Lance Armstrong Comes Clean About Doping Scandal to Oprah Winfrey
Lance Armstrong finally admitted he did use doping each time he won his Tour de France titles. In the first-part of his interview on "Oprah's Next Chapter", the disgraced athlete revealed that he used EPO, testosterone and HGH to enhance his performance during the race.
"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 the sport is now paying the price because of that," he said. "So I am sorry for that. I don't think - I didn't have access to anything else that nobody else did."
He didn't feel like cheating during the years he used the drugs though. "I had this exercise because I kept hearing I'm a drug cheat. I'm a cheat. I'm a cheater," he explained. "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."
Diagnosed with testicular cancer, the former 7-time Tour de France winner even felt his illness strengthened his "win-at-all-costs" mentality. When asked if he could win without using doping, the cyclist answered, "No, not in my opinion."
When Oprah Winfrey said people viewed him as a philanthropist for his Livestrong foundation dedicated to help cancer survivors and others saw him as a "jerk," he responded, "I'd say I was both. And we saw both. And now we're seeing certainly more of the jerk part."
Though admitting he used banned substances to win, Lance denied allegations that he forced other cyclists to do the same. "The idea that anyone was forced or pressured or encouraged is not true," the 41-year-old retiree insisted during the chat at his home in Austin, Texas.
He also refused to say if Betsy Andreu, the wife of his former teammate Frankie Andreu, told the truth when she testified in a 2006 deposition that she overheard him tell doctors treating his cancer that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. However, he did say that the Andreus were among the people he first called to apologize for years of lying and bullying.
Celebrities have since reacted to his admission of guilt. Tennis player Serena Williams tweeted, "Wow. Watching @Oprah interview. Just WOW." Carson Daly wrote, "Wow what a great 1st 20 mins to #Oprah interview with Lance. He is a cheater and liar. I'm embarrassed that I was such a fan for so long."
Rashida Jones posted, "Great day for liars! They are dominating the news today. #CongratsUSA." Rita Wilson had a similar comment, "I want to know what or who taught Lance to lie? What created the person who felt such a need to lie?"
While people were focusing more on giving their comment about Lance, Tom Arnold took time to praise Oprah for her tough questions, "A lot of sports journalists were questioning if Oprah had what it takes to thoroughly interview Lance Armstrong. The woman is shredding him."
Lena Dunham, meanwhile, sang a different tune for the cyclist, "Despite the latest news my father will not stop using Lance Armstrong as an adjective for strength and determination." Jack Osbourne also remained his admirer, "Honestly I don't care that Lance doped. He gave people hope and that's more important then anything. So what if he lied. #livestrong."
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