The disgraced former rider says he still had to put in the necessary 'building blocks' to win the Tour, but says 'high-octane' drug use was necessary

Lance Armstrong says that he truly did train hard even with the “high-octane” doping programme he used to win seven Tour de France titles. The Texan, stripped of those wins and suspended for life, spoke with university students in Colorado on Tuesday.

In 2012, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) showed that Armstrong doped for most of his career. He now is facing lawsuits and paying massive settlement fees.

“You had to have all those building blocks and then, unfortunately, you had to have the last block, and the last block was high-octane doping,” said Armstrong in a Daily Camera article. “That doesn’t discount – it’s not like we all just went to Saint-Tropez every day and sipped rosé, and then just showed up to the Tour de France and won.”

Armstrong won the Tour from 1999 through 2005, titles cycling’s govern body stripped after the USADA case. The USADA’s worked showed he doped with EPO, testosterone, cortisone and human growth hormone, and transfused his blood.

“This era that we were in, this era of doping was so powerful,” added Armstrong. “EPO in that era was not like testosterone, HGH or cortisone.

“I often refer to it as high-octane and low-octane. HGH, testosterone, cortisone… It’s kind of low-octane, those are one-per-centers; EPO is a 10-per-center.

“In any sport, if you throw 10 per cent into it… You might find some success on a stage by stage basis, in a one-day race, but you won’t get over the mountains and win time trials with other guys that are high-octane.”

Armstrong celebrates his seventh Tour win next to Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich. (Sunada)

Armstrong celebrates his seventh Tour win next to Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich. (Sunada)

Armstrong, now 44 and with plenty of grey hair, said that the blood doping period was like a knife fight where everyone started bringing guns. He added that he believes the period is now over.

He said that he did not want to criticise the agency that took him down, but he did so while trying to make himself appear as a scapegoat.

“The organisation is absolutely necessary. It’s probably the most inefficient and ineffective organisation in the world with the amount of money it has.

“It’s probably the reason Travis Tygart [USADA director] and USADA needed a case, they needed something to show that they were right. And they did, and it worked, and now the world views them as truly effective, but they are really not,” Armstrong continued.

“They say they had to do this, but to go back 10 to 15 years to bring a marquee case. I don’t know. I don’t know how John Elway would feel if they went back and stripped him of his ’99 Super Bowl title.

“You might think that’s crazy, but that’s exactly what happened. And believe me, I was the complete dumb ass who made it totally easy for them to do this. Our era did what we did. I took it so much further. That’s really the lesson for me in all of this. I was way to aggressive. They said, ‘We are going to make an example out of him.’ And that’s what they did.”

USADA offered Armstrong a chance to cooperate during its case, but he refused and fought back.

He only admitted to doping in a short Oprah Winfrey television moment after he was found guilty. Despite pleas for a smaller ban that might enable him to compete in lower-level sporting events, the man many consider cycling’s biggest fraud has been shown no leniency.

“It’s been a rough couple of years for a lot for reasons,” Armstrong added. “It’s just been a complete colossal meltdown. Let’s be honest.”

  • Dirk

    Top athlete, top training, top coaches. Every other top cyclist was on the same program but Lance won. The biggest difference was he raised money and awareness for Cancer survivors and the others including his detractors do nothing.

  • Jerome

    I hope that you find inner peace lance Armstrong. You were my one and only idol. But you broke my heart.

    I don’t think someone like you read comment sections like this but just the same.

  • Fieldsprint

    Sorry, “bro” but judging by your comment you must be new to cycling. For better or worse, winning the Tour is considered the pinnacle achievement in stage racing, followed by the Giro and then Vuelta. I doubt you could find a single rider with only a Giro or Vuelta win to his name who wouldn’t gladly trade his victory for a Tour win. I mean do you really think Hesjedal (Giro) or Horner (Vuelta) wouldn’t trade their respective victories for a Tour win? Please.

  • Nomad

    “Those guys” = the top GT contenders during the Armstrong dynasty (Ullrich, Pantani, Kloden, etc.) Also, the CIRC report from last year referenced an unnamed but “respected” cyclist who said that “90%” of the peloton was doping. If accurate…pretty much everyone.

    On climbing ability improving “drastically” w/o PEDs – are you talking about a smaller, lighter rider who shows GT potential early in their career or a heavier, bigger sprinter-type rider who shows no potential for climbing? I would agree with you on the former but not the latter. Show me a Clydesdale w/o GT potential who has been transformed into a great climber & GT contender who doesn’t have ties to…or suspicion of PED use?

