Lance Armstrong's original confession to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France tried to appear apologetic, but nobody really bought it. Now that time has passed and he's just another ex-rider, he's being a lot more direct, admitting that he "didn't invent doping." He was just better at it than everyone else.
In his most in-depth interview since he sat down with Oprah last winter, Armstrong spoke to the French newspaper Le Monde, which oddly enough was one of his earliest and harshest critics. Way back in 1999, the paper was one of the first to accuse the rider of using questionable drugs. In the new interview, on the eve of this year's Tour, Armstrong says that in his day the race was "impossible to win without doping" and that he "simply participated in a system."
But since he was in that system and he still dominated it, Armstrong says that he still considers himself the record-holder for most Tour victories. He still has his seven yellow jerseys, and even though his name was struck from the record books, no one else stepped up to be declared the victor.
The Le Monde interview also appears to have caused some confusion, possibly due to translation issues. When Armstrong said "In many way, [the culture of doping] will never end," some thought he was implying that the cycling world is still filled with doped riders even today. That charge upset some current athletes. However, Armstrong later clarified on Twitter that he was merely talking about his era, adding, "Today? I have no idea. I'm hopeful it's possible."
In the end, it's clear that Armstrong is still angry that he's received the harshest treatment out of the dozens of accused dopers, simply he because he was the best.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.