Fascinating piece on Armstrong's personality from Friday's L'Equipe (translated):
“AN OFF-THE-SCALE PSYCHOPATH”
“Chris Golis, an Australian psychiatrist, provided the opportunity to students he teaches, towards the end of last year, of working on certain passages of the report drawn up by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), without telling them that it was about Armstrong. The aim of the exercise was to measure, using the Scale of Psychopathy of Hare (a psychiatrist to whom patients are referred), which employs 20 criteria, how pathological the individual described was. “Average” psychopaths often tick the boxes for at least seven or eight of the criteria. Armstrong’s “score” was 13 out of 20! His behaviours exhibit all the traits that determine the personality of such subjects – quick transitions to action (action takes place instead of thought), obsessive self-assertion and doing so at all costs. All interaction with a psychopath boils down to what the psychopath can get out of them. Psychopaths are manipulators, they are drunk with power, they are people who set aside ethics. They are contemptuous of gentle emotions – the result of this is a predilection for inflicting harm and a tendency to triumphant behaviours when acting perversely.
This is Armstrong in a nutshell. But the therapist in me has to add, despite the above, that by moving on into a confessional phase, by going onto this American-style tell-all TV show [Oprah Winfrey’s show], with its symbolic psychology, I believe that he is on the road to redemption. He can start a new life”.
“LESSONS FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS MUST BE DRAWN FROM THE ARMSTRONG SCANDAL”
“The lessons his story teaches us must be learned – psychiatrists are ready and willing to do their bit in the fight against doping. Early detection of personality disorders could be part of clinical approaches which would be easy to put in place. Currently, 80% of resources are used to “nab” the 20% who are cheats. That means that only 20% of resources are left to test the remaining 80%. We need a change in focus. We need to concentrate on the issue of why people dope and not on the question of how they dope.”
Feel free to repost and circulate. Original article (C) L'Equipe / ASO.
(Translated by Conor McAuley. Email address: first name dot surname @gmail.com.)