Friday 26 December 2014

Video: Lance Armstrong admits doping in all seven Tour wins

Published 18/01/2013 | 06:19

Lance Armstrong has admitted using banned substances during his cycling career, claiming in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that it would have been impossible to win his seven Tour de France titles without using drugs.

Despite admitting he was part of “one big lie”, the 41-year-old said he did not feel he was cheating at the time because he not believe he was gaining an advantage over anyone because doping was so common among his rivals.

Armstrong, who has been banned for life and stripped of his titles after the US Anti-doping Agency (Usada) found him guilty of doping, claimed that doping was so common in cycling that it was "like saying we have to have air in our tyres, we have to have water in our bottles."

While admitting using several banned substances, Armstrong denied being a cheat. He said: “I looked up the definition of cheating and the definition is ‘to gain an advantage on a rival or foe’. I did not view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field.”

Armstrong began the much-anticipated 90 minute interview by immediately admitting that he has used performance enhancing drugs since the mid 1990s and that he was under the influence of them during all seven of his Tour wins.

He admitted using Erythropoietin, a blood booster, and steroids as well as blood doping and human growth hormones. He also admitted using testosterone, something which he attempted to justify by citing the fact that, as a testicular cancer survivor, he assumed “surely I’m running low”.

It marks the first time, after 13 years of brazen denial, that Armstrong has admitted using banned substances. He said: “This [admission] is too late. It is too late for probably most people and that is my fault.”

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