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A lot has been said and will continue to be said about the Lance Armstrong doping situation.  His tearful admission (finally) on Oprah this week that he did, in fact, do what he has been accused of doing, has me saying…. it is about time!

His reasons for thinking he needed to take performance-enhancing drugs don’t really concern me.  What does concern me is why he felt the need to lie over and over again.  And now that he has lost so much he decides to come clean?  I’m happy that he has decided to admit what we’ve all known (or at least thought we knew).  Is it too little too late?  Perhaps, but I’m glad he did it.  I can’t imagine carrying around that kind of secret for as long as he has.

What will the impact be on Livestrong and the work of that organization? Livestrong is far bigger than Lance Armstrong.  His high-profile celebrity did much to help the organization raise awareness and funding for some very important health issues.  For that, we should be grateful.

It is always tough when your brand is connected to someone with such a high-profile and that someone turns out to do something not in line with your brand and your mission.   But now it is time to move forward.  Let him get on with it and let Livestrong get on with doing what it has always set out to do.

photo via omg.yahoo

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

8 Comments

  1. Stephanie Lough says:

    I never did like him. Yes, he as done a lot for cancer research and it goes without saying that is amazing. But I feel that he has exploited his misfortunes and fortunes. Someone that “won” world titles and have his level of fame are (in PR thinking) pretty much obligated to donate millions and raise awareness for their cause. He was a PR dream – cancer survivor that went on to win, brought cycling into more mainstream sports, a celebrity in his own rights with SUPER popular branding – and managed to turn all that into a PR nightmare. The truth always comes out, when will public figures learn?

  2. Ken Jacobs says:

    While it may be too little, too late to save his reputation, it’s never too late to confess a misdeed. That’s ALWAYS the right thing to do. I believe he may be risking having to return millions of dollars of winnings, and face perjury charges. But still, he did it. Plenty of other athletes out there who haven’t yet done so. Perhaps he’ll inspire them.

    And Livestrong will live, and I hope, thrive, because it’s about much more than Lance Armstrong.

  3. I am so torn, it kills me. I have so many thoughts in my little head, it’s beginning to hurt. I feel differently about it personally than I do professionally. Two things I will say before I see the interview and really think it through: I can imagine he feels a HUGE sense of relief. Talk about having a weight lifted. Wow. And I agree with Stephanie that the truth ALWAYS comes out. We may never know why he lied or coerced. Maybe he got in too deep. Maybe he thought he was above the law. Maybe his advisors weren’t so great. But, until I see the interview, I’m going to keep having the debate in my head.

  4. I think LiveStrong, the foundation, will survive beyond Lance Armstrong. It’s work is ubiquitous with cancer, though people who haven’t interacted directly with the foundation have little knowledge of what it really does. It doesn’t fund cancer research. It advocates and fund-raises for others to support cancer research, but its funds don’t directly impact research. It helps people navigate cancer and the journey that ensues from the minute patients are diagnosed. That can mean lots of different things. A new branding effort for the foundation is paramount, as its financials and role in the world of cancer is about to become forefront of the Lance Armstrong discussion. But, as many are saying, it does good work and good shall prevail. The other thing I feel compelled to note is that until November, the foundation’s name was the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The Livestrong brand was a campaign and a product line that grew to be synonymous with the foundation. They changed it after USADA stripped Lance of his medals. So Livestrong, in my opinion, will continue. The Livestrong brand as made famous by Nike, not so much.

  5. Rachel Brockway says:

    I think that Lance Armstrong has done amazing things for the “sport” of cycling. Before Armstrong how many times did you watch the Tour de France (or any other race for that matter)? I can’t recall ever even being interested before and I am not interested now. I watched because of Armstrong and his story. In my lifetime cycling had not had a story that compared to Armstrong’s and I don’t know that they ever will again.

    The saddest part is that every sport (i.e. football, baseball, etc) has had confessions of steroid use. But not by the MAIN face of the sport. What if past GREATS like Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, or current TOP NAMES such as the Peyton brothers or Tom Brady had a steroid “scandal”? Would that have more of an impact on the sport than the names we hear about?

    In my opinion, I think the cycling community should be very careful in casting stones and throwing Armstrong out of the sport. Although what he did was unethical, he may have been (and could still be) the only reason people watched cycling.

    • Stephanie Lough says:

      Rachel, I can honestly say that I have watched the Tour de France the same amount of times pre and post Lance era, and that number is zero.

    • Scott Hanson says:

      Baseball has seen those big names in scandal. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGuire….. and entire era of players. The sport has rebounded, but by notice of the recent Hall of Fame voting in which nobody was selected, those players have not been forgiven.

  6. Cheryl B. says:

    I agree with Ken. While we can debate the timing (and, yes, many of us do believe it took longer than we’d counsel), he did come clean and admit the truth. Not everyone could sit in front of one of the world’s most prominent interviewers and answer those questions – It couldn’t have been easy. But of course, that’s a consequence of his actions. Bottom line — Mom knows best: “Honesty is the best policy.”

    Thanks for your thoughts, Abbie!
    ~Cheryl

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