By Neil James: The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has called on disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to reveal the full details into his use of performance-enhancing drugs following his much-publicised interview with Oprah Winfrey where he confessed that he abused his position.
After denying being a user for years, the USADA wants Armstrong to come clean with the full extent of using performance-enhancing drugs while under oath. The 41-year-old told the American chat show host that he was doping during his years of seven successive Tour De France wins from 1999-2005.
After tonight’s part one of the interview where he announced whatever already knew, that he was a drugs user. USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said in a statement: “Tonight, Lance Armstrong finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit.
“His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction. But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
His confession came after USADA investigation where Armstrong was implicated as a lead figure in what has been called “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”.
The Texan insisted that had he not made that comeback to the sport, he was confident he would have got away with doping.
Armstrong knew it was over when long-time friend George Hincapie testified against him.
Armstrong hinted he now would be keen to co-operate with anti-doping officials and back a truth and reconciliation process.
Armstrong added in the interview:
“Why now? That’s the most logical question. I don’t know that I have a great answer. This is too late.”
“I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times. I know the truth – the truth isn’t what was out there or what I said.”
“This story was so perfect for so long. You overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times – it was this mythic, perfect story, and it wasn’t true.”
“It [the US Postal Service doping programme] was definitely professional and it was definitely smart, but it was very conservative, very risk-averse, very aware of what mattered – and winning races mattered for me. But to say that programme was bigger than the East German doping programme of 1970s and 1980s [is wrong].”
“The accusation and the alleged proof that they say that I doped after my comeback [in 2009] is not true. The last time I crossed that line [doping] was 2005.”
“Yeah, I was a bully. I was a bully in the sense that I tried to control the narrative and if I didn’t like what somebody said, I tried to control that. I was just trying to perpetuate the story and hide the truth.”
“It’s hard to talk about these things and not mention names, but there are other people in this story. There are people who are not monsters and toxic and evil, and I viewed Michele Ferrari as a good man and a smart man, and I still do.”
“I deserve this. I don’t look around and say ‘Oprah, I am getting so screwed here’. Were there days early on when I said that? Absolutely, but those days are fewer and fewer and further and further in between.”
“The issue of performance-enhancing drugs was ‘we’re going to pump up our tyres and we’re going to put water in our bottles, and oh yeah, that too is going to happen’.”
“I went and looked up the definition of cheat, and the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe, but I didn’t view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field.”
“I am not a UCI fan. I have every incentive to sit here and tell you ‘Yes, that’s right, they are all crooked’. There were a lot of things that were shady – that [the 2002 donation] was not one of them. They didn’t have a lot of money, I was retired, I had money, they said ‘Would you consider a donation?’ and I said ‘Sure’. This is impossible for me to answer this question and have anybody believe it – it was not in exchange for any cover-up.”
“Emma O’Reilly is one of these people that I have to apologise to. She is one of these people that got run over, got bullied. To be honest, Oprah, we sued so many people I don’t know, but I am sure we did sue Emma O’Reilly.”
“Suing people was a major flaw. It was a guy who expected to get whatever he wanted and to control every outcome. It’s inexcusable. There are people who will never forgive – I understand that.”
“I didn’t invent the [doping] culture, but I didn’t try to stop the culture. That’s my mistake.”
“It’s not my place to say ‘Hey guys, let’s clean up cycling’, but if there was a truth and reconciliation commission, and I’m invited, I’ll be the first man in the door.”
“I regret coming back. We wouldn’t be sitting here if I didn’t come back.”
“I didn’t fail a test. Stuff was retroactively tested, and I failed those, but the hundreds of tests that I took, I passed them because there was nothing in my system.”