Armstrong admits to doping: ‘I’m a flawed character’

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Handout photo of Lance Armstrong speaking with Oprah Winfrey in Austin

Cyclist Lance Armstrong is interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on Jan. 14. (Handout Photo / January 17, 2013)

LOS ANGELES — Calling himself “deeply flawed,” cyclist Lance Armstrong said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey aired Thursday night that he used an array of performance enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles followed by years of often angry denials.

“This is too late, it’s too late for probably most people. And that’s my fault,” he said. “(This was) one big lie, that I repeated a lot of times.”

Armstrong admitted using testosterone and human growth hormone, as well as EPO — a hormone naturally produced by human kidneys to stimulate red blood cell production, which increases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to muscles, improving recovery and endurance.

Armstrong admitted to Winfrey that, in addition to using drugs, took blood transfusions to excel in the highly competitive, often dubious world of cycling. Doping was as much a part of cycling as pumping up tires or having water in a bottle, he said, calling it “the scariest” that he didn’t consider it cheating at the time.

Armstrong said, “Overcoming the disease, winning the Tour, the happy marriage. It was mythic, the perfect story. It wasn’t true. I’m a flawed character….

“Behind the story is the momentum” of it.

“I lost myself in all of that. I was one who controlled every outcome of my life,” he added.

Amid his stripped titles, lifetime competition ban and scores of people who view him as a fraud, Armstrong said, “Now this story is so bad and so toxic.”

He told Winfrey he didn’t “invent the culture” of doping in cycling, “but I didn’t try to stop the culture, and I’m sorry for that.”

The same man who regularly pointed to his having never failed a known drug test contended in the interview that he wouldn’t have been able to win without doing what he did, and which he suspected many other cyclists did as well. 

“I made my decisions,” Armstrong said. “They are my mistakes.”

The first installment in his interview, which was conducted earlier this week with the talk-show host, aired Thursday on the OWN cable network and on the Internet. The second and final installment will be broadcast Friday night.

Armstrong admitted that he was “a bully … in the sense that I tried to control the narrative,” sometimes by spewing venom at ex-teammates he thought were “disloyal,” as well as suing publications that accused him of cheating.


To read the entire CNN article, click here.

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  • Carl

    Though the cat is out of the bag on Lance, It would be nice to see his organization continue to thrive. If he's pushed out of the light completely, then people will most likely forget even his good achievements. There's always taking up speaking against doping for sports across america since he has the knowlege of it. That may bring a better light on him, though not by much.

  • My View

    I figured he was when all the people that left the USPS team to head up another team were busted for doping. Well to look on the bright side, you know those cancer meds and procedures work. Lance is just a lab rat for the pharmaceutical companies.

  • Christina

    Sad he ended up this way! Really, its on him and not the company or sponsors he was with so hopefully he takes responsibility and graciously leaves the sport! Biking is in my family and we just ordered new bikes from 2wheelbikes dot com and i hope my son views these articles as a learning lesson!