'30 for 30 Lance': Reliving Lance Armstrong's shocking confession to Oprah Winfrey about doping to win titles
ESPN's two-part docuseries captures the rise and fall of one of the greatest sporting legends in the world
'The Last Dance' may have ended its five-week stellar run, but that isn't all the content ESPN has for its viewers while on quarantine. Despite the absence of sporting activity across the world, the sports network has kept audiences glued with some riveting content in the form of sports docuseries and films. The latest series to join the top docuseries bandwagon was '30 for 30: Lance' The two-part docuseries capture the rise and fall of one of the greatest sporting legends in the world.
The fall could be rightly called earth-shattering for Lance Armstrong. The story of his doping made headlines in sports pages across the world and in 2013, he finally admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs to clinch all his seven Tour de France titles. And ahead of the debut of the docuseries set to air this Sunday, we take a look back at that ground-breaking reveal in his interview with Oprah Winfrey.
It was January 17, 2013. It was a Thursday that the world let out a collective gasp of shock when they saw Armstrong, smartly dressed in a navy blazer, admit to doping. In his view, those drugs were a massive boost and there was no way winning was possible without some bit of cheating. The interview saw Winfrey asking him a series of Yes and No questions. When asked about the usage of drugs, the inclusion of PED, EPO, and steroids, his reply was "Yes." When she quizzed him if it was humanly possible to win seven titles consecutively — "I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times."
According to The Guardian, Armstrong also apologized for tainting the sport due to his actions. "I didn't invent the culture and I didn't try to stop the culture... and the sport is now paying the price and I'm sorry for that. I didn't have access to anything else that nobody else did," he said. Armstrong was considered superhuman. His rise from his battle from a potentially fatal metastatic testicular cancer was a tale of inspiration. "The truth isn't what I said. And now it's gone... this story was so perfect for so long," he remarked.
There is one instance where he recollected using drugs that boosted oxygen to improve his endurance levels. Armstrong also added the whole tactic about using drugs was all about timing. "So you're not going to get caught. Because you're clean at the races, clear. It's a question of scheduling." The shockwaves the audience felt weren't normal.
This was a man who was something close to a national hero and a fully decorated sporting icon. So when he said these acts didn't feel like cheating, it was jaw-dropping. However, he noted he was keen to make amends. "These were people who believed in me, who believed me, and they have every right to feel betrayed. I'll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people."
You can watch the clip of his "Yes and No" answers below:
ESPN's '30 for 30 Lance' is directed by Marina Zenovich and Part 1 premieres on Sunday, May 24, at 9 pm ET on ESPN.