Lance Armstrong has said "it wasn't legal but I wouldn't change a thing" about his career, including the doping that saw the Texan stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
Speaking in an interview set to air on American television next week, Armstrong says: "We did what we had to do to win. It wasn’t legal, but I wouldn’t change a thing: whether it’s losing a bunch of money, going from hero to zero."
The 30-minute interivew, titled "Lance Armstrong: Next Stage" will air on NBCSN on Wednesday May 29 where the American will talk about his career and the decisions he made as a professional cyclist.
The 47-year-old continues in the interview: "I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t change the way I acted. I mean I would, but this is a longer answer.
"Primarily, I wouldn’t change the lessons that I’ve learned. I don’t learn all the lessons if I don’t act that way. I don’t get investigated and sanctioned if I don’t act the way I acted.
"If I just doped and didn’t say a thing, none of that would have happened. None of it. I was begging for, I was asking for them to come after me. It was an easy target."
Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles, which he won in consecutive years between 1999-2005, and handed a lifetime ban from cycling in 2012 by the US Anti-Doping Agency, a decision that was backed up by the UCI.
In January 2013 Armstrong appeared in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey where he admitted to doping in his career.
Following this admission, Armstrong lost endorsement deals and faced several lawsuits, losing millions of dollars.
He faced paying a part of $100 million to the US federal government, but settled for $5 million, as well as paying The Sunday Times around $1 million, Acceptance Insurance $3 million and SCA Promotions $10 million.
"Once you total up all of it, loss of guaranteed income, legal fees and settlements, it came to 111 million bucks,” Armstrong said. “I didn’t feel like I got off easy."
In December 2018, Armstrong said an investment in taxi company Uber "saved his family" after the American invested $100,000 in the firm with the return from that decision estimated to be between $10-50 million.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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