    Can you also show any evidence that LA had GT potential pre-Ferrari? The only TDF he was able to finish pre-Ferrari was the 95 edition where he finished 36th & got dropped on every major MTF. Real climbing potential there? (lol).

    Going uphill fast is about sustained power and submaximal effort. I’m sure you know EPO can produce enormous gains in that area. One published study with highly trained cyclists and only moderate dosages of EPO showed time to exhaustion improving by ~54%! (Connes et al/European Journal of Physiology/2003).

    And there are high responders & low responders to EPO (one main factor being a lower baseline hct). LA was a high responder and it seems he became a superstar climber and GT contender almost overnight. Another high responder who had overnight success was Riis. A no GT potential guy who in his pre-doping TDFs finished: 95 (89), WD (90), 107 (91), 101/Giro (92)…then by his own admission he goes full “high-octane” in 1993 and walla: 5th followed by 14th (94), 3rd (95), and bingo…1st (96). Is that INSANE or what?

    You’re underestimating the power of oxygen-vector doping with high responders.

  • Roger

    I’m not sure who you mean by “those guys”, but there certainly were riders at the time who weren’t using anything illegal.

    Also, the fact that a rider’s climbing ability improves drastically need have nothing to do with PEDs and doesn’t necessarily indicate what effect PEDs have.

  • Nomad

    Agree…LA’s 7 TDFs is unmatched and probably never will be duplicated.

    But I’ve got to mention one of my favorites you left out: “Big Mig.” 5 TDFs in a row and 2 Giro’s. Incredibly, the 2 Giro’s preceded 2 of his TDFs (1991 & 92).

    One thing is certain, IMO, we’ll never see a rider that big (80 kg +) climb massive moutains that efficiently.

  • cageysea

    I know the man quite well… I’m his father.

  • Nomad

    Is it unfair if one doper beats another doper?

    If you look at prevelant EPO era from around 1991/92 thru 2001 (when the test debut), EPO was as popular with the peloton as coffee is with breakfast. Even Riis was quoted as saying that back then the peloton didn’t consider doping as cheating but more along the lines of “the normal preparation of a professional cyclist.” Seems virtually everyone wanted to go “high-octane” once the secret was out.

    And during Lance’s heyday it sounds more like the doping wars among the top GT guys:

    “More importantly for Lance Armstrong, during the 7-year window when he won every Tour de France (1999-2005), 87% of the top-10 finishers (61 of 70) were confirmed dopers or suspected of doping.” (Business Inside/Jan.2015).

  • Shane H-F

    I reject the very idea that one could be an authority on such a matter. Not even knowing the man and claiming to be such is even more disconcerting to say the least. This unscientific pseudo-empirical approach holds psychology back in much same way that astrology once did using fallacious logic. Since it is not easily falsifiable (much like astrology) it must have be empirical to be considered even slightly scientific. It lacks both and is therefore a pseudoscience.

  • cageysea

    I’m afraid you’re wrong. I am the foremost authority on Lance Armstrong and his psychopathy. There’s really no debating it.

  • Shane H-F

    Because many believe the term should be reserved for those who clearly fit the definition. An extreme case also makes the point in less time. Everyone can and does act like a psychopath. As many sociologists will agree, humans are psychopaths by design. It’s necessary in a civilized society, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. I’m on the side that we can only pretend to know such things about other people, especially conceptual things like psychopathy. This is why I moved to cognitive science and lingustics fields. I find theories interesting and useful but it’s dangerous to diagnose actual people without any scientific reasoning or quantifiable data.
    With respect, I reject the assumption that anyone can be an authority on the mind. An authority of principles and theories fine, but this is a soft science and therefore rapidly changing according to social values.

  • Nomad

    Since those guys never race against each other clean we’ll probably never know. However, LA now admits he “low-octaned” doped when he won the Worlds and during the early part of his career – but he was in no way, shape or form near a GT contender.

    Then he decides to go thermal nuclear under the Ferrari masterplan and over the next several years destroys diminutive climbers 20-25 lbs lighter than him.

    I think it’s possible to know how much effect the PEDs had…

  • cageysea

    Well, he’s not a homicidal psychopath (why do people always bring up murder when they discuss psychopathy?), but he is a psychopath nonetheless.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been a practicing psychiatrist/psychiatric social worker/and experiential psychologist for the past 65 years, so I know what I’m talking about when I say that Lance Armstrong is a psychopath. You can take my word for it. There’s really no one beyond my authority in determining the matter.

  • Roger

    Except they weren’t real wins in they first place, since he wasn’t abiding by the rules. Winning is not simply a matter of crossing the finish line first. Also, it is by no means clear how much talent and skill was involved, since it is impossible to know how much effect the drugs had.

