ESPN's documentary about Lance Armstrong starts tonight. The hype isn't nearly as high as it was for The Last Dance, but it will be intriguing nevertheless.
Some questions we expect to be answered include:
- How rampant was cheating in cycling?
- How did Armstrong get started?
- At what age did he start doping?
Well, no need to wait for the show to debut. ESPN released a sneak preview and Armstrong and others answered two out of three of those questions right away.
So we know everyone was doping and we know Armstrong started when he was 21. That puts the timetable right around the end of 1992 or sometime in 1993 (he was born in September 1971), which is also when Armstrong won his first World Championship at the World Road Race Championship in Norway. Perviously it was believed he started doping in 1995 or 1996.
At the same time, we have to remember Armstrong has been a pathological liar throughout his life in the public. He reportedly admits as much in this documentary, saying he told, 10,000 lies during the doping scandal that transformed him from American hero to American villain. Take everything he says during this documentary (clearly aimed at attempting to fully come clean and gain back some respect from the public) with a grain of salt.