They feel betrayed.
They feel like they've been lied to.
I guess they were and they have, although in my opinion, and it's all just opinions, the person who has probably had the hardest time is Lance himself.
He's had to live this lie for YEARS!
Granted I'm running the scenario through my personal filter and lying is not something I do very well. It makes me cry. I once told a lie to my roommate to get out of a dinner party she was throwing and within 3 hours I was sitting in her room, in tears, confessing everything. It made me sick.
So when I think about Lance living all these years with this HUGE lie I do not know how he was able to breathe, much less sleep. When you add to that the people who cared about him that he threw under the bus, at best, and aggressively attacked and ruined at worst, I cannot imagine how he lived with himself.
And the cancer thing. Since we now know that he's been doping for years, there is a probably a good possibility that the choice to do those drugs may have contributed to the testicular cancer. Now he was much younger when he was diagnosed and he won the battle, but you'd think that in hindsight it would gnaw at him - all those falsely won victories at the price of your balls and almost your life.
On the face of it, it looks as though:
He cheated to win - and if you're cheating you're not really winning, you're just cheating.
He gave himself cancer.
He lied over and over.
He screwed over his friends.
And he kept it all up for years and years.
Perhaps he rationalized it all with the creation of LIVESTRONG. No one denies that this organization does amazing work and is a literal life saver for so many who are facing the toughest battle of their lives, but at the end of the day that's an organization run, not by Armstrong, but by others who believe in what they're doing and back their talk with their walk.
To my mind, there must be something wrong with someone who thinks that because you did a good thing you don't have to be responsible and culpable and APOLOGETIC for the things you've done that were not good.
For the intentionally bad things you have done.
A sane person might be driven crazy by having to keep all that going for 20+ years.
Of course if a person was crazy....
Below is Dr. Robert Hare's psycopathy check list (Rev.), considered the "gold standard" for assessment of psychopathy.
||Facet 3 Lifestyle
What I would really love to know is where Lance falls on the scale. According to Jon Ronson's book, "The Psychopath Test", many leaders in business and politics are high functioning psychopaths. It would be so interesting to know if Lance is diagnosable.
In some ways, if it turned out he was crazy, that would make everything a bit more palatable for me. I would have more empathy for him and his current situation, because, like the scorpion who kills the turtle that gives him a ride across the river, he is only doing that which is in his nature.