The truth will set you free, for now…
After more than a decade of angry denials and baseless lawsuits, Lance Armstrong finally acknowledged that performance-enhancing drugs fueled his ride to seven Tour de France victories, telling Oprah Winfrey in a much anticipated interview that he used EPO, testosterone, human growth hormone and other banned substances during his career.
But the disgraced cyclist challenged some of the charges levied in the explosive U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that was released in October, and his guarded and unpersuasive performance is unlikely to convince officials to rescind his lifetime ban from sports.
Armstrong denied he was a drug kingpin and claimed he stopped doping in 2005 and competed clean in 2009 and 2010, after his comeback. He tried to paint himself as just another rider who was forced to use PEDs in order to compete in a grueling and drug-soaked sport.
“I didn’t invent the culture, but I didn’t try to stop the culture, and that’s my mistake, and that’s what I have to be sorry for, and that’s what something and the sport is now paying the price because of that,” he added. “So I am sorry for that. I don’t think — I didn’t have access to anything else that nobody else did.”
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had this to say about Lance’s confession:
“Tonight, Lance Armstrong finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit,” USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart said. “His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction. But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
Says Lance’s LIVESTRONG Foundation:
“We at the LIVESTRONG Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us.”
As for Lance and his view on his questionable behavior:
“I had this exercise because I kept hearing I’m a drug cheat. I’m a cheat. I’m a cheater,” Armstrong said. “And I went in and just looked up the definition of cheat. . . . And the definition of cheat is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe that they don’t have. I didn’t view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field.”
It’s been WAY too long Lance, nothing and no one can save you in the real world…
Hit the flipper to watch the rest of Oprah’s sit-down with Lance.
Image via AP