Lance Armstrong: My mistake led to colossal meltdown
NBCSN will broadcast an interview with Lance Armstrong on Wednesday May 29, don't miss "Lance Armstrong: Next Stage" on May, 29 at 11:30 ET
In a 30-minute special, Armstrong will discuss his career with Mike Tirico in “Lance Armstrong: Next Stage.”
The interview covers the doping culture within cycling when he competed, Armstrong’s separation from the Livestrong Foundation that supports people with cancer and what’s next for him.
“I wouldn’t change a thing,” Armstrong told Tirico. “I wouldn’t change the way I acted. I mean I would, but this is a longer answer. 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. 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.”
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping by the International Cycling Union in 2012.
He tells Tirico, “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.”
When asked if he’d go back and change his decisions, Armstrong passive-aggressively blamed the doping culture present in the cycling community for his mistakes.
“It’s a tough question, and it’s an answer that people don’t like,” Armstrong said. “I wouldn’t change a thing, because I’m sitting here today. So I wouldn’t change that. It was a mistake. It led to a lot of other mistakes, led to the most colossal meltdown in the history of sports. Think of that. But I learned a lot. What I wish would’ve happened, I wish kids from Plano, kids from Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and Brooklyn and Montana as young Americans, if we’d gone to Europe and everyone’s fighting with their fists, we still win, I promise you that. So that’s what I wish would’ve happened. But it didn’t. And I made a bunch of mistakes, and it got me to this place where I am now, and I don’t want to trade with anybody"
“I knew there were going to be knives at this fight, not just fists. I knew there would be knives. I had knives, and then one day, people start showing up with guns. That’s when you say, do I either fly back to Plano, Texas, and not know what you’re going to do? Or do you walk to the gun store? I walked to the gun store. I didn’t want to go home.!!
“I don’t want to make excuses for myself that everybody did it or we never could have won without it. Those are all true, but the buck stops with me. I’m the one who made the decision to do what I did. I didn’t want to go home, man. I was going to stay.”