‘It’s just this mythic perfect story, and it wasn’t true’

In his confession to Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong answered a monosyllabic "yes" to initial questions about whether he doped, before going on to admit that his career was built around "one big lie". Excerpts from Part One of the interview:

On deceiving his fans

The truth isn't what I said, and now it's gone — 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, you have children. I mean, it's just this mythic perfect story, and it wasn't true.

Was it possible to win without doping?

Not in that generation... It's been well-documented. 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 something and the sport is now paying the price because of that.

On whether he was a bully

Yes, I was a bully. I was a bully in the sense that I tried to control the narrative and if I didn't like what someone said I turned on them.

On his win-at-all-costs attitude

When I was diagnosed (with cancer) I would do anything to survive. I took that attitude — win at all costs — to cycling. That's bad. I was taking drugs before that but I wasn't a bully.

On whether he felt he was cheating while winning

At the time, no. I kept hearing I'm a drug cheat, I'm a cheat, I'm a cheater. 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.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.