The past week has seen the sporting world transfixed upon the ongoing soap opera which is the life of Lance Armstrong. The seven time Tour de France winner, who has overcome testicular cancer, has had his titles stripped from him after the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) uncovered “insurmountable” evidence of systematic doping, and thus cheating, throughout his career. It is the sporting equivalent of finding out Santa Claus isn’t real.
The fallout has been exceptional. Sponsors have deserted Armstrong; he has been forced to step down as chairman of his cancer charity Livestrong and his reputation across the globe is in tatters. As far as crisis go, this is as bad as it gets.
What’s interesting though is how Armstrong, the brands he represents and other stakeholders have presented themselves throughout the ordeal.