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Lance Armstrong two years on - the same, but different

Lance Armstrong two years on - the same, but different
lance-armstrong-two-years-on-the-same-but-different


At first glance, Lance Armstrong is as Jerod Mayo Super Bowl Jersey he always seemed: supremely fit, ultra-confident, smart and eloquent. But look into the whites of his eyes from a few feet away, as I did when we spoke at length in Texas last week, and you see it - a weariness, at times even a sadness. It is then you see the subtle but inevitable toll sport's most spectacular fall from grace has taken. Armstrong's infamous doping confession to Oprah Winfrey two years ago shattered sport's greatest fairytale. Now, after months of negotiation, he had finally agreed to meet for his first television interview since that day in January 2013. It would happen on familiar ground for the 43-year-old, Mellow Johnny's - the bike store he owns in Austin, the city in which he has kept his head down since he went from the ultimate all-American hero to pariah. The meeting would take place after dark, once the shop had closed, and no customers or passers-by could cause any grief. We were politely asked to try to avoid filming him with any of the Trek bicycles on display. Trek had quickly cut ties with Armstrong after he became toxic. A little too quickly for Team Armstrong's liking. They saw it as an act of treachery after he had done so much to boost their sales. As we waited for him to arrive, it was hard to know what to expect. After all, not so long ago, Armstrong had everything. Having beaten cancer, the Texan became a global sporting icon for the 21st century, winning perhaps sport's most gruelling event, the Tour de France, seven times in succession. He made millions from sponsorship deals, and helped raise even more through the Livestrong cancer charity he founded. He took cycling in the US from the margins to the mainstream, had a private jet, was engaged to rock star Sheryl Crow, and even made cameo appearances in Hollywood hits. Armstrong was a living legend. Then came the great fall. After years of suspicion, allegations and Womens Darrelle Revis Super Bowl Jersey denials, Armstrong was finally exposed as a fraud, the ringleader - according to the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) - of "the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping programme sport had ever seen". He was there alongside Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson in the race for the title of sport's most notorious cheat. Armstrong was banned from sport for life, stripped of his Tour wins, kicked out of his own charity, and deserted by his sponsors. He had lied under oath, sued journalists he knew had been right, and ruthlessly bad-mouthed former friends who stood up to him. His subsequent confession to Oprah only made things worse, Armstrong coming across as unrepentant, evasive and arrogant. And now he was on his way to meet us. His first tentative steps towards what he hopes will be an unlikely redemption. Had he become a recluse? Was he broke? Depressed? Wracked with self-hate? Far from it. Armstrong arrived. An hour late, after dinner with his family, but he had honoured his agreement. He was polite, friendly, fixing us each with that hypnotic stare, the charisma intact. He seemed to have everything under control, doing just fine. But then I looked him in the eye, and saw that damage had been done. The fallout, he told me, had been "brutal". His biggest fear is that one of his older http://www.patriotsnflofficialonline.com/Danny-Amendola-Jersey kids will get hassle at school and come home "in pieces". It has not happened yet, but will "rock him" when it does. The "deepest cut" had been Livestrong severing ties - "it doesn't get worse than that".

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