Lance Armstrong has finally admitted what the world has long known: He used performance-enhancing drugs to reach the top of his cycling career.
In part one of a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs, EPO, indulged in blood-doping, and used testosterone or HGH in all seven of his Tour de France victories.
For years Armstrong denied using any banned substances and, according to some accounts, tried to ruin the careers of those who threatened to expose him.
"This is too late probably for most people, and that's my fault. I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times," he said.
Blaming his testosterone use on his bout with testicular cancer, Armstrong insinuated he started taking the banned hormone because he was running low on his own. He said he began doping in the "EPO generation" of cycling in the mid-'90s and continued through 2005, but claims he was clean for his third-place finish in the 2009 Tour de France.
"I don't want to accuse anybody else. I made my decisions," he said. "I'm sitting here today to acknowledge that. The culture was what it was."
"Overcoming the disease, winning the Tour, the happy marriage. It was mythic, the perfect story. It wasn't true. I'm a flawed character... I lost myself in all of that. I was one who controlled every outcome of my life."
The 41-year-old was stripped of his Tour de France wins in 2012 after a report released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said he led "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen" — a categorization Armstrong denies.
"It was definitely professional, definitely smart, but very conservative, risk-adverse," he explained to Oprah. "To say that it was bigger than the East German Olympic machine of the '70s and 80's… "
Since the report was released, Armstrong lost all of his lucrative sponsorships, has been banned from cycling for life and today was stripped of his 2000 bronze medal by the IOC.
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