OTHER RENEE says:

      EVERYONE was doping so it was a level playing field? Are you saying that every single person riding was cheating? And you know this how? And are you saying that if everyone had been cheating, he deserved to be awarded these magnificent titles anyway? What kind of message are you supporting? That cheating is ok? Because you know what? It isn’t. And he deserves to be banned from competing for life.

    • starrywonde says:

      Yeah it’s only his opinion everyone else was doping. No one else came back with doping issues and those that were found out were kicked out. I dont feel sorry for this POS.

    • Decloo says:

      I can’t agree. The way he stood up in court, under oath, again and again and denied everything that he had, in fact, done is astounding to me. Everyone believed in him because he never backed down, was so adamant that he NEVER doped. This man can never be trusted again. In my mind he has NEVER won one race fairly. I’m tired of him whining that “everyone did it.” He was the KING of doing it. Many other riders doped because he pretty much forced them to. His hubris is astounding.

    • Momoftwo says:

      I agree with u steffie….I think they said the top 7 or something like that tested positive for doping…it was a lot. They would have to go pretty deep in the field in those past races to find a clean rider

      That being said i also think he is an a-hole

    • Lady D says:

      He used drugs to become that legend. Got it? The scum cheated, and he is as dishonest as they come.

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Well….the doping is exceptionally rampant in cycling so in that sense, Steffie is correct. Also, I could dope my ass from here to Mars and I still wouldn’t win a Tour De France. There has to be some innate ability there, some foundation of athleticism to build on. Armstrong is not entirely without talent.

      That being said, there is virtually no excuse for how Armstrong treated people. He is as vindictive as they come and a poor sport with no sense of accountability. In short, he’s a Grade A douche that deserves to sit in the Shame Corner for all of eternity.

  22. RobN says:

    My father used to tell me that when I found myself in a hole, that I should stop digging. Lance needs to stop digging.

  23. Mrs McCubbins says:

    I agree with him. He did win those races because everyone else was doping too. However it’s his behaviour that is unforgivable. He looks like hell in that top photo.

  24. MinnFinn says:

    Lance’s anger is a symptom of which of the following.

    A) Classic denial — and I don’t mean a river in Egypt
    B) A symptom of narcissistic personality disorder per DSM-V
    C) The thief who is sorry he got caught but not sorry he stole
    D) Residual effects of steroid use i.e. the vernacular term ‘roid rage
    E) All of the above

  25. Bread and Circuses says:

    A game is, by definition, the sum of its rules. If you’re not playing by the rules, you’re not playing the game. So no, Lance did not win those races. He wasn’t playing the game.

    And he is still an entitled jerk. The only thing wrong with his life is that his ego can’t tolerate the fact he isn’t adulated — or even respected — anymore. Really, what’s so bad about being retired?

  26. Lady Macbeth (ex HiddlesF) says:

    Scum… And then scum.. And then… Scum….

    If he doesn’t know what to do with his spare time, he can join forces with Mel Gibson, kind of douchebag/asshole club and then whine all time about how nasty the global society has been towards them.

    Cheating scumbag!

  27. mollie says:

    He is such a creep. I hate the fact that he won’t even use it as a teaching tool for his children, because if he thinks they won’t know or don’t already know, he’s nuts.

  28. Jes1632 says:

    He didn’t really compare himself to Nelson Mandela, did he? Just angry he got caught like a little baby. I cannot stand people who play victim when really he’s the criminal. No sense

  29. Word Girl says:

    Any idiot that compares a sportsman to civil rights activist and the battle for racial equality is a moron (I save that word for special occasions). I was feeling empathy for Armstrong, because of his cancer and his losses, until I read this petulant behavior in the article. Smh. Armstrong’s friends should help him find his moral compass, because evidently, he has lost it.

    • Jess says:

      Good point! And not just comparing himself to Mandela but actually thinking he’s a victim who needs to learn how to forgive his captors – when he’s the freakin’ bad guy. Ugh, it’s so frustrating to see how he still can’t take responsibility for everything he did.

