Oprah thanks Armstrong for talking to her. And it’s over. Did he say enough? Did he say anything at all? Was this even a confession?
0831 IST: What’s the moral to the story?
Oprah: Whats the moral to the story?
Armstrong: I don’t know…Cheating…bullying people. We’re not supposed to do those things. Of course. That’s what we teach our children…
Armstrong (continues): There’s another moral to this story. For me, it’s about that ride and about losing myself and getting caught up in that. Doing things along the way that let me do that.
Oprah: You know what I hope moral the story is what Kristin that taught you in 2009 ‘the truth will set you free’.
0829 IST: A better human being?
Oprah: Are you at a space not apologising but knowing that you have shattered people’s lives?
Armstrong: Yes. Yes. Yes. I don’t need to be back in that place when I can slip like that. If I had one of my kids act like that (reflecting on archive video shown of him) I’d be apoplectic.
Oprah: Are you a better human being because of what has happened.
Armstrong: Without a doubt. This has happened twice. When I was diagnosed. I was smarter, but then I lost my way. I can’t lose my way again. Only I can control that. I had it and then things got too crazy.
0827 IST: Rise again?
Oprah: Will you rise again?
Armstrong: I dunno know. I dunno know. And I am getting comfortable with that. In the past that would drive me crazy. But I dunno.
0823 IST: 75$ Million walked away in a day
Oprah: Were you trying to pay of Usada?
Armstrong: No…that was not true.
Oprah: Nobody representing you (offered $150,000)…?
Armstrong: Nobody….I think it was $250,000
Oprah: What has been the financial cost. Have you lost everything?
Armstrong: I’ve certainly lost all future income. Erm..
Oprah: We’re talking again about the sponsors leaving
Armstrong: You could look at the one, two, two and a half days that people left…I don’t like thinking about it, but that was a $75million day.
Now it’s Oprah’s turn to look empathic. In fairness she’s one of the few people on earth who knows how a day like that feels.
0815 IST: Lift the lifeban?
Oprah: Are you hoping your lifetime ban will be lifted?
Armstrong: Selfishly yes. But realistically, I don’t think that’s going to happen.
That death penalty remark by Lance Armstrong is getting a fair amount of anger.
— Cindy Boren (@CindyBoren) जनवरी 19, 2013
Just to clarify: “A sociopath is known as Antisocial Personality Disorder according to the DSM-IV.”
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) जनवरी 19, 2013
I know this is completely inconsistent, but I can’t help but feel for @lancearmstrong right now. I got a son; can’t imagine the kid’s hurt.
— Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) जनवरी 19, 2013
0810 IST: Getting emotional
Lots of pauses as Armstrong talks about his family and how he told his son that he was guilty of doping. On the verge of tears.
Where you lose control with your kids is when they go out of that space (school)…
“I saw my son defending me and saying ‘that’s not true, what you’re saying about my dad is not true’.”
He becomes emotional and pauses, tears welling.
“That’s when I knew I had to talk… and he had never asked me… he trusted me…”
“He’s (Luke) been remarkably calm and mature about this.”
He asked his son not to defend him and, if attacked, to say “My dad said he was sorry”.
0809 IST: Expected to win in 2009
Oprah: (On his comeback in 2009) Did you expect to win?
Armstrong: Yes. I thought and still think the sport is very clean. I thought I was coming back to a clean sport and a level playing field. I expected to win (the 2009 Tour de France). At the end I thought I just got beat by two guys who were better.
0808 IST: No tectonic shift
Oprah: When something like this happens do you think it will bring a change in you?
Armstrong: I’ve got work to do. There’s not going to be a tectonic shift.
Oprah: Are there people who knew about this that wanted you to stop?
Armstrong: Of course.
0804 IST: Another ad break
So many ad breaks.
.@bonnie_d_ford Seriously. Parts of this interview are like J-school student who wrote out questions in advance.
— Tim Layden (@SITimLayden) जनवरी 19, 2013
Oprah is annoying me more than ever. #ItsNotAboutYou
— Steve Dawson (@Gulasahi) जनवरी 19, 2013
0800 IST: I’m doing therapy
Oprah: How do you see yourself?
Armstrong: This is heavy. This is messy. I’m doing therapy. I’m the type of person who can’t do this sporadically. This is going to be a long process.
Oprah: Is there real remorse? Or is there a sense of ‘I’m sorry I got caught’?
Armstrong: I’m only starting. Do I have remorse? Absolutely. Will it grow? Absolutely. I’m paying the price but I deserve it.
Armstrong discusses his first wife, mother of three of his children, praising her integrity. He says his children deserve a dad who tells the truth.
0756 IST: A way back?
Armstrong: I do want to compete again. Hell yes. I love to train. Race.
“I deserve to be punished. I’m not sure I deserve the death penalty.”
Armstrong compares the six month bans handed out to previous drug cheats to his own life ban.
“That isn’t the reason I’m doing this… but I think I deserve it..
“… Look at the culture of the sport.. we’re trading my story for a six-month suspension, which is what other people got. I got a death penalty.
“I’m not saying its unfair necessarily, but its different.”
He says of his Seven Guernsey picture, tweeted around the world just after his ban — images are flashed on the screen:
“That was another mistake… That was just more defiance.”
0754 IST: I’m sorry
Oprah: Do you owe David Walsh an apology?
Sunday Times chief sports writer Walsh investigated Armstrong and played a significant part in his downfall. Armstrong sued the paper and the paper settled out of court.
Armstrong (stammers): I owe a lot of people apologies. Whenever they’re ready I’ll give them. I’ll apologise to David [Walsh, Sunday Times journalist].
0749 IST: Doping before cancer?
Oprah: Do you think banned substances contributed to you getting cancer?
Armstrong: I don’t think so. I never had a doctor suggest that to me. I don’t think so.
0746 IST: Ad break
And so it begins. If they had done away with all the ad breaks it would have been a one part show for sure.
0740 IST: Are you facing your demons?
Oprah reads out a letter about someone whose son had cancer and was inspired by Armstrong.
Oprah: Are you facing your demons?
Armstrong: Absolutely. It’s a process. We’re at the beginning of the process.
0735 IST: Didn’t think Livestrong would leave
Oprah: What was the most humbling moment?
Armstrong: When Nike called and I was told I was out. Then everybody was out. I thought they would all leave, but I didn’t think the foundation would leave (Livestrong – his cancer charity).
“That was most humbling moment. (I was asked) to step down as chairman. A couple of weeks later the next call came – I was asked to step aside. That was the lowest,” added Armstrong.
Armstrong must make Livestrong seem separate- Livestrong doesn’t want accusations it knew of cheating-could lead to donors asking for $ back
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) जनवरी 19, 2013
0732 IST: Disgraced and humbled
Oprah: Everything written about you starts with the word ‘disgraced’. Do you feel disgraced?
Armstrong: Of course. But I also feel humbled. I feel ashamed. This is ugly stuff.
- Armstrong confesses to doping during all 7 Tour wins
- Cycling star admits he was ‘a bully’ to teammates
- Denies that he ever ordered other cyclists to dope
- Says he was motivated by ‘ruthless desire to win’
- Was adamant that he hasn’t doped since 2005
- Armstrong did not consider himself a “cheat”