On Thursday, Sports Illustrated’s David Epstein published an interview with former Armstrong bike mechanic Mike Anderson. Anderson was fired after he found steroids while cleaning his boss’ apartment. Anderson said that Armstrong promised to help him open up a bike shop, and that after the firing he tried to negotiate a deal to make that happen. Armstrong sued Anderson and sent out information to reporters discrediting Anderson as a disgruntled employee. Anderson, who now lives in New Zealand and works at a bike shop, told Epstein that he wouldn’t watch Oprah’s interview with the cyclist.
“Since it's Lance and since I have such a cynical view of him, why would I even bother? I've wasted a lot of mental and emotional energy with that guy for way too long,” said Anderson. “That aside, there's not going to be any real genuine contrition. What's the point? I kind of enjoy getting everyone else's view. I know what he's like. I know he's completely lacking empathy. I know this. I've seen it. I don't think that suddenly he's turned 180 degrees and become a normal human being who thinks and feels like the majority of us do."
In the interview, Armstrong said that he doped. He said that at the time he was doping, he did not think it was wrong or cheating. He did not offer new, detailed information about how he doped or implicate others that were involved. He did not offer a public apology.
Here are the views of eight other people who watched the interview and are connected to Armstrong.
TYLER HAMILTON in VeloNews:
“I think it’s a huge, huge first step for Lance Armstrong,” Hamilton, one of 11 former teammates to testify against the U.S. cycling star, told NBC television’s Today Show.
“For a lot of people, it’s raw. I’ve known about it for a long time, since 1998. Big first step,” said Hamilton, whose 2012 book, The Secret Race, described doping by Armstrong.
“You can tell, it’s real. He’s very emotional and he’s definitely sorry. I don’t know. I think it’s going to be a hard next few weeks for him, next few months, years,” he said. “He did the right thing, finally. And it’s never too late to tell the truth.”
BETSY ANDREU on Anderson Cooper 360, responding to the fact that Armstrong said he would not answer Oprah’s question about whether he admitted to doping while being treated in a hospital room for cancer in 1996:
“You owed it to me, Lance, and you dropped the ball. After what you’ve done to me, what you’ve done to my family, and you couldn’t own up to it? And now we’re supposed to believe you? You had one chance at the truth. This is it.”
“If the hospital room didn’t happen,” Andreu told Cooper, “just say it didn’t happen. But he won’t do it because it did happen. But if this is his way of saying, ‘OK, I don’t want to go there, we’ll give it to her,’ that is not good enough. That is not being transparent. That’s not being completely honest. That’s skirting the issue.”