I've talked about this many times before, but now the evidence seems too overwhelming to refute:
The thing is, I've never really questioned that great likelihood that the one-man icon machine was using something like the same methods the rest of the peleton was using. As I've also said before; professional cycling and The Tour in particular were drenched, saturated in doping in the Nineties and Oughts. All the patrons, the big powers of the peleton, were shown to have doped. The notion that Armstrong had some sort of godlike physique that enabled him to fly along with the blood-dopers and EPOids?
But now equally obvious is the conclusion that the man DID cheat.
And I should note that it says something very interesting about the man that he has invested a tremendous amount of time and energy in forcibly denying this, and attempting to force others to support him. Given what we now know, it is intriguing that he would have insisted on this course, rather than simple grim silence. Either he is the infuriated victim of the most grotesque conspiracy every concocted, or his arrogance truly has no limits.
Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. I wonder; what does Lance Armstrong know about himself. In the dark hours of the night, does he ever reflect on what he was and what he has become?
But, frankly, to me it no longer matters what the man did or does or if he ever admits what happened on the roads, in the cities and towns of France over seven years.
What we know is that athletes who need to win to make a living will cheat to win if there are no sure penalties for cheating. As surely as the sun rises or the rain falls. If you knew that your competitor was cheating and would not get caught, what virtue is there in being beaten hollow as an honest man?
So it would be nice if Armstrong would lie down and take his beating like a man. But he won't. So we will have to accept this as an indictment of the principle that any sport - any profession, any nation, anyone anywhere - can afford to be complacent and lazy about policing itself.
Professional cycling can no more expect its races to receive respect if it does not force its liars and cheats into the harsh light of punishment than a nation can expect to receive good government if its political "discourse" is dominated by ridiculous lies and half-truths and the public press forgoes exposure and ridicule of those lies in favor of facile presentations of fluff and nonsense.
There will always be those who choose to cling to the comforting lie rather than stare dry-eyed at the eviscerating truth. There will always be fools who will prefer to lie inert and be fooled than to force themselves to do the hard graft of determining the truth from the lie and finding out the consequences of each.