Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong finally admitted to years of doping yesterday as his emotional interview with Oprah went to air.
The cyclist, who has had his seven Tour de France titles stripped, as well as his bronze from 2000 confessed in his interview that his career was “one big lie”.
“This story was so perfect for so long. You overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times – it was this mythic, perfect story, and it wasn’t true,” he said.
Armstrong revealed that he had been on a doping programme since the mid 1990’s where he had been involved in blood transfusions and banned substance use in his time in the sport.
However, he denied accusations that the US Postal Service Team’s doping programme was the most sophisticated in the sport, instead commenting that his doping in cycling is “so bad and so toxic.”
During the interview, Armstrong appeared composed and was thoughtful with his answers.
Despite coming clean, he tried to justify his actions of taking EPO and testosterone, due to his history as a cancer sufferer, but claims that his is just one of many drug cheats in a sport where doping creates a “level playing field.”
After admitting that he had ridden all seven of his victories in the Tour, he claimed he was clean in his comeback and had he not come back he would not have been caught.
He said: “The accusation and the alleged proof that they say that I doped after my comeback [in 2009] is not true. The last time I crossed that line [doping] was 2005.”
He however knew the time was up when his friend George Hincapie testified against him.
He however has still not failed a test in the rules or competing and has been found guilty in retrospect: “I didn’t fail a test. Stuff was retroactively tested, and I failed those, but the hundreds of tests that I took, I passed them because there was nothing in my system.”
Armstrong has now hinted that he would like to get involved with anti-doping officials to back a truth and reconciliation process.
His career, “one big lie”, has still caused pain to many cyclists and people involved with cycling, and he now needs to show remorse to fellow people in the sport.
He has stopped people claiming victory, changed their lives and ultimately destroyed a sport that has already had doping offences.
Cycling will come back from this but in history, the 2000 years are ultimately a period of negativity and where road cycling is blanked out of positive sport.