Sorry the hardest word for Armstrong


Cycling:The formerly defiant Lance Armstrong once said, "As long as I live, I will deny ever doping," but sitting face to face with Oprah Winfrey in an interview that was broadcast in the early hours of this morning, he reversed course. With Winfrey, he lost his icy stare and buried his cutting words. Looking nervous and swallowing hard several times, he admitted to using through most his cycling career a cocktail of drugs, including testosterone, cortisone, human growth hormone and the blood booster EPO.

Yet, like always, Armstrong could not help fighting.

He called his doping regimen simple and conservative, rejecting volumes of evidence by the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) that the drug programme on his Tour de France-winning teams was "the most sophisticated, organised and professionalised" doping scheme in the history of cycling.

He said that he was not the kingpin of the doping programme on his teams, as the anti-doping agency claimed, and that he was just doping the way the rest of his teammates were at the time. He said he had doped, beginning in the mid-1990s, through 2005, the year he won his record seventh Tour. He said that he took EPO, but "not a lot," and that he had rationalised his use of testosterone because one of his testicles had been removed during his battle against cancer.

"I thought, surely I'm running low," he said of the banned testosterone he took to gain an edge in his performance.

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