Journalist David Walsh said yesterday that he felt “a little bit of sympathy” for Lance Armstrong following the disgraced cyclist’s admission of drug- taking during his career.
Walsh’s long-running campaign to expose Armstrong was vindicated when the US Anti-Doping Agency confirmed his drug use last year, prompting Armstrong to confess to chat show host Oprah Winfrey last week.
Armstrong said in the interview he would consider apologising to Walsh, against whom he had launched a number of tirades, particularly after his 2004 book LA Confidential contained allegations about the rider.
Walsh said: “I know this is going to sound preposterous but I felt a little but of sympathy for Armstrong.
“Intellectually he had to be remorseful, but emotionally he couldn’t do it. Basically, Armstrong knew what he had to do but he wasn’t capable of doing it because obviously he’s got serious personality issues.
“Lance needed to look remorseful and repentant, and you would see a flicker of a smirk crossing his face, and he didn’t mean to do that – it was involuntary.”
Among the personal attacks aimed by Armstrong at Walsh was the implication that Walsh had a vendetta against the sport since Walsh’s son John was knocked off his bicycle and killed at age 12.
Walsh described the allegation as “insensitive to the point of evil”, and added that while he was not seeking an apology from Armstrong, he would accept it if one was forthcoming.