My [August 17, 2012 Newsweek] cover story about Lance Armstrong, my affirmation of faith, was the worst piece of opinion I have ever written. I did a disservice to myself. More important I did a disservice to readers. I did believe what I wrote at the time. I do believe in staking out strong positions. We all do as columnists today, because of the world we live in, craving to differentiate ourselves from the thousands who populate the Internet every hour. . . .
All professional athletes are narcissists; it is the nature of what makes them competitive, and Armstrong, along with Pete Rose, is in the highest echelon. I used to believe that people like that had deluded themselves into their denials for so long, they actually began to believe them, created an alternative reality.
I now realize that I was the one who was delusional to ever think that. Armstrong lied for so long because he knew his career would be destroyed if he told the truth. He knew he would lose not only stature but tens of millions of dollars. Since the best defense is a good offense, he used legal action any time the allegations of blood doping and illegal enhancers were brought up. It was a smart gambit, since it is hard to believe that anyone would have so few scruples as to sue for defamation, like he did with The Times of London, when in fact the body of evidence now shows there was no defamation at all.