  • Shane H-F

    It should be stated right away that this is all conjecture. What constitutes sociopathy or whether it is a distinct concept is debatable. Every individual and every organization has a different definition. That said, I’m quite familiar with Cleckley. I spent two years of postgraduate working towards a degree in psych before I changed fields. As well, my father is a forensic psychologist with a clinical background, my mother a developmental psychologist. I would agree that Cleckley is seminal, but it is hardly authoritative. In fact it is almost universally accepted by psychologists and sociologists that his viewpoints are outdated. Some view them as mythical. Criminologists, behind the times as always, refuse to let go of his ideas. Aside from lacking evidence it is now clear he was heavily influenced by the social values of his time. An obvious example is his view that women are less capable of being sociopaths. Another is that he believes homosexuality is a related mental sickness. It’s outdated.

    The point is people are too quick to ascribe the psychopath or sociopath label. From a psychological standpoint very few people should be called such. It is natural to reject unfavorable information (a cigarette smoker who tries to quit smoking and fails will often convince their self that quitting later won’t do any harm .) Rationalization is a fundamental part of the human mind. It helps us make decisions and lets us live with choices we have made. It helps us balance our emotional and logical thought.
    Many believe a true sociopath lacks this rationalization. They think more like a child. Their decisions are either purely logical or emotional.
    I’ve seen no evidence that he is operating at this level. He hasn’t gone a murder spree. To my knowledge he wasn’t embezzling all the money his charity made.

  • cageysea

    Let me suggest you read Dr. Hervey Cleckley’s seminal work “The Mask of Sanity.” I suspect you’ll reconsider your assessment after having done so.

  • cageysea

    Let me suggest you read Dr. Hervey Cleckley’s seminal work “The Mask of Sanity.” I suspect you’ll reconsider your assessment after having done so.

  • Shane H-F

    That is actually not a sign of a true sociopath. Self-justification, cognitive dissonance, rationalization, maybe. These are all attributes of a normally functioning mind. I’ve seen nothing that would suggest any level of psychopathy or sociopathy.

  • Shane H-F

    That is actually not a sign of a true sociopath. Self-justification, cognitive dissonance, rationalization, maybe. These are all attributes of a normally functioning mind. I’ve seen nothing that would suggest any level of psychopathy or sociopathy.

  • Shane H-F

    To say “American fans fell for it hook line and sinker…” looks past the truth. Americans don’t care about cycling. Even cyclists here don’t really care about the sport. Like running or swimming it is seen as a fitness pursuit. Even when we celebrate American athletes who set world records or win gold medals in the Oympics we focus on the fitness and health aspect. The reason Armstrong was so big in America was because he had cancer and beat it and went on to achieve “fitness perfection”. That’s why everywhere you went people wore livestrong bracelets. All that was generally known was that he won some bicycle race in some country where they race bicycles.

  • Shane H-F

    To say “American fans fell for it hook line and sinker…” looks past the truth. Americans don’t care about cycling. Even cyclists here don’t really care about the sport. Like running or swimming it is seen as a fitness pursuit. Even when we celebrate American athletes who set world records or win gold medals in the Oympics we focus on the fitness and health aspect. The reason Armstrong was so big in America was because he had cancer and beat it and went on to achieve “fitness perfection”. That’s why everywhere you went people wore livestrong bracelets. All that was generally known was that he won some bicycle race in some country where they race bicycles.

  • Shane H-F

    Having them taken away doesn’t mean they never happened. How he managed to become the best is up for debate but he did win those races. You could say wins don’t make you the best, but that’s a personal look at talent and skill.

  • Shane H-F

    Having them taken away doesn’t mean they never happened. How he managed to become the best is up for debate but he did win those races. You could say wins don’t make you the best, but that’s a personal look at talent and skill.

  • Shane H-F

    The problem with that rational is that doping is the only clear and definitive charge against him. The rest is decidedly murky and lacks substantial proof. He was aggressive in protecting his name and absolutely tried to discredit those who tried to discredit him. That much is a fact. The allegation that he ruined lives and relationships and careers is misleading to say the least. It’s the same thing Walsh and other sensationalist journalists have claimed. It lacks merit, proof, and relies on carefully selected parts of individual cases to change the tone of a complex story. These types of cases are acceptable (if not looked down on) for opinion editorials but lack journalistic substance and wouldn’t qualify as objective news reporting. How was their life ruined? Was their life ruined by Armstrong or was it actually by a mutual sponsor or company they may have both been affiliated with? Are they actually much wealthier now? Was it the legal system that didn’t work out for them? Were they exposed by sensationalist journalists and betrayed by the media? These examples apply to people who supposedly had their lives ruined. Who is to blame is a matter of opinion, theory and perspective.
    All that said, Armstrong has repeatedly accepted blame for his situation. He actually seems pretty clear about the situation; he said he went too far and was too aggressive in defending his own reputation, career and foundation. And that if anybody was hurt because of him we was sorry. To question how he is to blame is reasonable though.
    I’m not sure what people want. It’s ludicrous to think he will publicly apologize to people who led a campaign against him.

