Lance Armstrong confessed to doping his way to seven Tour de France titles in a 90-minute interview with Oprah tonight.He said he started cheating in the mid-1990s, and took EPO, blood transfusions, and testosterone until 2005.
“I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times,” he told Oprah.
He also said he was done calling people liars.
But later in the interview, he denied former teammate Tyler Hamilton’s story that Armstrong tested positive at the 2001 Tour de Suisse and had it covered up.
Hamilton testified that it happened in the USADA report against Armstrong. But Armstrong flat-out denied it to Oprah.
Armstrong also denied that he has ever bribed any person or governing body to cover up a positive test.
Here’s the moment Armstrong came clean:
The confession was light on specifics, but Armstrong admitted that he was a bully, telling Oprah he wanted to hide the truth at all costs. He reflected on his past self and said, “Look at that arrogant prick.”
Interestingly, Armstrong said that he didn’t view himself as a cheater, and didn’t see himself as doing anything wrong at the time. He viewed it as “a level playing field.”
In the strangest moment of the night, Armstrong tried to tell a joke about a recent conversation he had with Betsy Andreu, who is the wife of Armstrong’s former teammate Frankie Andreu. Betsy was one of the first people to say Armstrong was taking drugs, and Armstrong responded by publicly belittling her for years.
Armstrong, smiling, said he called her in the past few months and told her, “I called you crazy. I called you a b*tch. But I never called you fat.”
Here’s that video:
People who were adamant that Armstrong show contrition to the people he tried to destroy for telling the truth — his greatest crime — will likely not take the joke well in the coming days.
Overall: Lance said he was cheating the whole time in a general sense, but when Oprah pressed him on specific people or instances, he got slightly defensive.
Below you can find our live-blog with more quotes and screenshots.
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