Lance Armstrong came clean after seeing his son publicly defend him against doping allegations. Armstrong held his composure through most of the interview with Oprah, until he described telling his son about his doping.
The seven-time Tour de France winner told Oprah during Friday’s segment about the $75 million in sponsorship deals he lost. He also spoke about being forced to walk away from his Livestrong charity. He also talked about his lifetime ban from cycling competition.
It wasn’t until he described hearing his son defend him to publicly that he broke down. The Australian reports that Armstrong recalled:
“I saw my son defending me and saying, ‘That’s not true. What you’re saying about my dad is not true.’ That’s when I knew I had to tell him.”
He went on to describe how he told 13-year-old Luke about his doping. Near tears, the cyclist stated:
“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. And, uh, I told Luke … I said, ‘Don’t defend me anymore. Don’t.’ “
Fox News notes that Oprah Winfrey also spoke with Lance Armstrong about his ex-wife, Kristin. He claimed that Kristin knew just enough about his doping to ask him to stop. He credited her with his 2009 comeback being drug-free. Armstrong explained:
“She said to me, ‘You can do it under one condition: that you never cross that line again’ … and I said, ‘You’ve for a deal.’ And I never would have betrayed that with her.”
After telling his son about his doping, Armstrong also called leaving the Livestrong foundation the most “humbling” moment after the USADA report. He stated of the decision to leave:
“I wouldn’t at all say forced out, told to leave. I was aware of the pressure. But it hurt like hell … that was the lowest. The lowest.”
Armstrong often referred to the foundation, which he started the year after he was diagnosed with cancer, as his sixth child.
Do you think that Lance Armstrong deserves to compete again, or is it right for him to be banned for life because of his doping?