Armstrong 'won't change a thing'

LOS ANGELES • Disgraced former cyclist Lance Armstrong has insisted that he has no regrets about the doping that led to him being stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles.

The American, once a hero to millions after overcoming testicular cancer to win the Tour de France, suffered a spectacular fall from grace that cost him millions of dollars in lawsuits and endorsements.

All of his titles from 1999 to 2005 were also vacated by the International Cycling Union six years ago.

But, in excerpts of an interview with American broadcaster NBC Sports that will air on Wednesday, he said: "I wouldn't change the way I acted.

"Primarily, I wouldn't change the lessons that I've learnt.

"I don't learn all the lessons if I don't act that way. I don't get investigated and sanctioned if I don't act the way I acted.

"If I just doped and didn't say a thing, none of that would have happened. None of it. I was begging for, I was asking for them to come after me. It was an easy target."

He has largely been shunned by the international cycling world since being exposed as a doping cheat.

He was issued with a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) in 2012.

Having denied the doping allegations for years, Armstrong eventually made a public confession in a TV interview with American chat show host Oprah Winfrey in 2013.

But he defended the doping as "doing what we had to do to win".

The 47-year-old added: "It wasn't legal, but I wouldn't change a thing: whether it's losing a bunch of money, going from hero to zero."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'Armstrong 'won't change a thing''. Print Edition | Subscribe