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What Lance Armstrong should say…but won’t

If it's true that Lance Armstrong may confess to doping, here's what I think he should say:

For years, I lied, cheated, and stole my way to the top of professional cycling. I was the key man in a wide-ranging effort to field the strongest, fastest, and winningest teams in the history of the Tour de France. I contracted with doctors, trainers, and other riders who shared my vision of cheating and domination. For years, I lied to everyone about my efforts, even going so far as to sue those who would question my authenticity.

I have shamed myself, embarrassed my friends and family, and let down the millions of people who looked to me as their idol. I deserve every bit of anger, disappointment, and resentment that people have heaved in my direction. For all of that, I am sorry for everything I've done, and have nothing but regret for the choices I made in my cycling career.

I cannot change the past, but I can hopefully change the future. Today I start that process by returning all of my prize winnings, all of my salary, and all of the proceeds from my advertising partners from the years I was cheating. Of course, I cannot conceivably do this in one chunk, but that's where my efforts will lie in future years.

I will also start working with USADA and other anti-doping organizations to teach them the tricks our teams used to bypass the testing processes, in the hopes that they can catch future cheaters early and often.

Finally, I will begin working to earn the respect and trust that millions heaped upon me solely due to my drug-enhanced Tour de France victories. I cannot do this through professional cycling, of course, but will attempt to do so through my work with cancer patients, my fundraising efforts for various charities, and my work with anti-doping agencies.

In closing, I stand before you in shame, offering no excuses for my historical actions. Going forward, though, I will do my best to earn back your trust and admiration through my actions.

Of course, it won't come out that way…

More than likely, we'll get something along these lines:

The rumors of my drug use are true; I doped while winning my Tour de France titles. How did this happen? Early on, I was recruited into the doping program by Dr. Ferraro. Given that everyone else was doping, I saw no way to be competitive if I didn't also use performance enhancing drugs. If it would have been possible, I would have ridden clean, I really would have.

In the long run, I knew it was an OK thing to do, though, because I was gaining publicity and funding for my cancer-fighting organization, Livestrong. I knew that Livestrong would become a world force in the fight against cancer, so that made my doping activities more justifiable.

I'm sorry this all came out the way it did, and I hope you can forgive me.

Or something similarly massaged to admit no actual culpability, to not repay others from his ill-gotten gains, and to not take steps to make things better going forward. We'll see, I guess.

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