Lance Armstrong says a “full blown, global” Truth and Reconciliation Commission is the only way for cycling to move past doping scandals.
In his first interview since admitting to doping, Armstrong says cyclists need to be assured that there won’t be consequences if they share the truth.
Daniel Benson is the Managing Editor at Cyclingnews.com. He told KUT that to get the interview with Armstrong—all he had to do was ask.
Armstrong told Benson that the Tour de France was invented as a “stunt” and that no generation of cyclists was “clean”—whether that meant hopping on trains 100 years ago or using EPO now. But Benson says it’s not quite fair to say Armstrong comes across as unapologetic in the interview.
“I didn’t actually ask Armstrong, ‘Are you sorry?’ So he’s not going to, perhaps, come back with that answer," Benson said. "I think the issue now for him is to look at what he believes and where he stands and whether or not he’s being treated fairly.”
And, to create that level of fairness, Armstong is asking for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Benson agrees something like that needs to happen.
“Because the opportunity is lost," Benson said. "We’ll be here in five, ten years time with another Lance Armstrong. Maybe not to the same degree or severity but we’ll be in the same situation and we’ll be asking ourselves the same questions.”
Speculation has been that Armstrong is coming forward now with the truth, in part, because he wants a reduction in his lifetime ban from sanctioned sport. But, Benson says that's not what's most important. He says it's more important to look at the bigger picture.
"Whether or not they like Lance Armstrong, whether or not they like his personality, or recognize any form of his achievements, I think his voice and his insight is valuable regardless, to some extent, what his motives are," Benson said. "If he can share some information as to what went on, how he was able to do the things he did in terms of getting away with it for so long and with the tests and so on and so forth—I think that's useful information and I think the governing bodies of the sport need to welcome that."
But right now, Benson says, infighting between the sport’s governing bodies would prevent that truth-sharing from happening.