Zeenews Sports Bureau
Texas: Disgraced cycling legend Lance Armstrong admitted to being a bully and doping in each of his seven Tour de France title wins in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
"I know the truth. The truth isn't what was out there; the truth isn't what I said. This story was so perfect for so long. You overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times, you have a happy marriage, and you have children. I mean, it's just this mythic, perfect story. And it wasn't true."
Armstrong admitted that the confession was “too late” and added: “I made my decisions; it was my mistake. I am here today to say I'm sorry for that.”
He also added that he didn’t believe he could have won any Tour de France without doping and termed his massive cover up, the countless law-suits against people who accused him of cheating and the cycling championships “one big lie”.
Hours before the interview with Oprah aired, Armstrong was also stripped of his 2000 Olympic bronze medal by the International Olympic Committee.
Much of the first half of the interview was a series of half apologies even though he called himself a “jerk” and an “arrogant prick”. He insisted that while he did dope in all seven Tour wins, he seemed offended by the accusation that he did so after his comeback in 2009, where he finished third. He insists that “the accusation that I doped after my comeback was not true.”
Armstrong also insisted that there was no direct order made to other team members, forcing them to dope, but did admit that they may have felt some pressure to dope. Right on the back of that the ex-Olympic bronze medallist added: “Yeah I was a bully. I tried to control the narrative.”
Armstrong admitted to using blood doping transfusions and testosterone: “My cocktail, so to speak, was only EPO, but not a lot, and testosterone and blood transfusions.”
The Livestrong Foundation founder also admitted that doping was “like saying we have to have air in our tyres, we have to have water in our bottles.”
He went on to explain that he managed evading the scanners by simply timing the drug-use rather than anything far more elaborate. He added: “There was no positive test, there was no paying off of the lab, there was no secret meeting with the lab director.”
As the first part wound to an end and the teasers to the second part of Oprah’s show were screened, there was a sense of dissatisfaction at the depth of questioning by Oprah. Others, like journalist Ian Chadband, took to twitter to scrutinise Lance’s half-apologising confession: “Odd. Armstrong called himself a doper, a prick, a bully. Yet interview felt only half a confession, delivered chillingly emotion-free.”
The second half of the interview that could have massive fall-outs for the world of professional cycling will be aired tomorrow.