Thanks, Ben Davis. It looks like we're going live on OWN. Enjoy folks.
Opening with video clips of years of denials
Cue dramatic intro montage.
Back in 1857 Herman Melville wrote: “Hope is proportional to confidence. How much confidence you give me, so much hope do I give you.” Many of Armstrong’s followers put confidence in him and gained hope in return. Tonight it will be fascinating to see how he balances his own unmasking with an attempt to rebuild the public’s faith.
Lance agrees no-holds barred is best for both of us. First Q: "Did you ever take banned substances"? Answer: Yes.
We're getting started quick here: EPO, blood doping, cortisone, steroids in all 7 Tour wins.
This is like a recreation of the infamous Andreu hospital conversation.
Answer is yes to all doping questions; LA says it was not possible to win TDF without doping. First cortisone, then EPO in mid-90s.
Armstrong admits starting to dope in mid-90s.
"This is too late." --
Why admit now? LA: "I don't know that I have a great answer. This is too late for probably most people. That's my fault."
That's as strong a start as any PR advisor could ask for.
LA: "I view this situation as one big lie. While I have lived through this process, especially last 2-3 months. I know the truth, and it's not what I said. This story was so perfect for so long. Overcome disease. Win TDF seven times."
"All the blame lies on me. I lost myself in all the momentum. I'm sure there were others who couldn't handle it. I was used to controlling everything in my life. This story is so bad, and so toxic, and a lot of it is true. I didn't invent the [doping] culture, but I didn't try to stop it, either. And now the sport is paying the price, and I'm sorry for that."
Armstrong acknowledges that the sport is paying for his doping and the doping culture he refused to speak out against.
LA: "I didn't have access to anything that anyone else didn't have."
LA describes USPS doping program as "Conservative. Risk averse. Only one race really mattered to me."
Mark, today was the deadline for the feds to join Floyd Landis' whistleblower suit against Thomas Weisel, Armstrong and others. Do you have an update on that case's status?
Big: “I didn’t invent the culture but I didn’t try to stop the culture. That’s my mistake.”
Armstrong calling "the choads" heros.
"I'm out of the business of lying."
LA: "I'm out of the business of calling someone a liar", but it's "not true" that USPS riders were forced to dope
In five words, all "yes," Armstrong said more than he ever has.
The docket for the False Claims Act that Floyd Landis has brought still is sealed; I just checked a few minutes ago. So, it is impossible to tell whether the Government has decided to take over the case or not. The Government can ask the court for additional time to make its decision. Given that there have been rumors that Armstrong has been discussing settlement, the Government may want additional time to see if a deal can be reached..
come on. He didn't read the book? COME ON!
Winfrey asks Armstrong to "walk me through it?" Here we go.
LA, asked about Hamilton's claims of injecting EPO in team bus right outside of throngs of fans: "I didn't read Tyler's book"
"My cocktail, so to speak, was EPO (not a lot), blood transfusions and testosterone."
As this interview proceeds you can start to see the rules that Lance and his team are operating under. He is going to do his best to never criticize anyone else or question the truth others have presented. He'll say "from my perspective, in my memory, etc." He'll do his best not to call anyone else a liar.
15 minutes in, I'm floored. Lance is talking more than I ever dreamed he would. He's tiptoeing around the truth, in instances, but he's laying it out there, too.