Lance Armstrong confesses to doping
Lance Armstrong finally confessed to using performance enhancing drugs during his cycling career on Thursday, admitting he cheated to win all seven of his Tour de France titles.
he denied several of the other accusations that have been made against him.
He rejected suggestions he failed a doping test at the 2001 Tour Of Switzerland then paid off the International Cycling Union (UCI) and doping officials to cover up the result.
“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,” he claimed.
Armstrong said he thought he had got away with it when he retired for good in 2011 but his downfall was triggered by a two-year federal investigation that was dropped but led to the USADA probe.
USADA boss Travis Tygart said Armstrong still had some way to go if he wanted to make amends.
“Tonight, Lance Armstrong finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit,” Tygart said in a statement.
“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.”
Armstrong has already been banned for life, stripped of his all race wins and dumped by his sponsors but his problems are far from over.
“I thought I was out of the woods,” he said.
“I just assumed the stories would continue for a long time. We’re sitting here because there was a two-year federal criminal investigation.”
On Thursday, hours before the interview went to air, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped him of the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Games.
And as a result of his confession, the 41-year-old Texan now faces the prospect of various legal challenges and orders to repay some of the million of dollars he earned from his success.
Legal experts said that while Armstrong was unlikely to face criminal exposure, his admission would make it more difficult to defend against civil lawsuits, including a federal whistleblower claim filed by former team mate Floyd Landis.
“There are lawyers across the country representing various interests who are recording that interview,” said Matt Orwig, a former federal prosecutor now with the law firm Jones Day.
“From a legal perspective, his issues are becoming more difficult, not less.”