“There’s an old saying, ‘The cover-up is worse than the crime,’ and that’s where his problem comes in,” Ganis said. “Cheating in cycling was rampant. Anybody who has followed that sports understands that now. If he was simply one of those cheaters, it would be like anyone who gets stopped by a cop for speeding saying, ‘Officer, I was just going the speed of traffic!’ The impact would have been far, far less.
“Instead, he held himself out to be the one honest man in a sea of dishonesty. He held himself out to be this bastion of doing things right. And anybody who fared challenge him was trashed. He lied under oath. He lied to the media. He hurt quite a few people who dared challenge the mythology of Lance Armstrong. He built himself a perch so high, that when he came down, there was no safety net.”
Jim Andrews, senior vice president of IEG, a sponsorship consultant firm, sees no future for Armstrong in the marketing arena.
“Even if he comes off as very contrite and apologetic, if Oprah gets him to break down in tears and say, ‘I’m sorry, this was a huge mistake,’ it doesn’t wipe away the fact there is a years-long record of cheating,” Andrews said. “If I’m controlling the marketing dollars for a corporation or a brand, there is no positive message I can attach myself to by a partnership with Lance.”
Among those who’ll be watching is Daniel Coyle, author of “Lance Armstrong’s War” (2005) and co-author of Tyler Hamilton’s 2012 confessional, “The Secret Race.”
Coyle expects Armstrong will be straightforward but steer away from contrition and discussions of right and wrong.
“The way he approaches the world is highly strategic,” Coyle says. “He sees a goal and figures out exactly what he has to do to reach the goal, no matter what it is. That ruthlessness and clear-headedness helped him on the bike. But in this situation, it ended up being his trap.
“When you say the word ‘confession,’ it’s an act of communication and emotion. It’s not something you can win. And Lance is about winning. His lack of an ability to connect with people is what helped him to succeed. Now, he needs that. And whether or not he has that ability to connect — that is a Greek story.”