Now that Lance Armstrong has admitted to doping, it seems he's officially made his way from universally beloved to universally reviled. A roundup of reactions to his confession, which airs on Oprah's show tomorrow:
- "He’s a cheater and a bully who doesn’t deserve leniency," write Emily Bazelon and William Saletan in Slate. Even so, allowing him to cut a deal with the US Anti-Doping Agency "may be the only way to fix cycling," they concede. If Armstrong can help to bring down the International Cycling Union, a corrupt organization that purports to fight against dopers while actually protecting them, the sport could actually become clean again. Click for their full piece.
- CNN asked writers, cyclists, and ethics experts whether Lance should be given another chance, and their across-the-board response was: No. But some agree that his cooperation with the USADA could ultimately help cycling. More still needs to be done, writes Randy Cohen: All the doping riders, many of them tops in the sport, need to confess. And cycling's governing bodies must then "provide a setting in which honest athletes can participate" without feeling the need to dope in order to compete.
- USA Today ran a similar experiment, asking readers if Lance should be forgiven. Most seem to agree that the answer is no, but some still admire his work with Livestrong. Others point out that the problem is bigger than him, and involves the entire sport.
- But the most unlikely victim? Dodgeball. Armstrong appeared in a pivotal scene in the Vince Vaughn comedy, talking Vaughn into not giving up because, as Armstrong says in the film, "You know, once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung, and testicular cancer all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike, and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit." Now the movie is pretty much ruined, many agree.