The Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey aired Thursday night (Jan. 17) on OWN, beginning with a montage detailing Armstrong’s story — the titles, the denials of doping, the lawsuits and finally USADA banning him from cycling.
When the interview started, Oprah reiterated that he said it could be “no holds barred, no conditions, an open field.”
Then she posed a series of yes/no questions:
Did he use banned substances? Did he use EPO (erythropoietin)? Did he blood dope? Did he use testosterone or human growth hormone? Did he use them for all seven victories at the Tour de France?
Armstrong answered yes to all of those questions. The only question to which the answer was no was if he thought it was possible to win seven times in a row at the Tour de France without using banned substances.
Oprah’s first big question is, “Why now?” Why come clean now after all the lying for so many years tha the was clean? Armstrong says (edited for length):
“I don’t know that I have a great answer. This is too late. It’s too late for probably most people. That’s my fault. I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times. As you said, it wasn’t as if I just said no and moved off it.
While I’ve lived through this process, especially the last two years, I know the truth. The truth isn’t what was out there, the truth isn’t what I said. Now it’s gone — this story was so perfect for so long … this mythic, perfect story and it wasn’t true.
Behind that story was momentum. It just gets going and I lost myself in all that. I certainly couldn’t handle it
I didn’t invent the culture, but I didn’t try to stop the culture. And that was my mistake. The sport is now paying the price and I am sorry for that … I didn’t have access to anything else that nobody else did.”