As much as it would be in my interest to get along and have a peek, I really don't have the urge to squirm through a two hour documentary highlighting cycling's biggest fraud, writes Mike Tomalaris.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:38 PM

Don't get me wrong, from the many reviews and trailers I have seen The Armstrong Lie appears to be a brave piece of filmaking which chronicles the improbable rise of a sports legend and his ultimate ugly fall from grace.

From all accounts it promises to be a huge hit, one that has already attracted plenty of interest in the United States since it was first screened on January 31.

Armstrong is still viewed by many as a hero, a man who changed the face of world cycling.

He made it accessible to a new audience curious to learn about a sport that has dominated headlines in Europe for more than a century.

The English-speaking world particularly fell in love with the romance that surrounded his success.

Armstrong can also be credited for initiating cycling's boom in non-Euro nations - he's the reason why so many of us replaced golf clubs for lycra.

So what are my reasons for not taking the opportunity to munch into a bucket of popcorn and a choc-top ice-cream in a dark room and re-live the life and crimes of cycling's disgraced ex-superhero?

For one I don't expect to learn anything new from this real-life story.

For those of us who have lived and breathed the Armstrong lie from start to finish what else is there to be told?

When Armstrong came back from cancer and won the 1999 prologue at the Tour de France it was the ultimate fairytale story.

You wanted to believe it and for a while many of us did.

There's no denying he sucked us in big time.

Armstrong pulled the proverbial wool over our eyes. The lies at the many packed press conferences he conducted, the lines he spun at the finish line of post-stage gatherings after another victory, the way he quashed the rumours of doping by looking at you with his evil eye and threatening to black-ban certain members of the media if the topic was ever raised.

Just ask David Walsh and Paul Kimmage who were the only print journalists who persisted in hounding Armstrong even when there was little evidence to the contrary.

Both were laughed at and both have since had the last laugh.

In hindsight it's easy to say the SBS crew on location was naive to think Armstrong wasn't doping.

What else was a small unit of three supposed to do?

Unlike many other media organisations covering the Tour, SBS certainly didn't have the resources to investigate doping issues because those of us on the ground were hired to cover and follow a bike race only and meet the demands of sending material to our viewers.

Covering a three week cycle tour is a logistical hurdle at the best of times and certainly not a regular 9 to 5 job.

So to meet the daily demands and deadlines would not have been possible if the focus had solely been pursuing Armstrong's systematic doping program.

As much as Armstrong is seeking redemption and forgiveness and to have a life ban reduced in the future, I hope that is not to the case.

Like millions around the world he held my admiration for the best part of seven years.

Many of us believed the story only to be treated like fools who were subsequently left to feel like idiots.

It's easy to forgive but it's difficult to forget.

For these reasons I'm going to give The Armstrong Lie the big flick, for now at least.