Only the truth will do

LANCE Armstrong will reportedly confess to Oprah Winfrey in an interview to be aired on Friday that he used performance-enhancing drugs, but he must surely admit to much more than that - the bullying, the lying and the deception to cancer sufferers for a start.

A confession to having cheated during his career would be a step in the right direction for all those who have been robbed of potential wins and livelihoods, or even the many who believed in him.

But to even think about applauding his confession - if that is what he provided Winfrey in their interview recorded in Austin, Texas, on Monday - it had better be more than just a ''yeah, I took drugs'' admission.

The 41-year-old Texan has a lot more questions to answer based on the United States Anti-Doping Agency's ''Reasoned Decision'' last October whose findings against Armstrong led to him being banned for life and stripped of all results from August 1, 1998, including seven Tour de France titles.

Not only do the charges focus on drug-taking, but possession and trafficking - and with that, a litany of charges of intimidation and bullying that extend way beyond the realm of sport.

That he refused to confront USADA to answer the charges in the first place, saying the body was carrying out a witch-hunt, is an issue in itself, and one that sealed his fate - and justifiably so.

And if he has admitted to doping to Winfrey, as has been reported, he must be made to answer for his claims about USADA's motivation - add to that his attacks against those who were brave enough to stand up to him during his peak years and later when they agreed to testify.

Which makes you wonder why up until this point, since the interview with Winfrey was made, all that has been reported is that he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. Since the news Armstrong would be doing an interview with Winfrey broke, public reaction has made it clear anything less than a full-blown explanation of all of the evidence against Armstrong will not be accepted.

Or is the drip-feeding of ''reports'' such as this one merely aimed at maintaining public awareness that the interview will be aired on Friday and thereby ensuring optimal ratings for Winfrey's OWN cable TV network?

I hope there is more to come. Armstrong owes it to all to answer every charge against him.

Based on the evidence, he owes more than the staff at the Livestrong charity an apology. Many lives have been left in tatters by their dealings with Armstrong.

If it is indeed true that Armstrong has provided Winfrey with a full confession, the fallout will be huge.

There will be massive legal repercussions for Armstrong from any confession he has given. But if he falls short of providing full disclosure, he has no future in any sporting or public capacity.

Many will say he should have no future whatever he says. But what is sure is he will have no chance if it shows he has held back. Either way, we are owed the truth.

The story Only the truth will do first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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