You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

Advertisement
Associated Press
Lance Armstrong, seen at the 2009 Tour de France, said he was clean that year because his former wife, Kristin, asked him not to dope.

Part 2: Armstrong emotional

Cyclist recalls admitting truth to oldest son

– Lance Armstrong finally cracked.

Not while expressing deep remorse or regrets, though there was plenty of that in Friday night’s second part of Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.

It wasn’t over the $75 million in lost sponsorship deals, nor when Armstrong was forced to walk away from the Livestrong cancer charity he founded and called his “sixth child.” It wasn’t even about his lifetime ban from competition.

It was another bit of collateral damage that Armstrong said he wasn’t prepared to deal with.

“I saw my son defending me and saying: ‘That’s not true. What you’re saying about my dad is not true,’ ” Armstrong recalled.

“That’s when I knew I had to tell him.”

Armstrong was near tears at that point, referring to 13-year-old Luke, the oldest of his five children. He blinked, looked away from Winfrey, and with his lip trembling, struggled to compose himself.

It came just past the midpoint of the hourlong program on Winfrey’s OWN network. In the first part, broadcast Thursday, the disgraced cycling champion admitted using performance-enhancing drugs when he won seven straight Tour de France titles.

The interview was taped Monday in Austin, Texas.

Armstrong seemed to lose his composure when Winfrey zeroed in on the emotional drama involving his personal life.

“What did you say?” Winfrey 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,” and here Armstrong paused for a long time to collect himself, “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.”

Winfrey also drew Armstrong out on his ex-wife, Kristin, whom he claimed knew just enough about both the doping and lying to ask him to stop. He credited her with making him promise that his comeback in 2009 would be drug-free.

Armstrong said in the first part of the interview that he had stayed clean in the comeback, a claim that runs counter to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report.

And that wasn’t the only portion of the interview likely to rile anti-doping officials.

Winfrey asked Armstrong about an interview in which USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said a representative of the cyclist had offered a donation that the agency turned down.

“Were you trying to pay off USADA?” she asked.

“No, that’s not true,” he replied, repeating, “That is not true.”

Winfrey asks the question three more times, in different forms.

“That is not true,” he insisted.

Advertisement