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SPORTS

Armstrong apologises after admitting doping

SPORTS By - | January 19th 2013

Lance Armstrong has ended years of denials by admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France wins.

The 41-year-old confessed during his interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey in front of a worldwide television audience.

"I view this situation as one big lie I repeated a lot of times," he said. "I made those decisions, they were my mistake and I'm here to say sorry."

However the American denied it was "sport's biggest doping programme", saying "it was smart, but it was conservative, risk averse".

The interview with Winfrey, 58, was broadcast on prime time television on her OWN network in America, and was streamed worldwide through her website.

The tens of millions watching saw Armstrong reveal:

  • he took performance-enhancing drugs in each of his Tour wins from 1999-2005
  • doping was "part of the process required to win the Tour"
  • he did not feel he was cheating at the time and viewed it as a "level playing field"
  • he did not fear getting caught
  • "all the fault and blame" should lie with him
  • he was a bully who "turned on" people he did not like
  • his cancer fight in the mid-1990s gave him a "win-at-all costs" attitude
  • he would now co-operate with official inquiries into doping in cycling

In response the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) called for Armstrong to detail "under oath" the full extent of his doping.

Cycling's governing body the UCI welcomed Armstrong's decision "to come clean and confess", and said the interview had confirmed it was not part of a "collusion or conspiracy".

Last year Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles after being labelled a "serial cheat" by Usada.

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