In an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday, Lance Armstrong admitted to doping throughout his cycling career. Armstrong cited a “ruthless desire to win” as the flaw that pushed him to take the risk of using performance-enhancing drugs.

Dr. Keith Ablow argued that what really drove Armstrong was the fact that he never had a father figure in his life, and he grew to believe he was “unlovable” because his father left him. Ablow said, “This is a guy whose father left when he was two […] who has no contact with him. Him saying the desire to win at all costs is the answer to this question is not the correct response. The question is but why did you need to win at all costs? What is the deep emotional need?”

Sportscaster Jim Gray, who has covered Armstrong since 1989, believes that the mantra throughout the sports community is “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.” According to Gray, there’s been a major shift in the culture of sports.

“The money is so great and all of these guys have now given up on the pursuit of excellence. It’s no longer the pursuit of being great, it’s the pursuit of money, the pursuit of power, the pursuit of all of these things that really never came into mind back in the days of Jesse Owens,” he said.


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