Lance Armstrong admits doping—US media


SAY IT AIN’T SO, LANCE… After more than a decade of strenuous denials, US cyclist Lance Armstrong finally confessed that he cheated during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. AFP

AUSTIN, Texas—Cyclist Lance Armstrong has admitted to talk show host Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs in a lengthy interview to be aired later this week, USA Today reported Monday.

The newspaper cited an unnamed person familiar with the interview ahead of its Thursday night air date.

The admission Monday came hours after an emotional apology by Armstrong to the Livestrong charity that he founded and turned into a global institution on the strength of his celebrity as a cancer survivor, an Associated Press report said, quoting a source who spoke on condition of anonymity because the interview was to be broadcast Thursday on Winfrey’s network.

Winfrey tweeted afterward, “Just wrapped with (at)lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!” She was scheduled to appear on “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday to discuss the interview.

The confession was a stunning reversal for Armstrong after years of public statements, interviews and court battles in which he denied doping and zealously protected his reputation.

Even before the taping session with Winfrey began, Armstrong’s apology suggested he would carry through on promises over the weekend to answer her questions “directly, honestly and candidly.”

The cyclist was stripped of his Tour de France titles, lost most of his endorsements and was forced to leave the foundation last year after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a damning, 1,000-page report that accused him of masterminding a long-running doping scheme.

About 100 staff members of the charity Armstrong founded in 1997 gathered in a conference room as Armstrong arrived with a simple message: “I’m sorry.” He choked up during a 20-minute talk, expressing regret for the long-running controversy over performance-enhancers had caused, but stopped short of admitting he used them.

Before he was done, several members were in tears when he urged them to continue the charity’s mission of helping cancer patients and their families.

“Heartfelt and sincere,” is how Livestrong spokesman Katherine McLane described his speech.

Armstrong later huddled with almost a dozen people before stepping into a room set up at a downtown Austin hotel.

The group included close friends and advisers, two of his lawyers and Bill Stapleton, his agent, manager and business partner. They exchanged handshakes and smiles, but declined comment when approached by a reporter. Most members of that group left the hotel through the front entrance, although Armstrong was not with them.

No further details about the interview were available immediately because of confidentiality agreements signed by both camps. But Winfrey promoted it as a “no-holds barred” session, and after the voluminous USADA report—which included testimony from 11 former teammates—she had plenty of material for questions. USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, a long-time critic of Armstrong’s, called the drug regimen practiced while Armstrong led the US Postal Service team, “The most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

Armstrong also went after his critics ruthlessly during his reign as cycling champion, scolding some in public and waging legal battles against others in court. At least one of his opponents, the London-based Sunday Times, has already filed a lawsuit to recover about $500,000 it paid him to settle a libel lawsuit, and Dallas-based SCA Promotions, which tried to deny Armstrong a promised bonus for a Tour de France win, has threatened to bring yet another lawsuit seeking to recover more than $7.5 million an arbitration panel awarded the cyclist in that dispute.

Betsy Andreu, the wife of former Armstrong teammate Frankie Andreu, was one of the first to publicly accuse Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs. She called news of Armstrong’s confession “very emotional and very sad,” and got choked up when asked to comment.

“He used to be one of my husband’s best friends and because he wouldn’t go along with the doping, he got kicked to the side. Lance could have a positive impact if he tells the truth on everything. He’s got to be completely honest,” she said.

In addition, former teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, has filed a federal whistle-blower lawsuit that accused Armstrong of defrauding the US Postal Service. The Justice Department has yet to decide whether it will join the suit as a plaintiff.

The lawsuit most likely to be influenced by a confession might be the Sunday Times case. Potential perjury charges stemming from Armstrong’s sworn testimony in the 2005 arbitration fight would not apply because of the statute of limitations. Armstrong was not deposed during the federal investigation that was closed last year.

Armstrong is said to be worth around $100 million. But most sponsors dropped him after USADA’s scathing report — at the cost of tens of millions of dollars — and soon after, he left the board of Livestrong.

After the USADA findings, he was also barred from competing in the elite triathlon or running events he participated in after his cycling career. World Anti-Doping Code rules state his lifetime ban cannot be reduced to less than eight years. WADA and U.S. Anti-Doping officials could agree to reduce the ban further depending on what information Armstrong provides and his level of cooperation.

