Sociopaths We Have Known: Armstrong, Part Deux

OK, this Landis interview with Kimmage is fantastic – the most useful and important thing on pro cycling to have come out since, well…probably Kimmage’s “Rough Ride” book.

Here he is being questioned about his story of arriving in Austin for USPS bonding/training camp, piling into Armstrong’s SUV and watching as Armstrong speeds through town, running red lights, to get to a strip club. His earlier comments on this had been that he could see the discrepancy between Armstrong’s public persona and private personality, but that this wasn’t inherently problematic for him. This is what he refers to in the first few lines below. However, what is so interesting (to me) is that Landis is pretty much arguing exactly what I said a while back as evidence for Armstrong being a kind of sociopath: the brazen disregard for what regular people would consider to be completely reckless behavior, particularly for those trying to get away with things that are socially unacceptable. As Landis points out, here is a guy (Armstrong) with so much to lose, who doesn’t know Landis from a guy on the street, and he immediately brings him into the fold.

You were seeing it first hand?

Yeah, there was more to it than there appears to be and that’s fine, if that’s the way it has to be. I never had any experience with the press at all, so I didn’t know how hard it is to actually do what he was doing; to live one thing and manipulate it into another; to maintain a story like that, that was nearly 100% fabricated; to live such an obnoxious life and not even try to hide it. I mean, I’m a guy that he has never really even met; he didn’t give me any sort of period to prove that I was trustworthy; he just threw me in the car and went to the strip club. So this was a guy that wasn’t even trying to hide it and yet somehow the story stayed the same; this guy is going around acting like an asshole and we got another story over here and it’s a good story – he’s motivating people and giving them hope. I live my life the way I want to and I’m not going to judge him for what he wants to do but I know one thing – these stories don’t add up.


via NY Velocity.

**Update: as noted in the comments below, I had previously posted on Armstrong as sociopath a while back here on BliggityBlog**


3 thoughts on “Sociopaths We Have Known: Armstrong, Part Deux

    • Running red lights if true may be only hearsay. Running a red light is reckless driving and irresponsible behavior but it doesn’t mean You are a sociopath. And what is wrong with going to strip clubs. That is NORMAL. Yea Armstrong, Doped, Landis doped. So what. I think though Landis coming from a Mennonite background was a little taken back by this in his first big adventure into the real world. Poor bloke.

  1. Yeah, I hear you. I should have linked back to my own previous post on this issue (hence the Part Deux in the title) where I spelled out my argument in more detail. Certainly being an asshole, running red lights, etc. does not a sociopath make. My argument then, and now, is that Armstrong’s ability to seemingly not worry a bit about getting caught out on any of this stuff is, to my mind, beyond even arrogance – that is, it reflects a socipathic tendency to presume that you can control everything that is known about you and everything that others might be able to do to you. What I was really seizing on in that quote is how Landis notes that Armstrong didn’t know Floyd at all by this point, yet he is willing to take him into the fold and pretty quickly exposing him to the reality behind the scenes. That, and not the driving, is truly reckless or careless – Armstrong’s presumption that, despite all the people “in” on the program of systematic doping with all sorts of detailed knowledge of the dirt on him, he would always be able to keep things a secret. To my mind, that is sociopathic; it betrays an irrational arrogance as well as an overblown sense of control.

    Perhaps the equally useful quotes from the interview transcript come later on, when Landis describes his intense anxiety, dread and fear as a debilitating physical ailment after his positive. He contrasts that with Armstrong’s complacency and confidence under similar circumstances. Landis chalks this up, and probably partially correctly, to Armstrong’s sense that he would be protected by USA Cycling and the UCI. However, my interpretation is that Armstrong’s serenity is in fact driven by the sociopathic presumption that he can get away with anything because he has the connections and the power to do so.


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