Lance Armstrong Comes Clean to Oprah About Competing Dirty + Doped [VIDEO]
While we were drinking and live-tweeting the first part of his interview on Jan. 17, Lance Armstrong was sharing what he assumed was his deep dark secret with Oprah Winfrey and the world: He used performance-enhancing drugs during his record-setting seven Tour de France wins.
"Noooooo! Say it isn't soooooo! WHY GOD, WHY!?!" said almost no one.
In the interview, Armstrong came clean about doping throughout his career, so don't feel bad that he was stripped of all his Tour titles and his Olympic medal. It was well-earned.
Armstrong says he started using in the '90s with a drug called EPO (erythropoietin) that “enhances red blood cell production.” He was never worried about getting caught and never considered what he was doing to be “wrong,” just “scary.”
“You had things that were oxygen-boosting drugs, for lack of a better word, that were incredibly beneficial for endurance sports. And that's all you needed," he admitted.
Rather than placing the blame elsewhere, Armstrong actually took ownership of the wrongdoings himself. As he told Oprah, "I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times. I know the truth. The truth isn't what was out there. The truth isn't what I said."
"I'm a flawed character, as I well know," he continued. "All the fault and all the blame here falls on me."
Of course, this martyrdom didn't last long, as Armstrong later claimed that he only started using to “level the playing field” as everyone else was doping too. In other words, all the cool kids were doing it.
"I didn't invent the culture, but I didn't try to stop the culture ... And I am sorry for that,” said Armstrong, who later claimed he stopped the drug use in 2005 when he retired, and when he returned to cycling, he competed in the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France without the aid of any performance enhancers. (He placed third and 23rd, respectively.)
He says he would've admitted all this sooner but he got caught up in his fame and in the “momentum” of his popularity. But since his name is pretty much mud these days, we're guessing he came clean now just to remind everyone why they didn't like him in the first place.
“I deserve [the scorn],” the cyclist told Oprah.
The second half of the interview will air tonight, Jan. 18, at 9:00 p.m. EST, during which we're guessing even more televisions will be pelted with rotten tomatoes and Livestrong bracelets.