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Lance Armstrong interview: Cyclist admits to being "a cheat and a bully"

Published by Alison Potter
Published on 18 January 2013

Lance Armstrong interview: Cyclist admits to being "a cheat and a bully"

Lance Armstrong interview: Cyclist admits to being "a cheat and a bully"

Lance Armstrong finally admitted to Oprah Winfrey and the rest of the world that he cheated during his celebrated cycling career.

The disgraced athlete gave a frank and full confession, but surprisingly seemed to show little remorse and he was allowed to dodge key questions during the televised interview.

The 41-year-old answered yes to using banned substances, testosterone and EPO - a performance-enhancing drug.

He confessed to having blood transfusions to cover up his illegal activities and that he had cheated in all seven Tour de France wins.

The cancer survivor - whose cocky and controlled demeanour during the talk has drawn widespread criticism - added that he didn't believe you could win the Tour without abusing substances.

It has been noted that Lance only apologised four times during the candid 90 minute chat with the US chat show host.

He confessed that it was “one big lie I repeated a lot of times” to maintain his career as a “mythic perfect story”.

Surprisingly Lance admitted to being a “bully” but he slammed rumours that he had issued a “directive” and put unfair pressure on his team-mates to join in with the illicit doping.

When pushed by Oprah, he did accept that as the leader of the team it was difficult for his team-mates to abstain.

He explained: “I was a bully. I tried to control the narrative. And if someone challenged that I would simply say ‘that's a lie, they are the liars’.

“I had a win-at-all-costs mentality. The scary thing was, though, that in those seven Tours I knew I was going to win.”

Lance added: “I didn't invent the culture but I didn't stop it either.”

Shockingly he claimed it was “easy” to cheat because there wasn’t much out-of-competition testing, so it was just a question of scheduling to ensure that he wasn’t caught with the drugs in his system.

Now though it’s far more difficult to beat the testers because of “blood passports”, which he admits “have really worked.”

Although initially Lance had agreed to answer any questions asked by Oprah, later it became apparent this was not the case.

The cyclist defended his relationship with disgraced Italian doctor Michele Ferarri and he refused to confirm or deny Betsy Andreu's claim that he confessed all of his illegal drug use to his cancer doctors in 1996.

Lance candidly told Oprah: “I love cycling, I really do. I disrespected the rules. That was my choice.

“I stand on no moral platform here, it's certainly not my place to say, ‘Hey guys, let's clean up cycling’."