Lance Armstrong confesses to taking performance-enhancing drugs - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Lance Armstrong confesses to taking performance-enhancing drugs

Armstrong after winning his 7th consecutive Tour de France in 2005 Armstrong after winning his 7th consecutive Tour de France in 2005

AUSTIN, Texas (WWBT) --  For an entire decade, cyclist Lance Armstrong denied that he had ever used performance-enhancing drugs. On Monday afternoon, Armstrong came clean and admitted to the drug use.  The cancer survivor won the Tour de France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005.

The seven time champion made the confession to Oprah Winfrey during an interview taped Monday, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the interview is to be broadcast Thursday on Winfrey's network.

The admission Monday came hours after an  20 minute emotional apology by Armstrong to the Livestrong charity that he founded and took global on the strength of his celebrity as a cancer survivor who came back to win one of sport's most grueling events. Before he was done, several members were in tears when he urged them to continue the charity's mission, helping cancer patients and their families.

 The confession to Winfrey was a stunning reversal, after years of public statements, interviews and court battles in which he denied doping and zealously protected his reputation.

The disgraced cyclist was stripped of his Tour de France titles, lost most of his endorsements and was forced to leave the foundation last year after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a damning, 1,000-page report that accused him of masterminding a long-running doping scheme.

Diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996, the disease soon spread to his lungs and brain. Armstrong's doctors gave him a 40 percent chance of survival at the time and never expected he'd compete at anything more strenuous than gin rummy. Winning the demanding race less than three years later made Armstrong a hero.


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