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As expected, Lance Armstrong did finally admit to doping during his cycling career in his interview with Oprah Winfrey, the first part of which aired last night on her OWN network.
During the interview, Armstrong admits that his story was “one big lie,” reports USA Today. After saying otherwise for a decade, Armstrong admits that he used performance enhancing drugs and blood transfusions while he won seven Tour De France titles, all of which have now been stripped.
“I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people,” he told Winfrey.
However, he claimed that he didn’t use during his 2009 comeback and “crossed the line” in 2005, when he won his last Tour De France title. He said that the comeback did negatively affect him, since it gave the US Anti-Doping Agency another chance to investigate his career. “We wouldn't be sitting here if I didn't come back,” he said.
According to E! News, Armstrong said he never felt like he was doing something wrong. “I looked up the definition of 'cheat' and the definition is 'to gain an advantage of a rival or foe,' and I didn't view it that way,” he explained. “I viewed it as a level playing field.”
“I didn't invent the culture, but I didn't try to stop the culture,” he said about the sport in general. He also admitted to being a “bully” to make sure others didn’t reveal the truth.
The interview didn’t result in many suddenly forgiving Armstrong. The Huffington Post notes that on social media, the only one getting any praise was Winfrey.
Livestrong, the foundation that Armstrong set up to fight cancer around the world, said it was “disappointed” by the revelations, notes The Hollywood Reporter. “Earlier this week, Lance apologized to our staff and we accepted his apology in order to move on and chart a strong, independent course. We look forward to devoting our full energy to our mission of helping people not only fight and survive cancer, but also thrive in life after cancer,” the organization said in a statement.
“Tonight, Lance Armstrong finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit,” the USADA said in a statement. “His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction. But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
The second half of the interview airs tonight. You can check out clips from last night below: