Armstrong: I Doped in All 7 Tour de France Wins
Tells Oprah his career has been 'one big lie'
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2013 8:14 PM CST
Updated Jan 17, 2013 9:33 PM CST
Lance Armstrong talks with Oprah Winfrey.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc., George Burns)

(Newser) – The first part of Oprah Winfrey's interview with Lance Armstrong aired tonight, and she didn't waste time with small talk at the open, reports ESPN. Winfrey started with a series of yes-or-no questions, beginning with the big one:

  • Winfrey: "Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?"
  • Armstrong: "Yes."
She followed up with specifics. Did he use the blood-boosting drug EPO? Yes. Did he use blood doping and blood transfusions? Yes. Did he use substances such as testosterone, cortisone, and human growth hormone? Yes. Did he cheat in all seven Tour de France wins? Yes. Other highlights:
  • "I didn't invent the culture, and I didn't try to stop the culture."
  • "I viewed this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times."
  • He insisted that he raced in 2009 (the year of his comeback) and in 2010 without using any kind of performance-enhancing drugs.
  • He insisted that he never forced teammates to dope.
  • But was he a bully? "Yeah, I was a bully," he said. "I tried to control the narrative." He specifically apologized to former team masseuse Emma O'Reilly; after she alleged that he doped years ago, he attacked her personally and sued her.
  • "I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people."

So why did he cheat?

  • "That is the best question. It's the most logical question. ... I don't know that I have a great answer. I will start my answer by saying that this is too late. It's too late for probably most people, and that's my fault."
  • Later, he said it didn't feel like cheating while he was doing it because lots of other riders were doping, too. It was a "level playing field," he said.
Did he feel happiness in winning? He avoided this interesting question, saying there was more happiness "in the process." Part two airs tomorrow night on OWN.

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Jan 18, 2013 6:24 PM CST
Why isn't she interviewing all of the riders who were within a mile of him during the races? They were doping also.
Jan 18, 2013 12:51 PM CST
I used to think, as a aprent, my message to my kids should be, "Don't cheat, Play fair". -or- maybe "Cheaters never prosper" Obviously, I am living in some fantasy realm, that doesn't exist in todays world. I guess the real message should be: "Don't cheat unless you're absolutely sure you can get away with it." "and if you're caught, deny everything, and hurl insults at the accusors". Then if someone produces credible evidence, or a video, offer a perfunctory apology. Please excuse my jaded, cynical post, but it's extremely difficult to influence kids when all they see is people getting ahead by being bad. I'm not just talking sports figures, look at the catholic church, our government, etc, etc. The US has no culture, no honor, no morals, no goals. Let's pander to every special interest and further divest our society. I realize Norman Rockwell was just a painter and Happy Days was just a TV show, but I truly believe we are witness the end our society, as we know it. No one is honest, no one is polite, and we have no heroes to look up to any longer. I weep for the future.
Jan 18, 2013 12:20 PM CST
There's a journalist in England whose career he tried hard to ruin. He sued the guy for $500,000 for libel and won. Does he want to apologize to him?