January 15th, 2013
10:46 PM ET

Why did Lance Armstrong do the interview now?

Daniel Coyle, Roger Cossack and Juliet Macur discuss the risks and motivation behind Lance Armstrong talking to Oprah.

"This is a perfect lens into the way Lance's brain works," says Coyle. "He's really good at figuring out complex situations...at this point he figured the best path forward was to go to Oprah."

If Armstrong does admit to cheating in the interview, why was he compelled to come forward now? He's spent years aggressively denying accusations, and he could have avoided being banished for life when the USADA invited him to confess and help restore the integrity of the sport.

Macur says it boils down to what has always been his main focus: competing. She points out, "the difference between several months ago and now is that he's had several months of no competition, and for a guy like Lance Armstrong, that must be torture."

Anderson Cooper asked Cossack what the legal ramifications could be. Because of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former teammate Floyd Landis, which the Department of Justice may join, the athlete could owe "in excess of $100 million." Depending on what Armstrong reveals, he may have to pay his team's sponsor, the U.S Postal Service, for breaking his contract. "As a lawyer, it goes against everything that I know," says Cossack about the televised interview.

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Filed under: Lance Armstrong
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Nana Bowman

    Attention! He wants attention. He was a star. A classic movie can describe his mindset- Sunset Boulevard. Enjoy!

    January 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
  2. Kirsten

    Martha Stout's book "The Sociopath Next Door" will almost certainly provide expert answers to the question posed. Or, at the very least, the book will provide the context needed to arrive at a likely explanation for Armstrong's decision to give an interview at this particular point in time.

    In my humble and inexpert opinion, Armstong seems to be an individual who was obsessed with winning at any cost. When it became inevitable, in his mind, that he would lose his stellar public image (despite that it had long been lost for any rationally-minded individual), he decided he would at least lose it on his own terms. Of course, being the incredible manipulator that he appears to be, he realizes that his last chance to salvage what is left of the public's good graces can only be achieved by getting some contrite statements on the airwaves before the lawsuits start pouring in.

    Only the content of Oprah's interview will indicate whether his principal intent in giving this interview was to come clean or further play with the heartstrings of the public. I believe it was reported that the interview was 2.5 hours long– it generally doesn't take that long to come clean.

    January 16, 2013 at 2:19 am |