  • Shane H-F

    The problem with that rational is that doping is the only clear and definitive charge against him. The rest is decidedly murky and lacks substantial proof. He was aggressive in protecting his name and absolutely tried to discredit those who tried to discredit him. That much is a fact. The allegation that he ruined lives and relationships and careers is misleading to say the least. It’s the same thing Walsh and other sensationalist journalists have claimed. It lacks merit, proof, and relies on carefully selected parts of individual cases to change the tone of a complex story. These types of cases are acceptable (if not looked down on) for opinion editorials but lack journalistic substance and wouldn’t qualify as objective news reporting. How was their life ruined? Was their life ruined by Armstrong or was it actually by a mutual sponsor or company they may have both been affiliated with? Are they actually much wealthier now? Was it the legal system that didn’t work out for them? Were they exposed by sensationalist journalists and betrayed by the media? These examples apply to people who supposedly had their lives ruined. Who is to blame is a matter of opinion, theory and perspective.
    All that said, Armstrong has repeatedly accepted blame for his situation. He actually seems pretty clear about the situation; he said he went too far and was too aggressive in defending his own reputation, career and foundation. And that if anybody was hurt because of him we was sorry. To question how he is to blame is reasonable though.
    I’m not sure what people want. It’s ludicrous to think he will publicly apologize to people who led a campaign against him.

  • Nomad

    I agree. However, many fans don’t see it that way or they think their favorite rider(s) are clean and it’s the “other guy” that is doping. Not just cycling though…also distance running, triathlon, XC skiing.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    Pokeroots – I was following cycling when Tom Simpson died, I had to try and understand his death when I was only a teenager. I’ve been a passionate fan for nearly 50 years! I have also known more than a few pros racing at the top level. I knew the man that gave Tom his last drink….

    I knew Lance was doping when he won his first TdF. Within a couple of years I realised he was doing far more than any of the other greats in the sport’s hstory. For goodness sake, the guy looked a total freak even standing on the podium.

    There have been many riders who have doped, but the great majority did it primarily to physically survive such a gruelling sport, to make basic living. But Lance was an empire builder, a man with such a massive ego that every word that came out of his mouth stuck in experienced fan’s throats. A liar, a pathological bully, a man who created such a huge complex web of deceit that he still believes his own nonsense.

    And yes it was American fans who fell for it hook line and sinker, but it was cycling fans worldwide that created the pressure which eventually brought the man down – not least British fans. It’s no coincidence that in a now cleaner sport it’s been British riders who have finally taken their rightful place in the game.

    “Casual fan” indeed. Don’t be so insulting.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    Exactly Tony, well said.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    The trouble is Pokeroots, Lance rarely rode the other great races, the classics and monuments which make up the Cycling calendar for real fans. He daren’t have done so because with the level of doping he was involved in, his chances of being caught would have greatly increased. He made the Tour his own by turning up doped to the eyeballs, his whole team doped to the eyeballs… Look at all the riders who got caught in the Lance era…. many were ex Lance teammates. They couldn’t perform without doping.

    But he also ingratiated himself into the world of the TdF with Livestrong and the like. I don’t think I was the only one to reach for the sick bag when he gave his yearly “hollywood” speeches. And then there was the bribing… of various kinds…..

    Who knows what Merckx did or didn’t do – whatever he did, it certainly wasn’t on the scale that Lance did. For a start there were far fewer effective products available in the 70s! But Merckx won 7 Milan-San Remos, 3 Paris Roubaix, 3 Paris-Nice… Lance won 0,0 and 0. Mostly because he was at home, out of reach of prying eyes, preparing himself for his yearly onslaught on the only bike race most American fans had heard of.

    Believe it or not, I don’t like all the hatred spewed forth in Lance’s direction either. Strange as that may seem! A few years back, internet forums were swamped with obsessive Lance haters, many accusing him of everything you can think of, some of it way beyond the pale – I wasn’t one of those people, and I stood against some of these pundits.

    But what worries me nowadays is all those former Lance fans who now keep repeating the same old mantra – that Lance was only one rider among hundreds who were all cheating, all on the juice. And that they’re all still doing it. Er… no…. maybe not. It seems the fans who were sure Lance wasn’t doping now think Brad and Froome must be doping – how daft is that? Flawed logic is the right expression I think.

