Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted in an interview with The Guardian that he fears financial ruin in the $100 million whistleblower case being brought against him by former U.S. Postal teammate Floyd Landis. The 43-year-old Texas native even went so far as to compare himself to a character very familiar to fans of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
“I’m that character in Harry Potter they can’t talk about,” he said. “Voldemort? It’s as if you can’t mention him. I’m the one everybody wants to pretend never lived. But that will not be the case forever because it can’t be the case forever. That won’t work, people aren’t stupid. I mean, I tried to make it right with every one of those people… I can only do so much.”
In Rowling’s novels, main villain Lord Voldemort is so infamous that he is almost always referred to with epithets, including “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” Armstrong asserted that his treatment in recent years mirrored that of Harry Potter’s archenemy.
U.S. & World
In 2012, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life for using performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong maintained his innocence until he confessed in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.
Before the allegations surfaced, Armstrong was hailed for his perseverance after battling testicular cancer. In 1997, he founded the Livestrong Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps those afflicted with cancer. The foundation is perhaps best known for its trademark yellow bracelets, which supporters wear to raise awareness about cancer research.