January 18th, 2013

Self-labeled bully Lance Armstrong’s “confession” follows bully’s tradition

In an interview with Oprah on her show The Next Chapter, spread over two nights — Jan. 17 & 18 — disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted publicly that he used drugs to climb to the top of the racing world. Remarkably, he professed that he had become a “bully.” His words, not ours.

Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive — First Look

Yes. He admitted he was a bully, but …

As with all begruding confessions coerced out of bullies, he showed no remorse nor did he take full responsibility for his actions.

First, he said that he became a bully as the result of his battle with testicular cancer.

“Before my diagnosis, I was a competitor, but not a fierce competitor. Then I said I will do anything I need to do to survive. Then I brought that ruthless, win-at-all-costs attitude into cycling.”

He somehow manages to make bullying sound positive. He was simply a super-driven athlete. See I’m really not a bad guy.

In reality, the two women who knew about his doping from the beginning, had their lives shattered by Armstrong’s ruthless assaults using the courts as only a wealthy person can do. Emma O’Reilly, a cycling team assistant, a soigneur — part masseuse, part go-fer — saw and knew everything. She knew Armstrong and two other team officials planned to backdate a prescription for corticosteroids for a saddle sore to explain a positive steroid test result during the 1999 Tour de France. Armstrong branded O’Reilly a “whore” and a “prostitute liar.”

For O’Reilly, the financial devastation and threats to her livelihood and safety were perpetrated by her employer’s nearly 3 year campaign against her. For her, the bullying was workplace bullying.

Betsy Andreu, wife of one of the team cyclists, heard Armstrong give his physician in the hospital room the list of drugs he used prior to receiving chemotherapy for his cancer. She described Armstrong as vindictive and jealous enough to “tear to shreds” grown men.

The two women had no doubt that Lance, the ostensibly pure athlete, had cheated. When they tried to tell their truth, they were not believed by the fawning sportswriters (sound a bit like the inside-the-beltway political reporters who dare not report truths either). Their stories appeared in a French book that Armstrong had prevented from being translated into English, again using lawyers and the courts.

O’Reilly and Andreu later testified truthfully to the USADA (anti-doping agency) about his misdeeds. More important, he used his money to bury the women in baseless lawsuits to silence them. This was the real bullying.

Did Armstrong take responsibility for those deliberate actions? Not in the first Oprah interview, according to the Los Angeles Times. Instead, he distorted facts and continued to defend his unconscionable attacks on the women saying:

“If they said 10 things and eight of them are right and two of them are false, then I have every right to go after them … She’s (O’Reilly) one of the people who got run over and got bullied … we sued so many people … I’m sure we did (sue O’Reilly)”

Feigning ignorance about the cruelty inflicted on others is a hallmark habit of bullies. Somehow in his twisted mind, he felt the women deserved to be sued because they dared challenge the image he had created of himself. Armstrong acted just like bullies do.

It also sounds like Armstrong settled on the term “bully,” to discount his transgressions. In fact, using the WBI definition, his conduct toward others driven by his need to obliterate all others who interfered with his narcissistic self-image was extremely abusive. And his actions were health-harming to others.

He is a bully, but much meaner than he chose to confess to being.


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This entry was posted on Friday, January 18th, 2013 at 1:12 pm and is filed under Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Commentary by G. Namie, Media About Bullying, The New America, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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