Lance Armstrong is set to appear on 'Off the Ball' tonight, at some stage between 7-10pm.
Armstrong once complained that "the world was told I was the biggest fraud in the history of sport and I don’t think that’s true". But, having won seven Tours de France and admitted cheating to win all of them, some would struggle to think of few greater frauds than he in the history of sport.
It promises to be an interesting interview.
Here are a few questions Armstrong should be forced to answer:
- You stood as a beacon of hope for cancer sufferers in Ireland and across the world, who identified with your fight against the disease and your success in cycling after recovering from the illness, who drew strength from your success story during their own fight against the disease. Many of them now feel betrayed and let down; they feel as though they took hope from a fraud. What would you say to these people?
- At the time, how did you justify putting performance-enhancing drugs into your body after recovering from cancer?
- Do you feel foolish now when you look back on how you described the doubters in 2008, that you were "sorry that they can't live a dream, or believe in miracles, as there are no secrets to my success"?
- On the 'Oprah' interview, you refused to address Betsy and Frankie Andreu's assertions that, at the Indiana University Hospital on October 27, 1996, you confessed you had taken EPO, human growth hormone, cortisone, steroids and testosterone. Do you still deny these claims?
- You have said that, because of the doping culture at the time, taking performance-enhancing drugs was as necessary as "putting air in your tyres". But would you not agree that after the Festina affair there was a definite window within which an opportunity to change the sport arose? And that you, as a high-profile cyclist and leader of the US Postal team, had an opportunity to lead that change? Do you not think it is slightly rich for you to plead the victim and say that doping was just necessary to succeed?
- USADA reported that "an expert examination" of your blood parameters "established that the likelihood of Armstrong’s blood values from the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France occurring naturally is less than one in a million, and build a compelling argument consistent with blood doping"...do you still deny doping during these Tours? If so, how would you explain these values?
- People compare Team Sky and their achievements, their dominance of the Tour de France, to your own US Postal team's dominance (which was the subject of a USADA investigation that provided evidence of a doping programme that was "more extensive than any previously revealed in professional sports history" and which Armstrong described as "professional" and "risk-averse"). Do you notice any comparisons and can you understand why people might draw them? Do you believe in the achievements of Team Sky and Chris Froome and do you think that cycling is any cleaner than it was whenever you were competing?