Lance Armstrong has invited Irish journalist Paul Kimmage to take over as chief interviewer when he appears at the One Zero conference in Dublin next month. Kimmage replied that he was willing to “sit down” with him “but not on these terms.”
Taking place on October 21, One Zero – which is billed as a 'sports and tech conference' – has promised a 'no holds barred' interview with the Texan.
Freelance writer Ewan MacKenna is due to host it, but said he would be willing to step aside after Armstrong tweeted Kimmage offering him the role instead.
— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) September 27, 2016
In response, Kimmage said: “I'll answer you, although I'm not sure you deserve it. Will I sit down with you? Absolutely. But not on these terms.” He later added: “You're confusing me with one of those muppets that used to dance to your tune.”
One Zero organisers Sport for Business were understandably keen to pursue the idea, but Kimmage remained unimpressed, saying to Armstrong: “You made an agreement with Ewan McKenna, a fine journalist. Honour it.”
As for why Armstrong is appearing in the first place, Independent.ie reports Sport for Business founder Rob Hartnett as saying:
"We wanted to create a space in Dublin, a conference that is looking at sport in all of its various shapes and forms.
"It is about technology and how the lessons of the past can define what can happen in the future. The story of Lance Armstrong is probably the one that has stood out over the last decade.
"We wanted to bring him to Dublin and to learn from him, to learn from, as you say, a disgraced doper, a cheat, the winner of seven Tour de Frances. To ask him serious questions as to how he did it, why he did it, and what impact he thinks he had on sport."