News: Lance Armstrong Admits to Doping – Reactions

News

Lance Armstrong admitted to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey last night. During a quick fire line of questioning to open up the interview, Armstrong answered “Yes” to using banned substances, EPO, blood doping, testosterone, cortisone, and human growth hormones during all seven of his Tour de France wins.

It was an admission that was expected and widely confirmed before the interview even aired, but was still a dramatic admission. Armstrong who had denied using any performance enhancing drugs throughout his career had finally confessed and come clean. The interview was taped earlier this week on Monday at a Four Seasons hotel in Austin. The special was originally scheduled to air in one night, but was expanded to two nights after the interview in an effort to air as much of the interview as possible. Part 2 airs tonight on OWN and will be live streamed on their website.

Here are how some have reacted to Part 1 of the interview and the the Armstrong admission.

Betsy Andreu – Wife of former teammate Frankie Andreu

Immediately after the airing, Betsy Andreu appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper and was “furious” that Armstrong dropped the ball on not addressing the infamous incident at an Indiana Hospital. “He could have come clean, he owed it to me, he owed it to the sport that he destroyed. The hospital is where it all started. If he wants a shot of redemption here, he’s dropping the ball.”

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Travis Tygart – USADA Chief

In a released statement said: “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.”

Pat McQuaid – UCI President

In a released statement said: The UCI welcomes Lance Armstrong’s decision finally to come clean and to confess to using performance-enhancing drugs, in the first part of his interview with Oprah Winfrey. We note that Lance Armstrong expressed a wish to participate in a truth and reconciliation process, which we would welcome.”

Emma O’Reilley – Former masseuse who spoke out about USPS doping and later sued

In an interview with British television channel ITV: “I had only ever spoken about it because I hated seeing what some of the riders were going through, because not all the riders were as comfortable with cheating as Lance was. And you could see when he went over to the ‘dark side’ personalities change – and it was an awful shame.”

Eddy Merckx – Retired cyclist and former winner of a 34 Tour de France stages

In an interview with Le Soir: “He admitted it and it’s difficult to hear. I was quite close to him and he often looked me right in the eyes when we discussed doping and obviously he said ‘no’. Since the USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) published their report, I well imagined that things would go badly for him. My disappointment was already huge at the time but it is even more so now”

Paul Kimmage – Journalist and former rider

In an interview with RTE: “I don’t know whether he wants to leverage that (his admission of guilt) against something else, whether he’s trying to cut a deal that would enable him to compete in triathlons and that. If he’s genuine about it he’ll be knocking on Travis Tygert’s door today and saying ‘Okay, I will testify under oath, I want to do this sport a service, I’ve caused it terrible damage’.”

David Walsh – Journalist and author Co-Author of “LA Confidential

In an interview with the BBC: “The Sunday Times will be looking for around $2 million back from Armstrong, he should pay that back now straight up, no questions, because the Sunday Times were the one newspaper at that time asking the right questions. The Sunday Times are saying now: ‘Lance, you admit you doped, give us our money back, do the fair thing, if you don’t do the fair thing we will go all the way to get our money back’.”

Pierre Ballester – Co-author of “LA Confidential”

In an interview with Reuters TV: “It is unimaginable to think that there was a generalised system of doping in his team without the help or involvement of other institutions or protagonists. So he benefited from protection. He didn’t reveal them. I think that all this was negotiated ahead of this Hollywood show to protect his back and possibly to save his foundation.”

Nicole Cooke – Retired cyclist and British 2008 Olympic road race champion

In an interview with the BBC: “Lance Armstrong was living in his own horrible world. He’s got no morals and he’s a disgusting human being. The sad thing is there were clean riders who had livelihoods and careers stolen from them by Lance and we’re probably not going to see those people vindicated in any way through this.”

Stuart O’Grady – Cyclist and former Tour de France stage winner

When asked by reporters had this to say: “Lance deceived everybody on the planet, us included. Obviously we all wanted to believe also he was winning the Tours clean. We are all athletes suffering through the mountains and you’d like to think that he was just training harder and working harder than we all were. But now it’s all come out, (I am) deceived, annoyed, frustrated.”

Christian Prudhomme – Current Director of the Tour de France

In an interview with the AFP: “We have to know more about it, to get to the bottom of things in such a way that it can’t happen again. We were given a calculated public relations exercise with clearly rehearsed answers. You can’t dope as he did over the years without help. We (the Tour de France) have long said that a rider shouldn’t be the only one to pay the price.”

Piers Morgan – Talk show host and former newspaper editor

Posted on Twitter: “What a snivelling, lying, cheating little wretch @lancearmstrong revealed himself to be tonight. I hope he now just disappears.”

About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.


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  • Dave C says:

    Lance said to Oprah he did not think it was wrong or illegal to doping back then. If he didn’t then why did Lance and his team try a wide range of techniques to beat the sport’s drug-testing? He should of said he knew it was wrong but to compete in a sport that everyone was doping he had to do the same to stay competitive.

  • Mike Arnold says:

    I think he did say that…..But he did say well everyone else was doing it…He just stated on his own doing…that he thought that what was going on and he did it to stay on a level playing field. He never said or ratted anyone else out on doping but just said about his own accounts.

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