    Since Lance won his 7 TdF’s… I haven’t noticed even one rider winning anything like 7 victories. Seriously, what I have noticed is guys who race all year long, who are clearly fallible and human, who crash, bonk, get dropped, lose with grace, smile openly on the podium and give honest interviews. The sport may in fact have moved on…

    Lance’s cheating was blatant, daring and in it’s way, downright nasty. And not for real fans.

  • Plissken

    it was/is an arms race, all the riders -across the board- were doping, and they still are. it would be utterly naive to think otherwise. its been going on since the inception of cycling as a sport and it will continue for as long as it lasts. this is not and apologia for the behavior of LA, its just an observation of reality.

  • Pokeroots

    uhh he did survive cancer, the big thing that sets him apart from other dopers was that he pretty much got of the hook for getting other dopers in trouble.

  • Pokeroots

    Real cycling fans understand that all the top racers dope. Jacques Anquetil once said “everyone dopes leave me in peace” what he did was no surprise. what happened was all the people who were all like look at this american kicking ass in cycling and being naive enough to think he was clean, it was the US that was going after him for doping no one else was, because they turn a blind eye to most of the top racers because they’d end up with no racers. So I’m sorry that you’re one of those casual fans who was disappointed that he was doping but all real cycling fans already expected that he was doping.

  • David Bassett

    Reading all these comments people going on about Lance wrecking peoples lives. Who’s life was wrecked.
    If you want to see wrecked lives look at people who worked hard and put money into pensions that went belly up by the real bad Ba–ards. They truly wrecked lives. I don’t think Lance has put any one on the bread line.
    And to blame Lance for all the drug taking is a load of cr___ as someone said there has been drugs in the sport for 100 years. Well actually far more, get a copy of the Black Anfielders and see what went on in the record attempts in the Eighteen hundred s on the penny farthings and in the early TdF’s

  • David Bassett

    Yes Merckx had 11gt wins and was sent home from the Giro

  • Daniel Coy

    “don’t have the same level of competition”..? I’m guessing you missed the last few years of Giro and Vuelta coverage bro… On top of u missing out,… The VUELTA’s 3 week courses blow away the TDF in terms of challenge…..

  • lee

    LA’s attitude was wrong but to vilify for the rest, no way.. EVERYONE was on the gear..

  • cageysea

    One need only read the anecdotal accounts of Dr. Hervy Cleckley in his classic work “The Mask of Sanity” to see that Armstrong is cut from the same bolt of cloth as those whom Dr. Cleckley profiles.

  • ian franklin

    Yes, you absolutely understand what a sociopath is: how they behave, how thy destroy others and so on. I know abut this a) because I worked closely with psychiatrists in my professional life and b) a leading psychiatrist in the UK warned me that my ex-wife was a sociopath because at the time I was having immense problems. Later, when I saw Lance’s behaviour I could see exactly the same patterns emerging. That’s when I realised he was on drugs and that his behaviour was the typical sociopathic response. Trying to convince others was an uphill struggle. But then I had experienced it all before. He has had his just deserts although I have some sympathy because the guy has severe mental health problems and was not really in control of his actions. Sorry, difficult to explain in a short post.

  • SonOfaGun

    They were all at it, and not just in cycling, tennis players in that era showed amazing feats of endurance. Armstrong is a Scapegoat for doping in sport, and that is wrong, he is 1% of the problem.

  • Michael

    Speak for yourself Kevin.

    I certainly don’t lie, cover up cheating and bully people in order to fake sporting (or any other) success.

  • Roger

    What is “this”, Rupert?

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    You don’t really get this do you Roger?

  • cageysea

    I’ve heard him just fine. It’s not my fault you don’t recognize clinical sociopathy when you hear it.

  • Roger

    “Probably” doesn’t come into it. If you don’t know the percentage, why make it up? And it’s fatuous to say he was the best, given that he lost all all his TdF victories.

  • Roger

    He didn’t owe those “real cycling fans” anything. There was no contract, promise or commitment of any kind between him and those strangers who considered themselves fans. So I don’t see that he can have cheated them out of or deprived them of anything.

  • Chris Williams

    True

  • Andrew Bairsto

    But unfortunately it would not leave anybody.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    Who were they ?by the way he has and still does raise millions for charity more than any other cyclist who has ever ridden.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    I am afraid it is you who live in a dream world.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    He did not deprive anybody he was the best he did not cheat 200 guys as you put it if you took away drugs you would probably take away 95% of all pro riders.

