Lance Armstrong admits doping, lying

Lance Armstrong admits doping, lying

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A combo picture made on January 15, 2013 in Paris, shows US talk-show star Oprah Winfrey (R) and US former Cycling champion Lance Armstrong. Lance Armstrong's reported admission to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs likely means he will go down in history as the most brazen drug cheat the sport has ever seen. The disgraced American cyclist's comments, reported January 14, 2013 by USA Today, rewrite 14 years of deception and repeated denials that he used banned substances to win scores of international races, including the Tour de France seven times. His years of dominance in the sport's greatest race raised cycling's profile in the United States to new heights and gave Armstrong a platform to promote cancer awareness and research. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY/TORSTEN BLACKWOOD (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY,TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — He did it. He finally admitted it. Lance Armstrong doped.

He was light on the details and didn't name names. He mused that he might not have been caught if not for his comeback in 2009. And he was certain his "fate was sealed" when longtime friend, training partner and trusted lieutenant George Hincapie, who was along for the ride on all seven of Armstrong's Tour de France wins, was forced to give him up to anti-doping authorities.

But right from the start and more than another two dozen times during the first of a two-part interview Thursday night with Oprah Winfrey, the disgraced former cycling champion acknowledged what he had lied about repeatedly for years, and what had been one of the worst-kept secrets for the better part of a week: He was the ringleader of an elaborate doping scheme on a U.S. Postal Service team that swept him to the top of the podium at the Tour de France time after time.

"At the time it did not feel wrong?" Winfrey asked.

"No," Armstrong replied. "Scary."

"Did you feel bad about it?" she pressed him.

"No," he said. "Even scarier."

"Did you feel in any way that you were cheating?"

"No," Armstrong paused. "Scariest."

"I went and looked up the definition of cheat," he added a moment later. "And the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe. I didn't view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field."

Whether his televised confession will help or hurt Armstrong's bruised reputation and his already-tenuous defense in at least two pending lawsuits, and possibly a third, remains to be seen. Either way, a story that seemed too good to be true — cancer survivor returns to win one of sport's most grueling events seven times in a row — was revealed to be just that.

Winfrey got right to the point, asking for yes-or-no answers to five questions.

Did Armstrong use banned substances? "Yes."

Did he use EPO? "Yes."

Did he do blood doping and transfusions? "Yes."

Did he use testosterone, cortisone and human growth hormone? "Yes."

Did he did it in all seven of his Tour wins? "Yes."

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