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Armstrong should 'do it': apologize

Published October 20, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

By Kirk Bohls

Austin American-Statesman

AUSTIN, Texas — Now that Lance Armstrong has been completely disgraced and his entire cycling career has been trashed for overwhelming evidence that he cheated, Austin's favorite son should borrow from his former sponsor, Nike, and "Just Do It."

He should apologize.

To the world. To the international cycling community that revered him. To the millions of Livestrong survivors he inspired and maybe still does. To his family who stood by him. To himself.

Armstrong owes everyone that much. But he owes himself, too. Let's hope he has enough integrity like other discredited superstars like Marion Jones and Andy Pettitte and admits he was wrong, admits he was duplicitous, admits he put himself and his personal gain above all else to make the Tour de Farce his personal playground.

There's been no bigger athletic hero, no greater symbol of courage and comeback, no larger-than-life survivor than Lance. Here's wishing he'd respond in kind.

If he has an ounce of humility, he must come clean, as so many thought he was during his record-breaking seven Tour de France victories. Armstrong's personal Twitter site has 3,761,774 followers, and I'd think all of them would welcome a heartfelt apology. America loves nothing more than a fallen hero who's apologetic for his shortcomings.

No reasonable person who read the thousand pages of testimony from 11 teammates and other insiders could come away with any doubts that Armstrong was not only a cheater, but a bully who directed the most sophisticated doping system in sports history.

He rightfully stepped down as chairman of Livestrong so as not to diminish or detract from its honorable mission.

Finally, those testifying teammates Armstrong berated, intimidated or condemned as traitors out for revenge or personal gain can have some peace, and the doping officials that Armstrong branded as administrators on a witch hunt can have their integrity back.

Armstrong owes them all.

He cannot right the wrongs he committed. Nor can he undo or take back the hateful, venomous things he said about anyone who had the gall to speak out against him.

But he can just do it now, atone for his arrogance and say he's sorry.