Amid the flurry of reports that Lance Armstrong has admitted to blood doping, in a yet-unaired interview with US mea culpa czar Oprah Winfrey, the above video from the University of Texas’s program in “Sports and Media” is worth another look.
Recorded three months ago but not circulated very widely at the time, the above shows a conversation in Armstrong’s hometown of Austin on “the culture of sport and cheating.” Included in the panel are three of the cyclist’s lawyers, some journalists who covered the case, a doctor, and a former captain of the US Olympic swim team.
Sit back. The above shows the entire, nearly two-hour conversation. A four-minute video synopsis is here.
Recorded just as the Armstrong scandal was breaking last October, the video is remarkable for its lack of civility. Armstrong’s lawyers, particularly Bryan Daly of the firm Sheppard Mullin, and Tim Herman of Howry, Breen & Herman, are in attack mode, and as university panel discussions go, things get pretty heated. “We do not do not love our heroes because they are moral,” Daly says, at about the 45 minute mark. “We love our heroes because they win.”
Herman at one point tells another panelist, New York Times reporter Juliet Macur, that the investigation into Armstrong is rigged. Daly adds the same about the media coverage, telling two reporters on the panel that “there’s no way that Lance Armstrong is going to clear his name with you.”
Amid all the sniping, ex-Olympic swimmer Jill Sterkel appears to be refreshingly commonsensical, and somewhat aghast at the whole ugly mess.