NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – He’s gone from being a beloved sports hero to an outcast and liar.
Disgraced Tour de France cyclist and former Olympian Lance Armstrong has come clean, finally admitting what he’s been vehemently and angrily denying for 13 years.
He did, in fact, use performance enhancing drugs, CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported.
“I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times,” Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey during the first part of an exclusive interview that first aired Thursday night.
Armstrong confessed one lie after another to Winfrey during a candid interview.
Winfrey: “Yes or no, did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?”
Winfrey: “Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?”
Winfrey: “In your opinion, was it humanly possible to win the Tour de France, without doping, seven times in a row?”
Armstrong: “Not in my opinion.”
This former cycling legend has already been stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles, after being banned from competitive cycling for the rest of his life and after beating cancer.
“This story was so perfect for so long, and I mean that as I try to take myself out of the situation, and I look at it. You overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times, you have a happy marriage, you have children, it’s just this mythic, perfect story, and it wasn’t true,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong took personal responsibility for the lies, and the denials, saying he helped paint a picture of perfection, driven by momentum — from his fans, from the media, and from a cycling culture that he said placed a premium on winning.
“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 the sport is now paying the price because of that, and I am sorry for that,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong did not shed tears, nor did he show a lot of emotion during the interview. Winfrey did say days ago, Armstrong seemed ready to confess, but there was one more denial: Armstrong claims 2005 was the last time he ever used drugs to enhance his performance.
Part II of the interview was scheduled to air Friday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
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