  • blair houghton

    I’m not an apologist for him in any way. He lied and he cheated. And he has admitted it. You’re just an idiot who can’t admit you didn’t know that. Which means you haven’t been paying attention for about two years. And now you’re all twisted up in your ignorance and your lies about your ignorance.

  • cageysea

    It’s okay to admit you’re an Armstrong apologist. I mean, better that than spinning the truth like, well, Armstrong.

  • Roger

    It’s surely satire.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    He didn’t “only really cheat 200 or so guys” he cheated the whole cycling world. He deprived real cycling fans of 7 Tour de Frances.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    You sir are what we in the UK call a wally.

  • blair houghton

    He accepts responsibility for what he did and for the effect it had. He’s not accepting responsibility for the climate of the sport when he got into it. And he’s not letting people imply he started it or was the only one involved or responsible for everyone else doing it. Your irrational parsing of things he says, some of which you clearly haven’t even watched, is the dishonest part of this.

  • cageysea

    He qualifies everything. Everything out of this man’s mouth comes with a “Yes, but…” Everything is a qualified statement, a qualified admission. That’s not what someone who accepts responsibilities for his actions does.

  • Ourmedia Guy

    Americans grow up with that Super Bowl mentality, the TDF is cyclings Superbowl
    it was only Natural for lance ( 1993 world Road champion) to go for the Big one

  • Nomad

    In his presentation at CU (YouTube video), Armstrong says (if I understand him correctly) that he used PEDs when he won the World Championship. He characterizes the doping scene back then as “low-octane” (e.g., testeterone, HGH, cortisone) and “high-octane” (EPO). Again, if I understand him correctly, he states that he low-octaned doped, but not high-octaned for the Worlds…though he doesn’t specify what he actually used.

    Interestingly, he also says he started taking EPO in the “late spring of 95.” IMO, It didn’t seem to enhance his performance much, though, based on his 36th placing (1 hr 28 min down) at the 95 TDF. Unfortunately, none of students asked him what substances he specifically used for the Worlds. Nor did anyone ask him why the EPO seem to be less effective for him during the 95 season or what program, if any, Ferrari had him on at that time.

    Most of his presentation at CU on this issue can be viewed on YouTube (Lance Armstrong @ CU Pt. 1).

  • hougie

    He was heavier pre cancer though. Became a different rider after that due to power weight ratio.

  • hougie

    There are a litany of riders in the 90s who never got caught. Some of them won multiple tours too.

  • blair houghton

    Um, he may not say those words in exactly that order, but go watch the Oprah interview and just about everything he’s done since, including the video this article is based on. He doesn’t deny at all that he won by doping or that doping is cheating.

  • Bob

    In my business I come across many horrible people for whom its all about the money at the expense of you or fairness. I’ll take Lance any day

  • Mannypacs Molinari

    garbage are always garbage..can recycle but not the same way.

  • Tony Short

    You don’t get it Laszlo do you? The doping is about 1 percent of what he did wrong. He ruined lives, relationships, careers and reputations. If all he did was to take doping to another level then whilst that was bad enough, in the context of pro cycling it’s possible to see some justification. But he went way, way beyond that. He’s just a massive a55hole who can’t understand why he’s in the hole he dug himself. Unfortunately there’s still plenty of fanboys out there willing to look the other way.

  • LaszloZoltan

    THAT I think is a worthy suggestion.

  • LaszloZoltan

    Are you typing from a children’s playground ? I am not a fanboy of anyone- I get it, and I am just stating my view. I dont join bandwagons.

  • LaszloZoltan

    I am not excusing the bad behavior, I am aghast at all the hatred spewing forth on this one individual who, as I pointed out really only cheated against a select group of 200 or so- a number of which his prime opponents cheated as well. I don’t see why folks are getting so bent out of shape over this guy, as though you are a saint in real life.
    Racing was this guys bread and butter- nothing else. He was able to gain very large contracts – guaranteeing a life of exceptional wealth for himself and his family. I would like to think I could have the integrity to forgo such a prospect- but I have to be honest here and state I don’t. I like the competitive edge Lance brought to racing- we didn’t see him knocking others off their bike, or throwing things into their wheels- he just rode their legs off with considerable training and work ethic. I read one year Lance was going to bring Jan onto his team, and at Christmas time while training in the mountains in France he phoned Jan to touch bases. While Lance was training hard in preparation, Jan bragged how much he was eating and drinking….well, that put Jan out of consideration for Lances team.
    I don;t see the point in hating strangers. My back is full of wounds from knives of coworkers and managers- I still go in to my job in as positive disposition i can. I am not going to ruin my day on account of others. When I get on my bike, i dont think about them- I love my ride- the next hill, the next town and where I might go from there. There’s too much hatred in this world- Lance did wrong- but not so much we wouldnt be tempted to if we had his place. Enjoy your day.