  30. Jmo says:

    The guy is hard wired to win at all cost. He was probably born with the drive, and the inclination to take whatever measures you had to to win. Probably why, as a doping athlete, he ended up being the most successful doper with the best doping support team he could muster.

    What a legacy though, one he has no problem wanting to maintain; the best of all the cheaters.

    We are witnessing an addict jonesing for his drugs of choice: competition, winning, recognition and adulation.

    The Armstrong Lie is a great movie, reminded me of how heinous his actions were, and how satisfying it remains that he can’t stand the consequences of his actions. Fitting punishment indeed!

  31. Hanna says:

    We love winners. We can even love jerks as long as they win. Lance is a cheater and a jerk, who never won the Tour de France. So what’s to like about him anymore? I feel sorry for him because he thought people really liked him. They never did. They bowed down to all his trophies. He needs to work on his personality, not his golf swing. If he ever finds humility, grace, and humor, he can plot a comeback. I heard the View is looking to fill a few chairs.

  32. pantalones en fuego says:

    When I first glanced at this picture I thought it was Kevin Costner. That’s all I’ve got.

  33. mellie says:

    People don’t like cheaters…period, especially jerks who won’t admit it, much less profited from it…look at Barry Bonds, people hate that guy and Lance Armstrong is Barry Bonds (pardon the expression) ‘on steroids’.

  34. chaine says:

    yeah, i’d let him compete again. In the Tour de STFU.

  35. Jess says:

    Marion Jones actually went to prison for doping – so Lance is still getting off light. It ticks me off that neither he nor Mark McGwire (who lied to Congress) have had to face actual punishment. And Lance still needs to take much more responsibility for the way he tried to destroy people who were telling the truth about him. Can’t stand him.

    • FLORC says:

      Jess
      From the dawn of the Mitchel Report to now almost every player in a major team has been found or heavily suspected of doping publicly.
      Congressional hearings on these matters rarely bring results. It’s almost expected they get nowhere and lies will be told. And the roid rage incidents that result in players abusing women? Yea, they go away quickly as soon as that players team starts winning.
      My point is nothing will stop this without a hit to the wallet.

  36. K. says:

    “People are fine that Michael Jordan was a jerk, they’re fine if Wayne Gretzky was a jerk, but they weren’t fine with me being an a-hole. They expected that perfect story.”

    Oh, bite me. You sold them the perfect story, Lance. You just didn’t expect to get caught or to have to pay a penalty for being a cheater.

    Look, I was a cancer patient back when Lance was winning all those tours. I always thought there was too strong smell of eau de douche about him, but I was alone in that assessment. When I’d go in to get infused, JUST ABOUT EVERY OTHER PATIENT in the infusion center had a Livestrong bracelet on their wrist. Every nurse and doctor in the oncology clinic had them as well. They all believed in him. He offered up hope on a platter. He was a survivor, he was one of us, he’d been in our shoes, he’d survived and had been the better for it. Maybe, just maybe, we could be better for it, too. Hope is a pretty powerful thing when you’ve got cancer.

    And that, ultimately, is his greatest shame imo. He’s no different than a snake oil salesman. You see a lot of those when you’re ill, and they take advantage of you when you’re at your most vulnerable. It’s worse than cheating to win the Tour.

    • Lady Macbeth ex Hiddles F. says:

      He cheated on people, I agree. I hope you’re fine now and cancer-free :)

    • idsmith says:

      I saw a documentary piece on one of the guys who was really pushing to get Lance’s doping out in the open. He said the performance enhancing drugs Lance was using were directly linked to cancer…specifically testicular cancer. He implied his cancer was a direct result of cheating to win. Makes it hard to feel sorry for him at all – and also might explain Livestrong’s reluctance to associate with him.

  37. Mingy says:

    Boo-f%cking-hoo..I’ll save my sympathies.

  38. msw says:

    Hell no. He is a smug, arrogant, entitled douchelord. A friend of mine worked for livestrong for years and the stories she told were hilarious and outrageous. He is definitely not a person I would care to associate with.

