Not doping a big lie that I repeated a lot of times admits Lance Armstrong
'I did not invent the culture (drug culture) but I did not try to stop that culture. That's my mistake and the sport is paying the price for it,' disgraced Lance Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey, and admitted to the use of drugs in the interview. It was for the first time that he came out in the open and admitted that he used performance enhancing drugs during his seven Tour De France titles.
Lance had been using drugs since the mid 90s. Surprisingly, he was very defiant about the non-use of performance enhancing drugs whenever he was asked about it. Lance was so confident when he talked about it that even the media thought he was right but Oprah's interview has changed it all. He said, “It is too late (to admit about usage of drugs).” This brings into light the defiant nature of the person as well. He also said, “I view this as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times.”
“The truth was not what I said (during the time),” said the US cyclist. In his illustrious career, he has called many a people liars stating that he never used drugs, which includes team mates, doctors, and supported documents, etc. When asked if he was afraid of getting caught he replied confidently “No.” Earlier, drug tests were conducted only during races, but things have changed now with tests being conducted out of competition as well, which increases the chances of getting caught. He also added, “You are not going to get caught, because you were clean at races.”
He was someone who hated losing. It was this attitude of his “ruthless desire to win – win at all cost,” which led him to have such a defiant attitude. “I did not feel wrong at the time. It was scary.” Even when there were number of instances when documents supported that he had used drugs, he remained defiant. He was also leveled as a drug cheater, cheater by many sections of the sport and the media as well. He said in the interview, “I heard I am a drug cheat, cheater. I looked for the definition of a cheat – it is to gain an advantage over foe. I viewed it as a level playing field.”
He had always also maintained that he never failed any test - hence questioning the evidence in protest. When asked whether he had never failed the test, he maintained, “I did not fail the test, but retroactively, I failed those test. But, the 100s and 100s of test I took, I passed them. There was nothing in the system.”
But when things were looking better, there was a another cyclist, Floyd Landis who was banned from the sport admitted his doping in 2009 and also alleged that Lance Armstrong had doped. He admitted that he had seen Lance doping with his own eyes. This caught the attention of the entire world, when some were gradually thinking that the cyclist was clean and innocent. It was the tipping point in the Lance's drug abuse episode.
Landis had even sent messages to Armstrong threatening he had recorded videos and would put up on YouTube. Lance replied to him, “Do what you want to do.” The person who made a comeback in 2008 was asked if he regretted about the comeback, he said, “I do, we would not have been sitting here (admitting about the drug abuse).” He also admitted that there was better chances of escaping it, if he did not make a come back. The Department of Justice launched allegations but in February 2012 the Federal prosecutor dropped the case without any explanation. At this juncture, “I thought, I was out of the woods.”
The United States Anti-Doping agency took a serious look into the issue and was charged for possession, trafficking and using banned substances. Afer USADA got further evidence to prove that the person had used drugs, they decided to strip him of the seven Tour De France titles and also got him banned for life. Still, he was defiant about it unless Oprah conducted the interview, where he opened the Pandora box to amaze his fans all over the world.
“I see the anger in the people and betrayal and it is all there. Those people who supported me believed what I was saying. They have every right to feel betrayed. Its my fault. I will spend the rest of my life to earn back the trust and apologise to the rest of the people,” Armstrong told Oprah. But he might not be able to do so in this life span, as there are a number of people whom he has betrayed, called them liars, even a whore. They have been hurt by his false allegations repeatedly.
With this revelation, it is the sport, which is going to take a big hit and one might even see cycling being ousted from the list of Olympic sports. How worse can things get? This is just the start, as Lance Armstrong has opened the Pandora box of drug usage in sports, primarily cycling and its occurrence in the circuit dating back for many a years.