DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Now that Plano native Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey he repeatedly lied about using performance-enhancing drugs, the world’s most famous cyclist may have just become the most infamous.
Erin Patton is a former Nike executive, who says, “I was shocked like the rest of the world, particularly because his denial were strong.”
Patton says if Armstrong thought the Tour de France proved to be challenging, redeeming his image may be even more daunting because he embodied the essence of overcoming the odds. “So to the extent now that has come into question with this reaility makes it all that more difficult.”
For years, Armstrong has received good will and support from people who’ve praised his work with Livestrong, the charity he founded to help cancer survivors.
Can the public ever forgive the Plano native?
Tracy Palmer says, “Yes, he’s been tainted, but on the other hand because of all the great deeds he’s done in the community with the Livestrong rogram, absolutely he’s made a great contribution.”
Ned Pierron says, “If he has true repentance, I think that Americans are knowing
for forgiving some great leaders, some great sports people.”
After the U.S. Anti-Doping agency accused him of a doping scheme, Armstrong lost all seven of his Tour de France titles, most endorsements, and had to quit Livestrong.
Now, the U-S Justice Department may join a whistleblower civil lawsuit against Armstrong accusing him of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service, which spent $40 million in federal funds to sponsor his team.
John Teakell is a former federal prosecutor in Dallas who says, “Maybe one of the biggest aspects or more important things to him personally, is a possible criminal indictment for defrauding the United States.”
Erin Patton, the former Nike executive says “This would be perhaps the greatest fall from grace any athlete has had to endure.”