Lance Armstrong has admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he took banned substances during all seven of his Tour de France victories. Armstrong's admission came at the beginning of the much-anticipated interview with the talk show host, which went to air Thursday night.
Armstrong — who was stripped of his last major title overnight, with the International Olympic Committee sending him a letter asking him to return his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics — admitted he took EPO, used blood doping and took human growth hormone and testosterone throughout his career.
He said his repeated denials of doping were "one big lie":
"All the fault and all the blame here falls on me. I didn't invent the [doping] culture, but I didn't do anything to stop the culture."
ESPN published a number of Armstrong's answers to Winfrey's questions on its website, including:
Oprah: Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?
Oprah: Was one of those banned substances EPO?
Oprah: Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?
Oprah: Did you ever use any other banned substance like testosterone, cortisone or human growth hormone?
Oprah: In all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?
Oprah: In your opinion, was it humanly possible to win the Tour de France without doping? Seven times in a row?
Armstrong: Not in my opinion.
Oprah: For 13 years you didn't just deny it, you brazenly and defiantly denied everything you just admitted just now. So why now admit it?
Armstrong: That is the best question. It's the most logical question. ... I don't know that I have a great answer. I will start my answer by saying that this is too late. It's too late for probably most people, and that's my fault. I viewed this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times, and as you said, it wasn't as if I just said no and I moved off it.
The interview, broadcast on the Oprah Winfrey Network, was conducted Monday in Austin, Texas.
The second part will air Friday night.