Sunday Times lambasts Lance

2013-01-20 11:07

London - British newspaper The Sunday Times, vindicated at last over its 13-year pursuit of Lance Armstrong, said the self-confessed drugs cheat should face legal action and be banned from competitive sport for life.

The weekly broadsheet's journalist David Walsh, who suspected the US cyclist throughout his seven Tour de France wins, urged Armstrong to go further in telling the truth about doping in the sport after he finally admitted cheating in an interview with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.

The Sunday Times said it was also looking to get its money back after a ruling led them to paying him an out-of-court settlement over its allegations which Armstrong now admits were true.

"Lance Armstrong is probably the most egregious drugs cheat in the history of sport," the newspaper said in its editorial.

"Now he is the hero who has sunk to somewhere below zero, exposed by his own admission of cheating.

"This newspaper's David Walsh, with his dogged journalism, has been on Armstrong's case for years. Now, as a result of his admission of cheating in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, it is finally out in the open."

Armstrong said in his interview that he would apologise to Walsh.

"So he should. But an apology can never be enough," the newspaper said.

"Armstrong lied and cheated his way to success. He has made us all feel more cynical about sport and about how sporting success is achieved.

"In 2006, after a court ruling that required us to prove his doping rather than being able to ask legitimate questions about whether he was doing it, this newspaper had to pay Armstrong £300 000 in an out-of-court settlement, plus costs that took our legal bill to £1m.

"We are now pressing for that money to be paid back.

"It is not just about the money. He destroyed the reputation of his sport and he tried to destroy the reputation of a journalist who never gave up.

"He deserves to be pursued through the courts and banned from competitive sport for life."

Walsh, for years a lonely voice as he wrote books including "L. A. Confidentiel", wrote in the newspaper: "From his very first Tour victory in 1999, I knew. He was a cheat.

"Other journalists were similarly sceptical but The Sunday Times offered an opportunity few others had. I was allowed repeatedly to write stories that said/suggested/argued that Armstrong was a fraud. It helped, too, that he soon grew to hate me and saw me as his bete noire. It became my calling card.

"He saw me as the enemy, mayor of Troll City.

"We learnt a lot about each other."

Walsh said he was called by Winfrey's producers, who "wanted to know about Armstrong's darker side".

He said Armstrong had twice spoken about his son John Walsh who died aged 12, saying it was "sick that I should describe John as a favourite son", and claiming Walsh had a vendetta against cycling and Armstrong because John was killed while riding his bike.

"I want people to know how nasty this guy can be," he wrote.

He said he would "probably" like to interview Armstrong again.

Armstrong told Winfrey he found more happiness in preparing for competition than in winning.

"That makes sense for me too: the hunt was better than the kill," Walsh wrote.

"I do not expect or want an apology but I would like a third meeting because I have got a lot of questions. Oprah started something three nights ago, a very modest step on the road to truth in Armstrong's story.

"If he commits himself to the journey, he will be surprised how far he can go."


  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-01-20 11:12

    . That he took drugs, can be forgiven ! To the extend that he tried to cover this up, cannot be forgiven,NEVER EVER !! He is an utter scumbag !!

      ianon.ym - 2013-01-20 11:26

      @AnthonyfromAfrica - you forgot to add - 'and so are all the institutions that supported him' -

      michael.tetley.35 - 2013-01-20 11:34

      And the way he aggressively and ruthlessly went after those who, quite correctly it turns out, accused him of wrongdoing?

      phoenix.px.5 - 2013-01-20 11:54

      He destroyed MANY careers and took MANY people to court and won, For example, he said his former physio was a prostitute and a drunk. it totally destroyed her. He deserves NO sympathy.

      johan.jacobs.5680 - 2013-01-20 12:01

      Ever caught.

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2013-01-20 12:01

      Of course all these newspapers and journalists that in the past published doping accusation at Armstrong merely on guesswork and without any evidence will now come out guns blazing. In my opinion if a journalist publishes an accusation without proof (thus just guessing) then he/she is not entitled to any compensation if he/she happened to guess right. Publish with facts only or shut up.

      michael.tetley.35 - 2013-01-20 12:51

      @ Pierre. I don't think they published without evidence, just not quite enough to secure a criminal conviction in a court of law. You can publish on balance of probabilities. In a civil matter you rule on balance of probabilities, not beyond a reasonable doubt as in a criminal matter.

      pierre.devilliers.9231 - 2013-01-21 08:33

      @Michael - Did you not follow the recent investigations into the Murdoch gang and "News of the World"?

  • derek.francois.3 - 2013-01-20 11:16

    I concur scumbag narcissistic psycho needs to rot in jail........................the only bike he should have access to is a spin bike in his cell...........

  • warren.carne.9 - 2013-01-20 11:49

    He didn't destroy the sport,what about Pantani,Zulle,Mancebo,Ullrich,Virenque,Valverde,Jullich,Hamilton,Basso,Livingstone,Olano,Sevilla etc etc.... and even the greatest of them all Eddy Mercx have been zapped because of drugs,Lance is guilty, the most successful of them all but doesn't deserve a life ban,a ban yes but not for life.

