How I Made Armstrong a God—and Denied His Doping

Outside editor Hal Espen admits he looked the other way
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2012 6:23 PM CDT
In this Feb. 28, 2011 file photo,Lance Armstrong sits during a news conference at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – Now that Lance Armstrong has resigned from Livestrong and lost his Tour de France titles, someone is feeling guilty: the editor of Outside magazine. Hal Espen lionized Armstrong in the sports mag for years, shrugging off doping accusations and dismissing evidence that drugs had corrupted the sport. "In its own ambivalent way, the magazine became a minor entertainment division of Lance Inc.," Espen writes in The Atlantic. Not to mention that Outside "won awards for issues that packaged Lance as a heroic icon."

So Espen argued against drug-conspiracy theories. He said they required too many silent partners; he said Armstrong was far too ethical to betray the cancer victims, the kids, the women, the investors. But now the bubble has burst, and Espen is disgusted with the whole thing—with Lance, his "opportunistic" accusers, and reporters like Buzz Bissinger who still stand by him. But that's not all: "I also save a small, bitter dose of shame for myself." Click for Espen's full piece. (Read more Lance Armstrong stories.)

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