Friday, February 8, 2013

Lance Armstrong: “Yeah, I was a bully...”

The Globe and Mail: - “...Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah is likely to be the start of the long and difficult process of repairing his brand as well as limiting any damage to the Livestrong brand and organization,” said Manish Kacker, associate professor of marketing at McMaster University. Complicating his attempt to rebuild his reputation is the mountain of lies he built to sustain the myth that he was clean. In 2007, in a conversation with Bob Schieffer at the Aspen Ideas Festival, he said there was “no way” he would take drugs after beating cancer. “I came out of a life-threatening disease, I was on my death-bed,” he said “Do you think I’m going to come back into a sport and say ‘okay, okay doctor, give me everything you got, I just want to go fast.’ No way. Would never do that.” Not only did he repeatedly deny doping throughout his career, he attacked critics as jealous liars. He undermined the careers of competitors who tried to blow the whistle “Yeah, I was a bully,” he acknowledged to Ms. Winfrey. He admitted being embarrassed now as she showed him video of several particularly cynical statements from his riding days. “[I had] this just ruthless desire to win, win it all ... and that defiance, that attitude, that arrogance, you cannot deny it. I mean, you watch that clip, that’s an arrogant person. I look at that and [I say] look at this arrogant prick. I say that today. It’s not good...” - Oliver Moore, The Globe and Mail, Lance Armstrong's way: Doping, lying, bullyingJan 17 2013 (READ MORE)

Slate: - "...For children in school, the standard definition of a bully is someone who verbally or physically abuses a target over whom he or she has more power, repeatedly and over time. Import that to Lance Land, and, yes, you’ve got a bully. But in his interview, Lance wanted to own the word without any of the consequences. "Yes, I was a bully. I was a bully in the sense that I tried to control the narrative and if I didn't like what someone said I turned on them," he told Oprah. But when she asked if he threatened to kick cyclist Christian Vande Velde off the team when he wouldn’t get with the doping program, Armstrong denied it. Similarly, he admitted he was the kind of person who always goes on the attack. But then he said he’d only become a bully after going back to his cycling career, post-cancer. Hard to imagine that he has grappled much with this side of his character, much less come to regret it, if he can’t get his timeline straight..." - Emily Bazelon, Slate, Jan 18 2013, Lance Armstrong Was a Bully-and That Hardly Covers It (READ MORE)

New Republic: - "...The catalogue of bad behavior got worse. He admitted that there was an “expectation” that his younger teammates would also use dangerous performance-enhancing drugs, if they wanted to make the A team. He acknowledged calling a team employee, Emma O’Reilly, a drunk and a whore. (Oprah did not approve.) He admitted calling Betsy Andreu, wife of a former teammate and close friend, a “crazy bitch”—but then insisted, “I never called her fat,” as if that made it okay. (It didn’t, and Oprah really did not approve of the fat talk. ) He laid out a catalogue of sociopathic behavior—and then failed to apologize for much if any of it. There was no apology to Betsy or her husband, Frankie, whose lives and careers he made much more difficult. There was no apology to Greg Lemond, a colleague and superior sportsman who he persecuted for years. There was no apology to his former teammates, or to the many people he’d sued or threatened to sue. “You're suing people, and you know that they're telling the truth,” Oprah huffed. “What is that?” “I think all of this is a process for me,” he said, in the course of not really answering her. “One of the steps of that process is to speak to those people directly, and just say to them that I am sorry, and I was wrong. You were right..." - Bill Gifford, Lance Armstrong: No More Mr. Nice Guy, New Republic, Jan 18 2013 (READ MORE)

Lance Edward Armstrong (born Lance Edward Gunderson; September 18, 1971) is an American former professional road racing cyclist. Armstrong had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005, before being disqualified from each of those races and banned from cycling for life for doping offenses by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in 2012. He is the founder of the Livestrong Foundation, originally called the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which provides support for cancer patients...In October 1996, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. His cancer treatments included brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy. In February 1997, he was declared cancer-free and the same year he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation...On October 22, 2012, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport's governing body, announced its decision to accept USADA's findings. Armstrong chose not to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and in January 2013 Armstrong admitted doping in a television interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey, despite having made denials throughout his career. - Wikipedia (READ MORE)

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Bullying is an abusive treatment, the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when habitual and involving an imbalance of power. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed persistently towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. The "imbalance of power" may be social power and/or physical power. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "targeted individual" (Wikipedia).