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Sports

If Armstrong comes clean, reinstate him?

Throw the book at him

Philip Hersh

Chicago Tribune

Before assuming Lance Armstrong comes fully clean, not to Oprah Winfrey but to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency under oath — quite an assumption, given his decade of lies — it is worth noting there is a rule covering reinstatement. The World Anti-Doping Code allows reduction in the period of ineligibility for a person who provides "substantial assistance in discovering or establishing anti-doping rule violations."

In the case of a lifetime ban, as Armstrong received, the code says the new ban must be no less than eight years. There is no need to give Armstrong a break. He never played by the rules as an athlete. No matter what Armstrong might tell USADA, he should be forced to play by them now and sit out at least eight years.

phersh@tribune.com

We don't know the truth

Gary R. Blockus

The Morning Call

If Lance Armstrong comes clean to Oprah Winfrey — and that's a huge if — there is no way he should be allowed back into legitimate athletic competitions for almost as many reasons as the number of denials he's issued.

He didn't just lie about cheating, he repeatedly lied about repeatedly cheating. He bullied teammates into cheating. When faced with the truth, he lied. When faced with testimony of former teammates, he lied more. When stripped of his accomplishments by USADA, he lied some more.

Do we really believe he's going to come clean via Oprah? If he had any integrity left, he'd do his schtick on "60 Minutes," "20/20" or "Rock Center with Brian Williams."

gblockus@tribune.com

Armstrong can wait

Paul Doyle

Hartford Courant

After years of denials, Lance Armstrong is looking for sympathy and redemption. And he's chasing it with the great American cliche — an emotional confession on Oprah's couch. Or at least that's what we expect.

At this point, we don't know what to believe when words come from Armstrong's mouth. But based on what's been said and reported by others, it should take more than a session with the Talk Show Queen before anyone — those he defamed and lied to, those who defended him and, of course, the governing agencies that will decide his future status as an athlete — offers forgiveness.

Armstrong was the face of the sport and his petulance is a big part of his story. Make him wait. This cannot erase the past.

pdoyle@tribune.com

He's been punished

Lance Pugmire

Los Angeles Times

Armstrong is expected at least to apologize for his involvement in performance-enhancing methods when he tapes an anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey in Austin, Texas.

For him to be reinstated to compete in marathon and triathlon races, he must provide anti-doping agencies a full, detailed description of how he beat the system. By raising his apology to a full-blown confession, Armstrong would leave himself vulnerable to perjury charges given his denials in a civil case.

So, given the fact that he's already been stripped of his titles, been subjected to great public ridicule and could face criminal sanctions, yes, allow him the forgiveness to finish in the back of the pack in the competition of his choice.

lpugmire@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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