Armstrong says he deserves to be punished

Beijing:  Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong said in an interview to Oprah Winfrey that he wants to "compete again".

Armstrong, in the explosive interview aired ON Friday, finally admitted that he had taken performance enhancing drugs during his racing days.

"Hell, yes. I'm a competitor. It's what I've done my whole life. I love to train. I love to race," Armstrong told talk show host Oprah.

"Not the Tour de France, but there's a lot of other things I could do. I deserve to be punished. I'm not sure that I deserve a death penalty."

AP

The seven-time Tour de France winner turned emotional when he talked about his 13-year-old son, Luke, who vehemently defended him against allegations from anti-doping authorities.

"I saw my son defending me and saying: 'That's not true. What you're saying about my dad is not true'," Armstrong told Oprah.

"That's when I knew I had to tell him."

"What did you say?" she asked.

"I said: 'Listen, there's been a lot of questions about your dad. My career. Whether I doped or did not dope. I've always denied that and I've always been ruthless and defiant about that. You guys have seen that. That's probably why you trusted me on it.' Which makes it even sicker," Armstrong said.

"And uh, I told Luke, I said: 'Don't defend me anymore. Don't.'

"He said OK. He just said: 'Look, I love you. You're my dad. This won't change that'."

Armstrong admitted that his ex-wife, Kristin, knew both the doping and lying and had asked him to stop.

Armstrong promised to Kristin that his comeback in 2009 would be drug-free.

"She said to me: 'You can do it under one condition: That you never cross that line again,'" Armstrong said.

Armstrong estimated that the doping scandal had cost him about $75 million in lost commercial opportunities and sponsorships.

IANS