Readers: today we’re excited to feature an exclusive op-ed by Gerard F. Corbett, chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Corbett, who is accredited in Public Relations (APR) and is a member of the PRSA College of Fellows, has been a member of PRSA for more than 35 years. He also serves as CEO of Redphlag LLC–a strategic public relations, marketing management and executive coaching consulting firm that he founded–and chief marketing officer of Producers Forum, Inc., a real estate Web startup.
Like many folks, I wondered if the world really needed another opinion piece about Lance Armstrong and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)’s allegations against him.
In case you’ve just returned from six months manning the International Space Station or conducting research in the Amazon River basin, the USADA released a report on Oct. 10, which cited witness testimony, financial records and laboratory results to support its accusation that Armstrong had participated in a complex, systematic doping program and used other illegal methods to gain competitive advantages in the international sport of competitive cycling.
The seven-time Tour de France winner has faced doping allegations throughout his career, but he’s managed to dodge those accusations by pointing out that he’d been tested for banned substances hundreds of times in the past, without ever producing a positive result. Of course, it didn’t hurt that a two-year U.S. Government investigation that examined Armstrong’s role in possible doping-related crimes was closed earlier this year, with no charges brought.
Perhaps by virtue of his adamant denials, cancer-surviving story and charitable work with the Livestrong Foundation, Armstrong always found a way to push aside the accusations and preserve his credibility (and sponsorship dollars). Then, metaphorically speaking, the wheels came off.