  • dylan.mugabe - 2013-01-20 11:56

    He didn't "abuse substances" you moron. He wasn't on tik. He took performance enhancing medication.

  • dylan.mugabe - 2013-01-20 11:57

    People are carrying on like the man was dealing drugs to children.

  • dylan.mugabe - 2013-01-20 11:58

    Err.... LOLLLLL. You're an idiot. Someone should revoke your Internet access. You have the mind of a child.

      jacowium - 2013-01-20 17:00

      Generally, Dylan, it is people who have the mind of children who think statements like, "You're an idiot", will ever prove a point.

  • nico.dejongh.90 - 2013-01-20 12:01

    Question... do they not test athletes for doping, then how did he 'pass' all these years.

      alfred.killian - 2013-01-20 17:17

      Read tyler hamiltons book, he explains it.

  • NigelJamesTurner - 2013-01-20 12:03

    Lance Armstrong is a sociopath - a cold blooded manipulator, schemer and bully without a conscience. He preys on people's weaknesses and desires. His entire career was forged on how he could attain success through deceit. He cajoled, threatened and incentivised others to do his bidding. He's the sporting equivalent of a serial killer. Livestrong was just a front to gain him popularity and publicity. He is not really remorseful, he's just playing the game of manipulation in another way. He should be pursued in the courts and ruined, both as a punishment and an example to others.

  • jacob.thelier - 2013-01-20 12:12

    Hansie Cronje all over again. It always boils down to money.

  • gerard.pilz - 2013-01-20 12:17

    Ok.... I think everybody must just relax! There have been so many pros that have come out and said if you didn't take epo, you didn't compete. He wanted and did exactly what most of the others were doing, just a little bit better. I am not condoning it, it is most definitely wrong and what he did to the people he hurt is unacceptable. But let's also consider the fact that through this fame he has done more good than possibly any other sportsman that has ever lived. The man created a charity empire that has raised $500million and saved thousands of lives in the process, saved people's lives! So think about everything in totality before you draw and quarter him

      jacob.thelier - 2013-01-20 12:44

      He should be punished more, because he is an icon that people look up to. Same as famous movie stars that commit crimes and get away with it because of money, When did they become better than the rest of us "common folk"

  • jawell - 2013-01-20 12:41

    What a bunch of fish soup. Are there not worse happening occurring in life that demand our attention rather than a sports personality?

      alfred.killian - 2013-01-20 17:13

      It got your attention.

  • pieter.vanaswegen.3 - 2013-01-20 13:04

    Not approving the use of banned substances in all sports, however people seem to forget the good he has done. He is taking the falland the eye off a lot of other sports men/woman also guilty of this even of some high flyers in our own back yard.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2013-01-20 13:06

    As much as Armstrong is guilty, those doing the doping tests must be persued,otherwise allow drugs in sport.

  • grant.butler.104 - 2013-01-20 13:26

    Hanise....Tiger......Marion....Ben Johnson....Lance.... The Age of Innonence long gone. Today reports that entire under 19 rugby School teams to be tested for anabolic stroids.... We live in 1 crazy world !

      alfred.killian - 2013-01-20 17:08

      Hugh GRANT

  • tshepo.mmolotsi - 2013-01-20 13:51

    Cycling federations should legalise doping, every cyclist dopes, finish and klaar. How many cyclist are failing the drug test every year, the numbers are shocking.

      alfred.killian - 2013-01-20 17:02

      Everybody is exceeding the speed limit, lets just raise it.

  • peter.ellis.37051 - 2013-01-20 14:20

    Some of our so called great people who are showting the odds, I would love to search their cupboard that probably dont know what its like to have cancer. I wander with all effected the brain, I dont thimk this is an easy thing to solve but one thing I always notice is those that shout lowdest are far from angels. Who is going to throw the first stone?.

  • rob.tubbs.39 - 2013-01-20 17:28

    ARMSTRONG. Hang your head in shame you 'dirt bag'.....

  • renier.lubbe.7 - 2013-01-20 21:46

    "He deserves to be pursued through the courts and banned from competitive sport for life." Actually he should be banned from any involvement in all sports! He should reimburse all those that had to pay-up due to court actions taken by him in order to cover his actions. Then he should be forgotten for ever.

  • michael.c.georgopoulos - 2013-01-21 00:18

    He should have been tested when he won it the second time already. Not wait till he wins it 7times? The admistrators and the sports body should have stepped in earlier. It does not pay to cheat in a high profile sport of this nature.

  • burger. - 2013-01-21 04:46

    Seem like most people her know Lance personally..

  • jorge.andrade.3990418 - 2013-01-21 15:47

    For me Armstrong is a criminal in many ways. Simple as that. He cheated to defeat correct contenders . He lied to take money from some people and newspapers. He hurted people with hard , unjust and false statements . This guy is a danger to society. I don't believe in his tears, nor in his apology. He has no any ethics.

  • jorge.andrade.3990418 - 2013-01-21 15:47

    For me Armstrong is a criminal in many ways. Simple as that. He cheated to defeat correct contenders . He lied to take money from some people and newspapers. He hurted people with hard , unjust and false statements . This guy is a danger to society. I don't believe in his tears, nor in his apology. He has no any ethics.

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