The former 7-time Tour de France winner revealed to Oprah that not only did he use banned drugs during his professional cycling career, everyone else did too — and he pressured his teammates into it! Read on for more details about the interview.
Lance Armstrong sat down with Oprah Winfrey for his first interview since the truth behind his performance-enhancing drug scandal was revealed. On Oprah’s Next Chapter, the former professional cyclist — who was stripped of his seven titles and banned from the sport for life — opens up about the details of his drug use.
Lance Armstrong Reveals The Performance-Enhancing Drugs He Used
Oprah began the interview jumping right into asking Lance yes or no questions about which banned drugs he used during his professional cycling career, including for the seven times he won the Tour de France races.
Lance answered yes to using EPO, blood transfusions and “others,” including cortisone and/or testosterone.
He also said that it was commonplace in the sport, and even though he wouldn’t admit to “everybody doing it,” he implied that it was more common to use banned performance-enhancing drugs than uncommon.
“I didn’t invent the culture, but I didn’t try to stop it,” he said. “I didn’t have access to anything else that nobody else did.”
Lance also revealed that passing drug tests during the late ’90s and early 2000s was easy because they were tested on race days, in which the athletes were clean — and there wasn’t a test for EPO yet.
But he also insists that the last time he took performance-enhancing drugs was the last time he won first place — 2005. During his comeback in 2009 and 2010, he was not doped up.
Lance Calls Himself A Team Captain ‘Bully’
When Oprah asked Lance if he was a bully, he candidly revealed that he was — and as the captain of his US Postal and Discovery Channel cycling teams, he expected everyone to comply with his rules. And if riders didn’t agree with what he said, he viewed it as a betrayal — and he would get angry.
Of course, Oprah parlayed that mentality into asking if he forced his teammates to also take performance-enhancing drugs, which Lance denied — sort of. He said he never “verbally” forced anyone into taking drugs, but the pressure and expectation to win all of the time was there.
And as the team captain, Lance said he led by example — and his example was that being doped up makes you a fiercer and more winning competitor.
Lance Armstrong Doesn’t Believe He Was A Cheater
Despite the years of Lance vehemently denying that he ever took performance-enhancing drugs, even when teammates and insiders in his circle spoke out with evidence that he had, he said in the interview that he does not consider himself a cheater.
“I looked up the definition of cheater, and it implies that you are against a rival or foe,” Lance said. “I didn’t do that. I used it as a level playing field.”
Lance also told Oprah he didn’t understand that magnitude of his drug scandal, even though he was dating rockstar Sheryl Crow and was an international legendary athlete.
He said he was too focused on playing and winning the game than thinking about the outcome. But now, he says, he understands his many mistakes.
“I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust,” he said. “For the rest of my life.”
The second part of Oprah’s interview with Lance airs on OWN on Friday, Jan. 18.
What do YOU think about what Lance said HollywoodLifers?
— Christina Stiehl
More Lance Armstrong news:
- Lance Armstrong Stripped Of Olympic Medal After Admitting To Doping
- Lance Armstrong Admits To Oprah: He Doped Before Cancer
- Lance Armstrong Cries During Staff Apology Before Oprah Interview