Lance tells Oprah he's sorry

cyclist Lance Armstrong has for the first time admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France victories between 1999 and 2005.

Loading Comments

The 41-year-old Texan told chat show host Oprah Winfrey he had used the blood-boosting agent EPO, the human growth hormone, testosterone, cortisone and blood doping.

Armstrong, who last October was stripped of all his Tour titles, said that at the time of his drug-taking he did not feel it was wrong.

He said he did not feel bad about taking performance-enhancing drugs, nor did he feel it was cheating, as he was creating a level playing field with other riders who took drugs.

He said: "I looked up the definition of a cheat: to gain an advantage. I didn't view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field."

But he said he had now changed his opinion, telling her: "I'll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust, apologise to people.

"I see the anger in people. And betrayal. It's all there. These are people that supported me, believed in me. They have every right to feel betrayed. And it's my fault.

"I made my decisions. They are my mistake. I acknowledge that and I'm sorry. I deserve this."

Armstrong told Winfrey he felt doping was necessary to win the Tour de France.

He said: "It was part of the job. I made those decisions."

Armstrong, who was also banned from sport for life, denied doping during his comeback 2009 and 2010.

He also said he wished he had co-operated with the United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation, which proved his downfall.

"This story was so perfect for so long," Armstrong, who confirmed his doping in a series of answers to yes-no questions, told Winfrey.

"I try to take myself out of this situation and 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 this mythic, perfect story and it wasn't true."

The myth of the cancer survivor turned serial winner, which Armstrong perpetuated, captivated millions.

Asked if it was hard to live up to that image, Armstrong said: "Impossible. The story is so bad and so toxic, a lot of it's true."

Armstrong was asked why he chose to confess his misdemeanours now.

"I don't know that I have a great answer," he said. "This is too late. It's too late for probably most people and that's my fault.

"I view this situation as one big lie, that I repeated a lot of times. It wasn't as if I just said no and moved on."

Armstrong insisted it was his successful battle with testicular cancer which increased his desire to win at all costs.

He said his decisions were based on a "ruthless desire to win" and did not feel wrong to him at the time.

Armstrong bypassed the testers by clever "scheduling".

"I didn't fail a test," he said.

Armstrong insists he is willing to co-operate with the authorities in future.

The second part of the interview will be broadcast tomorrow.


Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

My baby news, the Sound of Music and scran at the Scullery.

Times Out



TV Advert
Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

Fairytale? My life’s more a horror story

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.