Friday, 31 August 2012

Why Lance will be just fine

Last week, just after Lance Armstrong announced that he would not contest the USADA proceedings, I did a radio interview in which the interviewer relayed the comments of a marketing expert who suggested that Armstrong was done as spokesman, fundraiser, and endorser. I disagreed, saying (consistent with similar arguments made elsewhere) that Lance would benefit from not participating in the proceeding; he would argue that the proceedings were biased and illegitimate, that he was the wronged party and justified in not participating (and thus giving USADA legitimacy), and that he remains a clean champion cyclist.

Case in point: Armstrong's speech yesterday to the World Cancer Congress, which he began as follows: "My name is Lance Armstrong. I am a cancer survivor . . .  I'm a father of five. And yes, I won the Tour de France seven times." Combined with reports that Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation saw a dramatic uptick in donations last week, it looks like, at least in the short term, my instinct was right--Armstrong is going to come through this just fine.

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