Oprah Winfrey wasted no time in cutting to the chase with Lance Armstrong; she asked him to answer yes or no to the questions that she opened with and made sure he had no wiggle room.
Did Armstrong take banned substances? ”Yes.”
Did that include the blood-booster EPO? ”Yes.”
Did he do blood doping and use transfusions? ”Yes.”
Did he use testosterone, cortisone and human growth hormone? ”Yes.”
Did he take banned substances or blood dope in all his Tour wins? ”Yes.”
”I’m a flawed character,” he said.
Did it feel wrong?
”No,” Armstrong replied. ”Scary.”
”Did you feel bad about it?” Winfrey pressed him.
”No,” he said. ”Even scarier.”
”Did you feel in any way that you were cheating?”
”No,” Armstrong paused. ”Scariest.”
”I went and looked up the definition of cheat,” he added a moment later. ”And the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe. I didn’t view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field.”
From that point on, the stage was set for Lance Armstrong to be honest and then Oprah followed up with additional questions. He did admit to doping in all of the Tour De France victories. Yes, all 7 of them. He was at one point asked by Oprah why admit it now when for so long you denied it, and fought vigorously against anyone who said you did? His reply was maybe more honest than he realized. “I don’t have a good answer for that.”
Did that mean I would feel sorry for Armstrong? No, he knew all along it was in his words a “big lie” and kept it going. But he also stated it was a drug infested culture that went on in cycling. “Did I start it, no, but I didn’t try to stop it either.”
Maybe the only answer Armstrong could have given for why after all this time he is admitting to doping is this…I have been stripped of all my titles, my sponsors have all left and I was asked to step down from LiveStrong and my reputation is tarnished, what else did I have to lose by admitting it now?
In short, that is why he admitted to cheating. Everyone else on his team was cheating and so guess what ? He cheated too. Seems to me he was the best of and even playing field, even if they all did cheat.
The rest of the interview was more along the lines of how he cheated the methods use like the blood transfusions and the drugs used.
As I was watching the interview I couldn’t help but wonder the harm done to his body with the many transfusions and drugs taken in and out of the body of the long period of time. It was a very elaborate practice of a long peroid of time and he didn’t do it alone he did have help, in the form of Italian doctor Michele Ferrari.
”It’s hard to talk about some of these things and not mention names. There are people in this story, they’re good people and we’ve all made mistakes … they’re not monsters, not toxic and not evil, and I viewed Michele Ferrari as a good man and smart man and still do.”
To Armstrong’s credit he refrained from blaming others for his mess that he made and refused to name names. As for what awaits Armstrong legally, or whether his confession with Oprah Winfrey will begin a process of coming clean to get his lifetime ban reduced remains to be seen. This was only part one of an two part interview. There could be more revelations forthcoming tomorrow night when the second part of this interview is aired. Stay tuned.