In a highly anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong came clean about his use of performance enhancing drugs–including EPO, blood doping, and more drugs like cortisone–throughout his vaunted Tour de France victories. He said he did not believe it was possible to win the Tour de France seven times without doping. “I will start my answer by saying this is too late,” he said of his admission. “It’s too late for probably most people and that’s my fault. I view this situation as one big lie I repeated a lot of times.” Armstrong said he began doping in the mid-’90s. He said the last time he doped was in 2005.
The interview, which was conducted on Monday, aired only hours after Armstrong was officially stripped of his bronze medal by the IOC and months after a release of documents by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency painted him as a serial doper who manipulated and threatened his friends, teammates, and competitors.
Immediately on Twitter, reporters, cycling fans, and people just watching it because it was on Oprah reacted to Armstrong’s confession. One line that seemed to stand out with numerous sports reporters was Armstrong’s assertion that the doping program was not the biggest in sports history.
Armstrong says it wasn’t bigger than East Germany’s program. He’s right there.
— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) January 18, 2013
Armstrong: my doping wasn’t as bad as what the East Germans did in the 80s.That’s so re-assuring.
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) January 18, 2013
“I’m out of the business of calling someone a liar.” – Lance Armstrong.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) January 18, 2013
Others weren’t impressed or buying it–something Armstrong admitted that he knew would happen.
— Neal Mann (@fieldproducer) January 18, 2013
it takes a really special person to have gone after people with that vitriol up to months ago and be like this now. wow. many masks
— David Epstein (@SIDavidEpstein) January 18, 2013
But do you think the interview will be enough to control the massive damage that Armstrong has done to his brand? Will it be enough to undo any harm he’s done to Livestrong? Read what the experts say here or tell us your own thoughts. And for more on the start of Livestrong click here.
[Photo by Flickr user Aspen/Snowmass]