    • Esmom says:

      I can imagine. Livestrong wasn’t something he founded out of the goodness of his heart, either. It seems he set it up as a giant distraction from his cheating activities and/or hoped he’d be able to use it as a cushion of goodwill to mitigate a possible fall. I am so happy that it ultimately failed for him…I gotta believe they are far better off without his association.

  39. Hazel says:

    Lance Armstrong and myself have something in common. We both did not win Tour de France.

  40. TG says:

    Out of all the celebs we talk about on here with personality disorders I am 100% confident that you will find his picture in the dictionary next to the word psychopath. He is textbook.

  41. moo says:

    Sorry Lance… I defended you through the years of bullshit you laid on people so you can go eff yourself!

  42. UnpopularOpinion says:

    Are people angry because he doped or angry because he was an a-hole about it? The reason they didn’t award the tour to a runner up is because no one deserved it. The extent of the doping has been well documented during ‘The Lance Years’. His punishment was harsh because USADA needed to send out a message.

    His life was competing and they handed him a capital punishment.

    The saddest thing about this is everyone overlooking the money he raised for Livestrong – The cancer wasn’t a lie.

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t think people are overlooking the money he raised (although if you read up on Livestrong they actually donated far less to research than Lance would have people believe) but it’s hard to give him credit for it when it seems clear he founded it for PR purposes and not out of genuine goodwill.

  43. Vip says:

    I read the book WHEELMEN and watched The Armstrong Lie and holy shit, she is a bona fide headcase. Such as asshole, he went out of his way to hurt people, even before the doping scandals. When Greg LeMond had to pull out of the Tour de France for health reasons his last year, Lance called his wife from the race and offered to buy their house in Belgium, telling her Greg was finished with racing anyhow. Like the same day that Greg had to stop racing – his wife didn’t even know he was sick yet!

    Dude is an asshole, and he should be in prison.

  44. LAK says:

    A man who doesn’t understand what sports actually mean.

    A man who isn’t sorry that he cheated only that he was caught.

    A man pissed at YOU for pointing out that he cheated.

    If he had to do over, he’d do exactly the same thing. Cheat and cheat again!!!

  45. Palermo says:

    Everything about this guy is evil, sorry. He deserves no sympathy

  46. Ag-UK says:

    After watching that documentary on BBC today about him he is a big a…hole. Sitting there lying and trying To bring down anyone who crossed him poor Bob LeMonde. He had a reputation as being an arrogant pr.. K in Austin I have ZERO feelings for him now a complete fraud. Unfortunately it still happens just he was not a 3 rd place winner that you didn’t pay that much attention to. It was an eye opener the entire team were in on it.

  47. kmd0113 says:

    He is not really accountable. He says something that is slightly accountable then follows it up with a minimizing statement or he deflects it all together.

  48. Chris says:

    As if his kids aren’t going to find out about what happened. Lance is delusional.

  49. Jarredsgirl says:

    I think it’s telling that he won’t explain what happened to his children. If he had said that he was going to explain to them what he did wrong and why it was wrong, and encourage them to not go down the same path… then I would say, give him a second chance. People make mistakes, sometimes big ones. But if he can’t even tell his kids what happened, then he hasn’t learned anything.

  50. Mark Hensley says:

    The only thing he’s sorry about, is that he got caught.

    Asshole, mega douchebag.

  51. Miss Elliot says:

    You lying cheating scum bag! You destroyed the lives of people who told the truth about you! Find a cave and stay there. You don’t deserve to have an audience for your self centered whining excuses. Go away!

  52. snowflake says:

    he did not win those races, the drugs did. if he had competed drug free, who knows if he would have won? I doubt it. those drugs helped him and it’s not fair to the people who competed drug-free and lost. Can’t stand somebody who won’t own up to what they did. There is no way for him to excuse this. other worked their ass off, only to lose to someone who cheated. THAT is not fair!