Ben Foster reveals he took performance-enhancing drugs as part of his research for filming 'The Program'

Ben Foster is an actor known for going above and beyond in the name of research for his roles, so when cast as Lance Armstrong in the film ‘The Program’ he felt he needed to take the same performance-enhancing drugs as the Texan rider.

Foster admitted in an interview with the Guardian that he’d taken drugs, but was not prepared to name which ones – only saying that the ones he did take did work.

The film, which has its global premiere in Toronto on Sunday, charts Armstrong’s deception and successes at the Tour de France, with his eventual downfall coming in 2012 after he had retired for the second time.

“Even discussing it feels tricky because it isn’t something I’d recommend to fellow actors,” Foster told the Guardian’s Ryan Gilbey. “These are very serious chemicals and they affect your body in real ways. For my own investigation it was important for me privately to understand it. And they work.”

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Foster says that it wasn’t just the physical effects of the drugs that he felt, but also how they affected his mental state.

“There’s a fallout,” he added. “Doping affects your mind. It doesn’t make you feel high. There are behaviours when you’ve got those chemicals running through your body that serve you on the bike.

“I’ve only just recovered physically. I’m only now getting my levels back.”

  • ummm…

    I think part of this new “whatever you want” attitude is that pro sport and increasingly amateur sport is and has always been rife with doping. That will never change. Track, Tennis, soccer, cycling, baseball, football, swimming etc. etc. The hypocrisy and monies wasted on doping control is just as nauseating. It is a human problem. Allowing humans to destroy themselves and the spirit of sport is an answer to us just playing the dumb fools and pretending like it doesn’t happen. I love the human efforts and courage that our sportsmen and women display. I may like it more if I didn’t have to think about how they lied to me because they didn’t think I was smart or mature enough to handle the truth.

  • ummm…

    how has armstrong done more to hurt the sport then all the others put together? The only reason I could imagine is that since he opened a slew of new markets to the sport, then the populations in these new markets were also there to see the doping problems. Armstrong himself did not create the culture nor has he sustained it over the last 100+ years. Why is Armstrong the be all end all of dopers?

  • graham

    Kamenitza probably thinks that its ok for banks to cheat the public out of millions of pounds with PPI etc. Drugs in sport in general, have killed athletes the main point however is that true cycling fans want to be able to trust what they see. I have noticed an increase in this attitude of they should be able to take what they want, in recent years since the massive increase in cyclings popularity. I have also noticed a dramatic decline in the attitude of cyclists to each other when out on the road.

  • J1

    It’s more about Ben Foster’s commitment to his acting really. Armstrong will always be talked about in the cycling world, things will always be printed about him.
    I’m going to see this movie, not because I like him but it’s intriguing to see how he will be portrayed.

  • FPCyclist

    Right on.

  • graham

    Why on earth do you keep giving Armstrong space in this magazine, he has done the sport more harm than all the rest of the drug cheats put together.