By Dan Bernstein
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
Hey, folks. Its me, Lance. Hows it going?
First, I just want to say thanks for buying all of the yellow bracelets and all the products Ive endorsed. I really appreciate it, because its been, like, hundreds of millions of dollars. And thanks for not noticing or caring when the American Institute for Philanthropy reported that my foundation spent as much as $45 to raise each $100. Im sure you understand that charity work can be expensive!
I appreciate how you believed all the misinformation about how Livestrong has been raising money for cancer research, while instead has been lavishing its resources on marketing, promotions, public relations, legal fees, advertising and salaries. It has been a very successful branding effort: getting my name and logo splashed across the world, allowing me the chance to cut all kinds of personally-lucrative deals, and creatively monetizing the very idea of hope. We couldnt have done it without you.
Thanks for not looking closely at the difference between livestrong.org and livestrong.com, since any money that comes through the for-profit latter is mine.
Anyway, Ive spent more than a decade telling you and everyone else that I won all my races without the help of any performance-enhancing drugs, that my Tour de France titles and inspirational life story have been powered only by hard work, inspiration, belief, and my god-given abilities.
In fact, I have used every avenue available to destroy any doubters of my greatness, and anythings available to someone with unlimited funding, the best lawyers, legions of willing protectors, iron-fisted control over cyclings nominal governing bodies and sophisticated methods of outflanking even the most dogged drug testing.
Cross me, and your life would be ruined. Ask former teammates like Frankie Andreu and Greg LeMond for example. I ran Frankie out of the sport because he refused to lie on my behalf, and I made sure Gregs bicycle business failed because he spoke out against me. I even attacked Frankies wife, Betsy, smearing her publicly as jealous and crazy.
Talk to Christophe Bassons. You can find him working in his native France, now, as a regional administrator of youth-sports drug testing. Funny how that works out, huh? He had to quit competitive cycling after he questioned my amazing Tour performances and I instructed every other rider and team to blackball him forever. Good times.
Theres also Emma OReilly, my masseuse and assistant who made the mistake of talking to the authors of LA Confidentiel. I did what any former boss would do, and called her out as a drunken whore.
I even successfully squeezed money out of the Sunday Times of London for merely daring to reprint claims that anything I did was not entirely on the up-and-up. We came down on them like a ton of bricks, and they settled for the equivalent of half a million bucks. They should have known better.
But now Im kinda bored, just wandering around the house ever since I made the decision to stop challenging all the baseless allegations from bitter liars and sour-grapes losers. As I said then, enough was enough. The fight against the unconstitutional witch hunt was taking valuable time away from my charity work.
So I want to do some triathlons and stuff, but I cant because they wont let me after I quit protesting the unfair, biased campaign against me that never afforded me the due process entitled to any citizen of this great, great country, the United States of America.
Im considering saying whatever anybody wants to hear. Im sure Ill be able to cut a deal to get back to competing. After all, I raised awareness of cancer, remember? You had never heard of cancer ever before I finally exposed this obscure, unknown disease.
Actually, Ive made up my mind. Ill just say it.
I did it. All of it. There.
Ok. So were good now, right?