TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
AP: 0e0da5fb-0448-4f20-bfd4-fb007844fff4
This Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 photo provided by Harpo Studios Inc., shows talk-show host Oprah Winfrey interviewing cyclist Lance Armstrong during taping for the show "Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive" in Austin, Texas. The two-part episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" will air nationally Thursday and Friday, Jan. 17-18, 2013. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc., George Burns)

A limited confession?

"I can only say I was satisfied by the answers."

That's how Oprah describes her Lance Armstrong interview - which a source now describes to CBS as "at least a limited confession."

Whatever that means. An interview about a guy who liedů had better live up to its own hype.

"Oprah gets the truth after a decade of denial," say promotional ads running ahead of the interview.

Whatever he confesses to, Armstrong's defenders will say it was either take the needle or get out of the sport - so he had no choice. But there were some who took the other road.

Said Scott Mercier, "This is a huge message for clean athletes, and clean athletics - that it does matter."

Mercier made the US Postal Service team in 1997, but when he saw the drugs laid out before him, he said no way, and abandoned his dream.

I asked him if he felt cheated, "The cost for me is, I never got to race another Olympic games. I never did the Tour de France. I prematurely ended my career. But I also still have my integrity, and I can look my children in the eye and say it matters," said Mercier.

Mercier says the reason Armstrong gave in was simple - the money. He's reported to be worth $100 million.

CBS News is reporting that he's offered to pay back $5 million of the $31 million he was paid to compete on the U.S. Postal Service team but was turned down - $5 million for a government that's short by a trillion? Get real. Technically, the government could go after him for treble damages, and that could end up being most of his fortune.

Which has Scott Mercier counting his blessings, "My wife said to me about four months ago, 'Honey, aren't you glad you're not coming down and sitting down our son and daughter and telling them that you're a lying fraud?"

Instead he lives, like most of us, out of the spotlight, but pretty happy. "I'm a financial adviser in western Colorado and I own a couple or Carl's Jr. restaurants."

Maybe one day, if Lance needs an honest financial adviser, they could sit down over the new jalapeno turkey burger.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
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