Whether his confession would begin to heal those ruptures and restore that reputation remains to be seen.

Diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996, the disease soon spread to his lungs and brains. Armstrong’s doctors gave him a 40 percent chance of survival at the time and never expected he’d compete at anything more strenuous than gin rummy. Winning the world’s most gruelling sporting event less than three years later made Armstrong a hero.

With a report from Agence France-Presse.

Originally posted at 09:38 am | Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013

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  • zdrx

    reading thomas hauser’s 2 part article in maxboxing….”THE PED MESS”……… it looks like USADA who spearheaded this campaign to topple lance armstrong, seems to be not clean themselves. together with floyd mayweather, they launched a crusade to “cleanse boxing” of any potential drug cheats…by introducing the expensive RANDOM BLOOD TESTS on fighters.

    what happened was floyd their partner…was reported to have failed his pre-fight drug tests 3 times…but was allowed to fight. erik morales also failed his pre-fight drug tests, but was allowed to fight danny garcia last october. floyd was also caught on youtube snorting something in his dressing room before his fight…but did you hear any post-fight drug test result on that?

    when pacquiao’s lawyers demanded in court floyd’s last 3 drug test results…USADA refused and instead filed a motion to quash. i don’t know…but USADA seems to be hiding something about floyd.

    • zdrx

      read and be shocked at what they did to winky wright’s urine and blood samples. type THE PED MESS. google it.

      floyd’s moral crusade for a 2 month period before fight… “RANDOM BLOOD TESTS”…is a sham, a fraud…a smoke-screen to escape from pacquiao. he’s just too scared of pacquiao…that he put RBT as one of the many obstacles he created.

      nonito donaire’s moral crusade for a clean sport is the real deal. noynitz subjects himself to a year round random blood tests….just to prove to the world he’s clean.

      • Heartrob ng Pugad Baboy

        How is Floyd’s and Nonito’s any different besides the length?  You are just putting your race blinders on.  I dislike Floyd as much as any Filipino boxing fan there is but to say what you just said is simply ignoring facts.

      • zdrx

        one is partial …the other comprehensive. one is honest to goodness…the other is a joke. nonito comes clean on all tests …floid reportedly comes out positive of PEDs on 3 occasions…but was allowed to fight. WHERE’S RACISM IN THAT LOGIC??????

        on that 3 occasions that floid reportedly failed his drug tests…his partner in scam reportedly provided a loophole of “inadvertent use” (whatever that means) to give floid a waiver. excuses of “inadvertent use” on floid’s failed “A” samples killed the need to test his “B” samples….in short, a “no contest”. once is acceptable….but thrice?…. I’TS A JOKE!!!. that’s how credible USADA is. so…..WHERE’S RACISM IN THAT????????

        hearing this, pacman’s legal team subpoenaed in court froid’s drug tests results. USADA refused and filed a motion to quash. USADA could not submit any drug test result in court? so there…that’s how (in)credible USADA is. again……….. WHERE’S RACISM IN THAT???????????

      • Heartrob ng Pugad Baboy

        It was a rumor.  Not saying it was true or not but it was a rumor.  “Writer” wrote about something like – There was a rumor but since it can’t be disprove or verified, it must be true.  

        Yes you are prejudiced.  Just like Mexicans think JMM beat Pac on all those 4 fights, same thing with Filipino thinking Pac beat JMM first 3 fight and JMM got lucky with that knockout.  Problem is when nationalistic pride gets in a way of logical reasoning.  

        Seriously, do you really think Pac (I love the man and what he has accomplished) stands any chance against Floyd after his last few performance?  Two years ago, it was maybe a toss up.  Now – no chance.

