Lance Armstrong Says He Would Not Have Won Tour De France Without Doping

The 100th Tour de France starts tomorrow and, ahead of it, former cyclist Lance Armstrong has given an interview to French newspaper Le Monde. In it, while not quite extolling the virtues of doping, the U.S. sportsman claims that people have taken performance-enhancing substances for thousands of years, and would continue to take them.

Tell that to Pheidippides.

The Austin, Texas resident continues to see himself as a victim. “I didn’t invent doping,” he told the paper, one of the media outlets blacklisted by his team during his years of taking the endurance drug erythropoietin.

“And it didn’t stop when I stopped. I simply participated in a system. I am a human being. Doping has existed since antiquity and will always carry on.” The unfolding, piece by piece, of the scandal had ruined the life of one man, he said, but had not benefitted cycling one bit.

Armstrong also revealed a typical day in his life:

“I get up, I drink coffee, I read the paper, I have breakfast, I go out on my bike and train. I come home, I have lunch with the kids, then I spend the rest of the day in meetings, playing golf or in the park with the kids. And about 5pm, I open a nice cold beer and I think.”

In January, the disgraced sportsman appeared on Oprah Winfrey to confess that he had been a serial user of EPO, which sports journalists had known for years. In the ensuing fallout, he was dumped by Nike, stripped of his Olympic medal, and even pursued through the courts by Spain’s anti-doping agency and the U.S. Justice Department.

You can hear Fast Company’s exclusive Lance Armstrong tapes here.AD