  • Del_Varner

    No not crucified–just completely flushed down the memory hole. Ignore him. Don’t ever report on anything he every says again. No picture. No quotes. Let him live out his life in complete obscurity–an UnPerson.

  • Chris Williams

    One good thing about him – plenty of people have got rich from doing books etc of how they had dealings with him. Yes he doped (do not like dopers) but he was not alone – just look to his left on the podium (photo above) and all those still in cycling in different positions – team director, UK cycling advisor etc etc. They all should be told to p–ss off

  • Fieldsprint

    Again, I won’t defend Armstrong’s behavior, but to suggest his palmares is incomplete because he never won the Giro or Vuelta (there is no etc) is silly. Both Coppi and Indurain match Armstong’s 7 GT wins but they include victories in the Vuelta and Giro, which objectively don’t have the same level of competition as the Tour. Even Contador’s 9 GT wins (if you include the 2 he forfeited) only includes 3 TDF victories. Perhaps Merckx (11 GT wins) and Hinault (10 GT wins) have a better case to make but the simple fact is Armstrong’s 7 TDF victories in a row is an unmatched dynasty cycling has never seen before or since.

  • Fieldsprint

    I understand (and agree) with the sentiment, but the reality is doping has existed in cycling for over 100 years. To categorically say “doped wins don’t count” would most likely require the history books to be rewritten if not destroyed altogether. Sad but true.

  • Jay

    He’s singing the same song over and over again, harping about he was treated unfairly.

  • Mark Windsor

    To those of you who haven’t read it, I thoroughly recommend The Program by David Walsh. I started to think that maybe society was being too harsh on Armstrong. The book outlines how much worse he was than most of the other dopers of the era. Emma O’Reilly, Betsy & Frankie Andreu, Greg LeMond, Stephen Swart, Christophe Bassons and Davis Walsh himself to list the main protagonists, all suffered as a consequence of Armstrong’s actions and are a testament to his twisted morals. Not all have had the contrition and sincere apologies they deserve. If you truly want forgiveness then you have to show genuine remorse and ask for it. What of his behaviour since his admission, including letting his partner take the blame for a car crash..?

  • Dave Bloom

    “I was way to aggressive”? Quality journalism once again!

  • SEN 5241

    Go ahead and pander to his persecution complex if you wish, just be careful not to buy in to his attempt to revise history.

  • SEN 5241

    Sycophantic nonsense!

  • Stevie

    I can understand why people despise lance. Yet I’m a little lost when people don’t view other convicted dopers in the same light. All the anger of most fans seems to be aimed at Froome and sky, yet we still have the likes of contador who seems to avoid any backlash for their previous actions.

    Lance got himself into a downwards spiral which I think began with threatening to sue in the hope David Walsh would drop his investigation. Once he had started this process he became more and more consumed by his lies and in doing so started to destroy peoples lives. He cant ever take back what he has done in terms of the damage he caused to other people but this will be settled in court.

  • cageysea

    Wrong. Most people aren’t sociopaths. Most people don’t destroy the lives of others in an effort to maintain a deception. If you truly think what he did is “no different to how many run their everyday lives,” then you need to seek help.

  • Tobe

    long short of it: it was epic. it was an epic time. An Epoch. Never will you see human physiology taken to that extreme. love it, hate it, all of us rode that peleton. As if you would not have?!
    Thanks Lance. It was Super Nova

  • cageysea

    Right, he just wants to clarify. What a joke.

    It’s the sign of a true sociopath that he looks to try and smooth over his wrong-doing and somehow qualify it as being less wrong than it truly was and will forever be.

    He’s a cheat, plain and simple. And yet, you will never hear those words pass over his lips — “I’m a cheat. That’s how I won. I cheated.”

    What a loser. Poster-boy for how not to be and how not to live your life. Zero credibility. Nixon was more trustworthy than Armstrong ever was or could ever be.

  • Duncan Fraser

    A cheat is a cheat. The rest is just detail.

  • Lawrence Beck

    Hey Lance – how about donating some of your money to the guys who chose not to dope and lost out on jobs to you and your buddies?

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    And to this day there are fanboys out there who still don’t get it.

  • Howmanyjackos

    Perhaps an apology would go further than trying to justify your cheating?

  • leica

    So much this.

  • leica

    Lance ruined careers and lives. That’s bad. Madoff, Belfort and the rest, were heinous as well. I don’t really want to choose which ones I decry. Honour good people and shame all the thieves and bullies and narcissists on such large scales.

