Good Question: Can Coming Clean Repair The Damage Done?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Seven and a half years ago, Lance Armstrong told CNN’s Larry King, “I have never doped. I can say it again, but I’ve said it for seven years. It doesn’t help.”

Now, Armstrong is opening up to Oprah Winfrey. On Monday, the Associated Press reports he completed an “emotional at times” interview with the television host.

Earlier in the day, he reportedly apologizes to his Livestrong Foundation staff, saying he wanted to restore his the foundation’s reputation.

Armstrong is not the first celebrity to come clean to try to repair the damage they’ve done.

“A little luck and a little time, anyone can rehabilitate their reputation,” says Rotenberg Associates communications lawyer Kimberly Fields. “It’s never too late, there’s always an opportunity.”

After more than a decade with the NFL and the Vikings, Fields knows sports crises.

“The public has shown itself to be very forgiving, but only if the person has told the truth,” she said.

Fields calls former President Bill Clinton an example of a successful comeback. She looks to Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa of what not to do.

She has three steps on the road to a comeback: Tell the truth about what you’ve done, accept responsibility and come up with a plan to improve yourself or the situation.

“There’s always the opportunity,” she said, “There’s no guarantees, but there’s always the opportunity.”

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