If you’re wondering if time has mellowed Lance Armstrong, or if the confessed doper is repentant for his pro cycling misdeeds…the answer is “no.”
Armstrong says he “wouldn’t change a thing” about using performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles — only to have them stripped away years later.
Armstrong made the comments in an interview with the NBC Sports Network, which is set to air Wednesday.
“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,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong won his first Tour de France title after recovering from testicular cancer that had spread to his brain. He was under the Postal Service sponsorship when he first won in 1999, and he and his teams dominated cycling’s marquee event, winning every year from 1999 to 2005.
His cheating was finally uncovered in 2012, however, when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, armed with sworn testimony from former teammate Floyd Landis and others, moved to strip him of his titles.
Armstrong later admitted to Oprah Winfrey in a televised interview that he had cheated.
“I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t change the way I acted. I mean I would, but this is a longer answer,” Armstrong said in his interview with the NBC Sports Network. “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.”
He added: “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.”
In April 2018, Armstrong reached a $5 million settlement with the federal government which stemmed from the fallout of the cheating scandal.