Source Says Former Cycling Champ Armstrong Admits to “Doping”
It looks like former cycling superstar Lance Armstrong has finally come clean.
On Monday, in a taped interview with Oprah Winfrey, the former seven-time winner of the sport’s biggest race – the Tour de France — admitted to “doping,” a source told the Associated Press.
In other words, he admitted to cheating, by using performance-enhancing drugs in order to help him win.
“It was just the way the game was played at the time,” Armstrong said in a separate conversation, according to NBC News.
NBC also reported that Armstrong claimed everyone was doping while he was racing, “so it was a level playing field.”
Last year, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) stripped Armstrong of all seven of his Tour de France victories – and banned him from the sport of cycling for life.
He was also banned from all other Olympic sports, according to published reports.
Up to now, Armstrong has consistently and forcefully denied ever doping or cheating.
People familiar with his story say he might be confessing now in an effort to get the lifetime ban lifted.
There are also reports that he might testify in court cases against other people in the cycling world who’ve allegedly been involved in doping.
But it might be too little, too late.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the United States Justice Department is deciding whether to go after Armstrong for allegedly defrauding the U.S. Postal Service.
(“Defraud” means to take money from someone under false pretenses – in other words, while lying.)
As a sponsor, the postal service paid Armstrong and his cycling team approximately $30 million over the years, according to published reports.
However, according to the Journal, the sponsorship contract specifically prohibited Armstrong and his team from using performance-enhancing drugs.
So there’s a chance that Armstrong might have to pay the money back – plus millions more in damages.
Before the interview with Oprah, Armstrong reportedly stopped by the Austin, Texas, headquarters of Livestrong – the charity he founded to help fellow cancer survivors.
According to published reports, Armstrong made an emotional apology there – but not for cheating or doping.
The New York Times says that Armstrong only apologized for letting the organization down and “putting so much stress” on it.
“He choked up for a moment,” a Livestrong spokesperson told the Times.
But despite all the controversy swirling around him, “We were glad to see him,” she said.
Lance Armstrong hasn’t lost all of his friends.
But the allegations against him have cost him his good reputation.
And confession or no confession, that might be gone forever.