“I am resigning in order to spend more time with my family.”
That is what we hear from politicians when they depart under a cloud. Lance Armstrong was scarcely more original, “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough,’ ” Armstrong said in a statement. “For me, that time is now.”
Armstrong protests that he has never been found guilty of doping, which is true. He has also insisted that he would never dope because to do so would jeopardize his career.
Richard Nixon said, “I am not a crook.” Bill Clinton “did not have sex with that woman.” Ronald Reagan, speaking of Iran Contra, said, “Mistakes were made.”
The one line we always wait to hear is the line we never hear: “I didn’t do it.”
Instead, we’re left with: “I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours,” Armstrong said, adding: “The toughest event in the world, where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that.”
True. And yet not enough.