  • Tony Short

    I want the Bernie Madoffs of this world to get what’s coming to them, same as the Lance Armstrongs. Just cos there’s always a bigger a55hole doesn’t excuse bad behaviour by anyone.

  • Tony Short

    I don’t know too many ordinary people who ruin careers, reputations or use their vast wealth to drag ordinary folk through the courts for telling the truth, all the while hiding behind being a heroic fund raiser and all round great guy. Maybe we move in different circles Kevin?

  • Kevin Welsh

    Well put.

  • Kevin Welsh

    How does that make him any different to any other human being? This is no different to how many run their everyday lives.

  • LaszloZoltan

    reading all the vitriol against him, I have to wonder if those folks would perhaps prefer to see Lance crucified. While Bernie Madoff, Jordan Belfort etc. disappeared billion$ of lifetime earnings and savings, warlords and dictators ravaged millions, poverty, hunger and disease affected billions more- we have one single man, who competed against a select two-hundred or so individuals, and with the use of doping (for which was not by any account, alone) won.
    I mean, put things in perspective- get on your bike, enjoy a good ride and make the most of your life.

  • Hugh Mongous

    Yes you did.

  • J Evans

    His sole purpose is to attempt to re-establish his legacy.
    He can never do that.
    Stop reporting anything on him.
    I didn’t read the article.

  • Andrew Bairsto

    So he doped not much different to any other tour winner what makes him different the powers that be decided to catch him they do occasionally .

  • Jeff

    He never won another Grand Tour( Italy, Spain, etc), rode sporadically(Event wise), accused others of cheating and simply destroyed anyone(their careers and personally ) who accused him of cheating,
    I’m one Texan who’s ashamed he’s associated with my home State.

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    I never knew Lance was such an expert on doping! “High octane” eh? Fancy that, you learn something new every day.

    If my memory serves me correctly, actually Lance and his cronies did just turn up and win the Tour every year – 7 years on the trot – reducing the greatest sporting event on the planet into an utterly predictable snore-fest. Unless of course you’d hardly watched any cycling before and enjoyed his crushing superiority.

    Hey Lance, you never won the Paris-Roubaix, or the Milan-San Remo, or the Lombardia……. in fact virtually all you did was turn up every year and win the Tour de France. Oh hang on, I’ve said that already.

    Lance – you did wrong. Okay?

  • Susanne

    I think he makes a good point about the culture at the time, and I’m sure he does feel especially singled out. However, I hope, for his children’s sake if no other, that his takeaway from all of this will eventually be more than he states so simply: “That’s really the lesson for me in all of this. I was way to (sic) aggressive.” There are so many more lessons in this, Lance. Try to find them.

  • David_C_Brayton

    I might be able to forgive him for the use of dope. But, when David Walsh told the truth about Lance and Lance sued and took a million dollars from someone that was just doing his job….The moral depravity of that concerted action is flabbergasting.

  • Alan_Peery

    Considering witness testimony that Lance had been doping *before* the cancer treatment in 1996 as admitted to his cancer doctor, that puts victories in your list in doubt. To pick a specific one, La Flèche Wallonne is typically run in April, so if Lance was admitting to doping at his treatment in Oct 1996, the Flèche win in April was very likely a contaminated win.

    Doped wins don’t count.

  • Fieldsprint

    I’m no Armstrong apologist but to discredit his achievements (doping aside) outside of the Tour de France is rather disingenuous. Most professionals would be quite happy to own his palmares even without the Tour victories. Armstrong won the Tour of Switzerland, Dauphine (2x), Midi Libre, Tour of Georgia, GP des Nations plus a host of stages in other races, not to mention picking up La Flèche Wallonne, San Sebastian, Tour Du Pont (2x), Trofeo Laigueglia, and the World Championships pre-cancer. Not exactly a one-trick pony.

  • Tony Short

    He still doesn’t get it. People might have forgiven him the drugs given that everyone else was pretty much at it, but it was the lies, the cover ups, the court cases, the bullying and ruining of many good and ordinary people that set him apart. I don’t see any genuine remorse for that so he’s getting what’s due to him. I hope he winds up broke.

  • Pete Berryman

    Sorry, but relative to many of his contemporaries, who were competing across the whole circuit (all the Classics, Tours, etc), Armstrong concentrated on the Tour De France…. yes, he put in the training hours, but they were spent targetting the Tour stages, so to all intents he did just turn up. It was this single-minded focus on the ‘big prize’ by one single competitor that used to annoy me more than the ongoing rumours about drug-taking.