So what are we to think when watching Lance Armstrong attempt to claw back more than a decade's worth of denial in what will be a reported confessional with Oprah Winfrey?
The supercut below may give us an idea. We are watching presumably a practised liar take to the lounge. I have only one question for Armstrong. "Did you do it for the money or was it the fame?"
Over the past week just about everyone has had something to say about Winfrey’s sit-down with Armstrong, most were serious and pointed.
And when Lance Armstrong ‘cries’ on Oprah later this week and she passes him the tissue, spare a thought for all those genuine people who walked away with no rewards, just shattered dreams, Each one of them is worth a thousand Lances.
In the light of the overwhelming evidence of doping against you in the 1999 Tour, have you any words for Christophe Bassons, whom you intimidated during that race over his anti-doping stance? Similarly, have you any thoughts for Filippo Simeoni, whom you bullied out of a possible 2004 stage win after he testified against your trainer Michele Ferrari?
Seriously, Lance, just walk away. Settle your lawsuits; pay off your lawyers; hell, you might even get that crack legal team of yours to work a plea deal on a potential perjury charge. Then get the @#$% outta here.
Others had a humourous take on the Oprah interview.Looking back, how badly did the death of your dog when you were seven years old affect you? Looking at this picture of your dog can you feel the tears welling up, the anger coming out? Can you feel the tears for your dog? Would you like to reach out and pat the dog? Pat the dog, Lance. Cry. Cry and pat the dog.
And some expressed an innocence lost.I liked it when he sent me a tweet of appreciation after I had written a previous column condemning the federal government for the millions it spent going after professional athletes for illegal use of performance enhancers (I still believe the money was wasted). I liked telling my son Caleb, who idolized Armstrong, that "you will never guess who tweeted me." My only solace is that my son, like so many others who looked up to Armstrong, now hates him.
Reports today suggest that Armstrong is rapidly unwinding the lies of his past to those closest to him, with the world next on his bucket list of contrition. But what do you think? If you had Armstrong sitting next to you, what question would you most like to ask the most divisive figure in professional cycling?