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I hoped I'd heard the last of and from Mr. Armstrong last year after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and handed him a lifetime ban from competing in all Olympic sports and any competitions sanctioned by organizations adhering to their code. After resigning from his Livestrong organization and causing the world to be littered with discarded plastic bracelets, I hoped he'd crawl back under whatever rock he'd emerged from and, well, just shut up.
For years he denied doing drugs, denied cheating, Instead, he paraded as the champion he wasn't, cajoling, intimidating and even suing those who spoke truth to pompous — the truth being that he was a cheat, liar, juicer and, as it turned out, pusher. The only difference between Lance and what we pejoratively refer to as drug kingpins was Lance didn't speak with a Spanish-tinged accent.
What he did was bully teammates into dropping down the rabbit hole with him, not that it likely took much bullying in a sport almost synonymous with performance enhancing drugs.
What he did was sue everybody involved in writing and publishing the book L.A. Confidentiel: Les secrets de Lance Armstrong because of its allegations — later proven true, of course — that he juiced. Owing to the very claimant-biased British libel laws, Armstrong, pure, innocent Lance Armstrong, won half a million dollars from British newspaper The Sunday Times for publishing excepts from the book. One of the book's authors was sports correspondent David Walsh of The Sunday Times. In what we can only hope is sweet justice, the newspaper is now suing Lance for $1.5 million over that travesty of justice.
And, as reported in the New York Times last week, he's also being sued by an insurance company he sued when, having been appraised of the allegations contained in L.A. Confidentiel, the company withheld a $5 million bonus they were obligated to pay after Armstrong "won" the 2004 Tour. Lying through his teeth, Lance settled with the company for $7.5 million. They are now seeking $12 million back, the amount they settled for and $4.5 million more they paid to the weasel after his other Tour victories.
What he did was pretend to be fair and honest, a champion who fought back against overwhelming odds and testicular cancer. What he actually was, was a ball-less wonder who cheated, lied and threatened teammates to join him in his high-tech cheating or be banished from the United States Postal Service team.
So why did Lance screw up one of my hopes for 2013? Why didn't he lay low, keep his mouth shut and just vanish into the background like the bad dream he was?
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