Lance Armstrong has revealed he first doped aged 21.
The American former professional, who is banned from the sport for life for doping, has revealed more details of his cheating in a two-part ESPN documentary, which will be available online later this month.
When asked how old he was the first time he doped Armstrong, who retired from racing in 2011, said: “Wow straight into that. I was probably 21.”
Armstrong says he started taking cortisones during his first professional season, 1992, the year before he won the World Championships.
But the Texan also reflected on the transition from what he calls “low-octane doping” to the use of the blood booster EPO.
He added: “We had already been dabbling in low octane cortisone, or whatever was around, but EPO was a whole other level. The performance benefits were so great that the sport went from low-octane doping, which always existed, to this high-octane rocket fuel. That was the decision we had to make.”
Armstrong said he then met and began working with Dr Michele Ferrari in the winter of 1995. He went on to win his first Tour de France in 1999 after recovering from testicular cancer.
But in 2012 he was stripped of all his Tour titles after a US Anti-Doping Agency investigation revealed the extent of his cheating.
The full documentary will be released on ESPN Player, with part one available from Monday, May 25 while part two will be released from June 1. The programme centres around extensive interviews with Armstrong, a number of former team-mates, including George Hincapie, as well as friends, rivals and journalists.
In the trailer, Armstrong is asked what the worst thing he’s ever done is, to which he replies: “Everybody in the world needs to get this question”.