The two-part interview of Oprah Winfrey with Lance Armstrong sparked a lot of different reactions. Some were angered, others were sympathetic. There were people saying the interview would cost him all his remaining fortune; there were those who were dissatisfied as the cyclist refused to mention names and evade some questions by giving a generic answer.
As expected, one of the highlights of the interview is when Armstrong finally admitted to doping. He admitted taking banned substances to enhance his cycling performance — among those drugs include EPO, testosterone, cortisone, and human growth hormone. Worst, he didn’t feel that doing so was wrong or bad, as he aptly puts it. These confessions are easy to believe, but what about his claim that he didn’t fail a drug test?
In the interview, Oprah asked: “You said dozens of times in interviews you never failed a test. Do you have a different answer today?” To which, Armstrong replied by saying “No I didn’t fail a test. Retroactively, I failed one. The hundreds of tests I took, I passed them. There was retroactive stuff later on.”
Oprah pressed on the issue and referred to the 2001 Tour de Suisse, but Armstrong held his stand and said, “That story isn’t true. There was no positive test. No paying off of the lab. The UCI did not make that go away. I’m no fan of the UCI.”
Another statement of Armstrong that is probably unbelievable for many of those who watched the interview is when he said he stopped using banned substances after 2005. That his winning in 2009 happened without the help of performance enhancing drugs, not even blood transfusions.
Armstrong also denied USADA claims that he threatened to kick a former team mate who refused to conform to the doping program. Finally, he contradicted the claim (of Travis Tygart) that he tried to pay off USADA.
So, is Lance Armstrong telling the truth this time? Did he truthfully clue us in to his sports doping story?