Révolté, frustré, et ne trouvant aucune satisfaction d’avoir été lucide toutes ces dernières années à propos de Lance Armstrong, mon texte d’hier tard dans la nuit se voulait un coup de gueule. Nous avons tous des réactions émotives lorsque des événements importants nous touchent de près et qu’ils sont liés à une passion.
Voici, avec un peu de recul, une analyse froide de l’entrevue accordée par Armstrong chez Oprah. Ce texte sera mis à jour régulièrement au cours de la journée et jusque demain samedi.
Ce que nous savions déjà.
Did you dope ? «Yes» Did you take EPO ?«Yes» Blood transfusions? «Yes.» Other products such as testosterone? «Yes.» During all your 7 Tours de France victories? «Yes.»
« True. » Armstrong a confirmé qu’un contrôle positif à la cortisone en 1999 a été couvert par un certificat médical antidaté.
La question qui tue.
Was it possible to win without doping? «No, I don’t believe it was possible.»
Il refuse de répondre.
« I’m not comfortable talking about other people, I’m not. It’s all out there. »
À propos de la fameuse scène de l’hôpital en 1997, alors qu’il aurait avoué à ses médecins responsables de soigner son cancer et en présence de plusieurs amis s’être dopé: « I’m not going to take that on, » he said. « I’m laying down on that one. » Une réaction qui a terriblement frustré Betsy Andreu, et on la comprend.
D’autres mensonges tellement décevants.
« The last time that I crossed that line (ndlr: recourir au dopage) was in 2005. »
« I love cycling. I really do. »
Une part de sincérité?
« They’ve (ndlr: les Andreu) been hurt too badly. A 40 minute conversation isn’t enough. »
« She’s (ndlr: Emma O’Reilly) one of these people that I have to apologise to. She’s one of those people who got run over. Got bullied. »
« I see the anger in people. Betrayal, it’s all there. These are people that supported me, believed in me and they have every right to feel betrayed… I’ll apologise to these people for the rest of my life. »
« People will say that I’ve disrespected that event (ndlr: le Tour de France), the colour yellow, the sport, the jersey – I did. »
Ce que nous ne savions pas.
« I’m going to tell you what’s true and not true. That story isn’t true. There was no positive test, there was no paying off of the lab there was no secret meeting with the lab director. »
« This is impossible for me to answer this question and have anybody believe it. It was not in exchange for any cover up. And again I am not a fan of the UCI. I have every incentive to sit here and tell you ‘yes, that’s right.' »
La vraie personnalité d’Armstrong
« I was just on the attack, Oprah. Territory of being threatened. Team being threatened. Reputation being threatened. I’m going to attack. »
« I disrespected the rules, regardless of what anybody says of the generation. That was my choice. If I can, and I stand on no moral platform here. It’s certainly not my place to say ‘hey guys, let’s clean up cycling.’ If there was a truth and reconciliation commission – again I can’t call for that. I’ve got no cred. But if they have it and I’m invited, I’ll be the first man in the door. »
Les réactions, toutes tellement prévisibles.
Pat McQuaid, triomphant: “Lance Armstrong has confirmed there was no collusion or conspiracy between the UCI and Lance Armstrong. There were no positive tests which were covered up and he has confirmed that the donations made to the UCI were to assist in the fight against doping. »
Pat McQuaid, encore triomphant: “However, Lance Armstrong also rightly said that cycling is a completely different sport today than it was 10 years ago. In particular the UCI’s introduction of the biological passport in 2008 – the first sports federation to do so – has made a real difference in the fight against doping. »
Andy Schleck: « Now it is time to return to our own careers and to the future. The biological passport and the out-of-competition controls have indeed changed cycling. »
Samuel Sanchez: « I want to look to the future and don’t want to look back. The image of cycling suffered in that era, today it is totally different.”
Hilaire van der Schueren, directeur sportif chez Vacansoleil: “Let us once and for all draw a line under the matter. It is time that we increasingly look to the future of cycling. »
Phil Anderson: « But he didn’t seem to reveal anything that hasn’t been leaked or we haven’t read in Hamilton’s book. Maybe that’s going to come out tomorrow. He hasn’t pulled anything out of the hat yet. »
Greg Lemond: “I get pissed off when I hear that you can’t win the Tour without doping. Look at Andy Hampsten [winner of the 1988 Giro d’Italia, third in the 1989 Giro and fourth in the Tour in 1986 and 1992) – there was no way he was on any doping program.”
John Fahey, président de l’Agence Mondiale Antidopage: « We learnt nothing new. He refused to give names of the entourage, the officials, the other riders, the source of the drugs which he admitted taking and he indicated at the same time that he harassed and bullied many decent and honest people with litigation and public statements – even though those people were telling the truth. »
« I think Lance Armstrong a very confused person. When someone justifies all of the wrongs that he did on the basis that everyone else was doing it and when someone gives the impression as I distinctly got that the biggest mistake that he ever made in all of this was to come back in 2009 and 2010 and had he not made that comeback he might have got away with it. That tells me that he regrets all the occurred because he got caught. I don’t see him as being anyone of character at all. I see him being as he now admits he is and that is a liar, a bully and a cheat. »
Travis Tygart: “His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction. But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”