Many of my non-cycling friends and family have asked me lately about my thoughts on Lance Armstrong's doping.
And my thoughts have always been a bit complicated until this week.
Until Armstrong decided to "confess" on Oprah. Seriously? Oprah?
If Armstrong really wanted to come clean, he'd talk to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, not Oprah. That decision to me is pathetic. His performance there is predictable: Some tears, some admission, some link to LiveStrong.
Prior to the Oprah decision, I had conflicted feelings about Armstrong. He was a doper who was still a heck of an athlete and who trained hard. And the people he beat also doped. All true.
The whole culture of doping leaves me empty. I'm giving away all the DVDs and videos from Tour de France and classic races in the 1990s and 2000s I used to watch while on the trainer in the basement.
I'm sickened by the generation of riders who made their fortune while doping while other riders, perhaps equally naturally talented, went without the big contracts.
The beautiful sport of riding our bikes has been blackened by doping, by the win at all costs attitude exemplified by Armstrong and his teams.
The sport will not get any redemption by Armstrong spilling his guts after lying to us for years on Oprah. Armstrong has proved to be vindictive, arrogant, and almost soul-less in his treatment of anyone who got in his way.
With the Oprah announcement, he's become a cartoon character to me. And this was a man whose posters I had on the wall in my classroom as an example of determination and hard work.
Determination and hardwork, my ass.
The only way Armstrong could gain any sense of redemption is to talk with USADA, admit everything, detail everything about how he was able to evade the tests, and then honestly and deeply apologize to all those who he ran over with the "Lance is God" bus.
And that will not happen on Oprah with any chance of honesty, with any chance of righting the myriad of wrongs he has caused.
I don't know whether I can stomach watching the fiasco. I doubt it. I'd hate to vomit if Armstrong starts to tear up.