      • zdrx

        it was rumored yes…but when there’s smoke there’s fire. TO CHECK IT…pacman’s lawyer subpoenaed in court floid’s drug test records for his last 3 fights. USADA  REFUSED!!!…… and instead filed in court a MOTION TO QUASH. gotcha…there you got your proof of USADA’s credibility. they got nothing to show in court.

        you must also have read what winky wright said. he said they took urine and blood samples from him. but was told that it was not lab tested but was thrown away. DO YOU THINK WINKY WILL RISK BEING HAULED TO COURT …if he can not support what he says? do you think mr. hauser can not be sued for what he wrote…if it was baseless? there you got your proof of tom hauser’s (in)credible article. HA HA HA

        let’s see what froid did when pacman’s lawyers trained their guns on his drug test records. YO… HE PANICKED and begged pacman for an out of court settlement…with confidentiality clause. wooooo confidentiality… that’s big HUSH money. HA HA HA.

        if i were pacman…i would not have accepted the big settlement offer. i would have ran floid to the ground with the imminent drug scandal. but pacman is merciful. he can not bear humiliate floid, his brother in profession. he also thought that if he destroys floid in a drug scandal …the possibilty of their fight will also be destroyed forever.

        throw your blinders away. it is not pacman who stands no chance against floid. it is the fight we want to see…that has no chance of being made. WHY??? because floid stood no chance of growing balls.

        your handle puzzles me…i wonder why you’re a heart throb in a pigsty.

  • dennis

    What i am particular is about the name of that enhancing drugs? My question is does this drug a cancer-related therapy or really a drug that was counted as illegal? The bad thing of Armstrong´s revelation is that he admitted that he cheat intead of admitting it that it was a part of his cancer therapy. Stripping all his titles was expected but it was a bad move for him because people will began to express HATRED to him!

    • Heartrob ng Pugad Baboy

      Not sure if you are joking or lived in a cave.  In any case, read up on EPO and blood transfusion and how it relates to cycling.  NOTHING in there is remotely connected to cancer therapy.  

  • akramgolteb

    Puede ang ibig sabihin nito ay ang mga performance enhancing drugs ay puedeng gamitin gamot sa cancer. Bakit hindi pagaralan ng mga doctor ang nangyari kay Armstrong. Mag experiment sila kung dahil nga sa PEDS kaya gumaling si Armstrong.

  • Nerraw

    Pera-pera lang to. Magkano kaya ang binayad ni Oprah (wala man lang figure na lumabas) for sure hindi naman ito libre. Hay buhay nga naman, basta makagawa ng pagkaperahan ayus lang..

  • antonio_luna

    A reputation built on lies is a house built on cards

  • Vincent Puig

    Livestrong to Liestrong

  • Lawrence

    !” She was scheduled to appear on “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday to discuss the interview.
    An interview to talk about an interview. Overkill naman to.

  • intsikbeho

    armstrong fought cancer. a very tough and gruelling fight emotionally, psychologically, physically.

    armstrong survived the fight against cancer. not many people do and those that survive would not be able to bring their physical health back to normal. 

    armstrong competed in the tour despite the cancer. something 99.99% of the human race can only dream of and would not even be qualified to join half of the competition’s level. 

    armstrong won the tour 7 times despite the terminal difficulties. 

    armstrong is a hero. a symbol of hope for those facing insurmountable odds. a beacon of light for those shrouded in deep darkness of despair. when someone tells you that you are going to die, u ask God for help and look at armstrong for guidance and inspiration. a legend at the fringe of reality. you do what you need to do to survive, you do what you have to do to help others survive. whatever it takes.. 

    he doped.. so did everyone else. 

    • jurbinsky77

      I am with you.

    • Heartrob ng Pugad Baboy

      It’s not the doping.  I could care less about that.  Like you said, majority if not all of the top cyclist in that era were doping.  

      It’s the way he lied, coerced people, bullied and destroyed people and their livelihood when they testified or went against him.  I am looking forward to the interview.  Hopefully he apologizes to them directly and discuss how he negatively affected those peoples (and their families) lives.

    • antiscam

      He did it for the money above all else. Why exorcise and persecute people accusing you of doping while lying through your teeth? You already won the Tour de France and got people with cancer inspired? All you have to do is just lie and deny.. Why persecute and punish still your accusers? Insecurity because of a sham victory is Lance’s undoing. Sorry but Lance has turned from an inspiration into a very bad example of an egotistic, greedy and lying “hero” of our time.

    • panhase

      Armstrong lied under oath.
      I do have cancer but Armstrong is no beacon of light for me. I do not look at him for guidance and inspiration. He is a fake hero.

  • alfred sanchez

    makakatulog ka na din sa wakas….sa kulungan

    • jurbinsky77


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