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Jueves, 28 de Agosto de 2014

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Armstrong: "I told my son 'Don't defend me anymore'"

In the second part of his interview with Oprah Winfrey the disgraced cyclist went over more of the details of his life living a lie.

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Armstrong in the interview with Oprah
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Armstrong: "Le dije a mi hijo: no me defiendas más"

VÍDEO - OWN - 19-01-2013

En la segunda parte de la entrevista Lance Armstrong ha confesado lo duro que fue contarle a su hijo la verdad. También ha recalcado que le gustaría volver a competir y que se creyó invencible.

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Alejandro Delmás | 19/01/2013

The second part of the interview between Lance Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey, held in the Four Seasons hotel in Austin, Texas, was shorter and more emotional than the first. The disgraced ex-winner of seven Tours de France defined his current state as, "humbled, disgraced and ashamed" and was notably emotional when explaining how he told the truth to his 13 year old eldest son, Luke, from his first marriage to Kristin 'Kik' Richards: "I'd always denied it, but I heard he was defending me and at that point I decided it was out of control and I had to have a talk with him here over the holidays. I said there have been a lot of questions about your dad and my career and whether I doped and I've always denied it and been ruthless and defiant which you have seen, which makes it even sicker but I want you to know that it is true. Then there were the girls who are 11 and they didn't say much. They just accepted it and I told Luke 'don't defend me anymore, don't'."

Oprah then asked how Luke had taken the news, to which Armstrong replied: "He has been remarkably calm and mature about it. I told him 'if anyone says anything to you, do not defend me, just say 'Hey, my dad says he is sorry'. He said 'I love you, you're my dad and this won't change that'." Armstrong has five children, three with Kristin and two with Anna Hansen.

Armstrong also talked about his ex-wife Kristin, explaining that she has "a spiritual side" that he doesn't. "She was not that curious. Perhaps she didn't want to know. The thing about her and my doping and this comeback was she was the one person I asked if I could do that, if I could come back. It was a big decision. I needed her blessing. And she said to me, you can do it, under one condition, that you never cross that line again [the line of drugs], and I said you've got a deal and I never would have betrayed that with her".

Armstrong also talked about how the confession was affecting him: "It's a lengthy process. Anyone who gets caught is bummed out they caught. I'm only starting... I'm paying a high price and of course I deserve to be punished. I regret what I did a thousand times over and I don't know if it will be enough. I think I'm a better human being for this and that I deserve to be able to race again one day in sanctioned races... not the Tour de France, but I'd like to run the Chicago Marathon when I'm 50 or the Austin 10 kilometre. I deserve that, though maybe that won't be a popular answer."

The ex-cyclist continued to talk about a possible return to competitive sport: "Some people said 'I'll tell you my story for a six month ban', whilst I've been given a death sentence. I don't think I deserve that, although the truth is I don't expect to compete again". Lance also repeated his opinions on the biological passport in cycling, saying that it was now cleaner than before, and fairer. "In 2009 I was clean, and expected to win the Tour, but two guys were better than I was and that's fine", he explained.

Amongst an abundance of commercial breaks the disgraced Texan also talked about how his sponsors had, one by one, abandoned him after the USADA banned him at the end of summer 2012. "Nike called me and said 'Lance, obviously we've got to get out' and then Trek, Giro, Annheuser-Busch... in one single day I lost 75 million dollars, money that's gone from my life and most likely won't be coming back. But that wasn't the worst; it was only something like the day when I got the diagnosis of 'advanced tumour with 50% chance of survival'.

Armstrong then said the most humbling moment was when the Livestrong Foundation, which he set up, decided he had to go. "That was the most humbling moment. To get that phone call - first to step down as chairman and stay on the board, but that wasn't enough for the people and for our supporters and then a couple of weeks later the next call came to step aside. They said 'we need you to consider stepping down for yourself' and I had to think about it a lot. The Foundation is like my sixth child and to make that decision and to step aside was big. It was the best thing for the organisation but it hurt like hell. That was the lowest."

Oprah once again continued to ask questions about Lance's personality and his inner demons. "I felt invincible, that guy I was, they said he was invincible and I felt like that. I don't like that guy, but he's still there today. It's going to be a long process that I'm just starting... I owe apologies to so many people: Frankie and Betsy Andreu, Greg LeMond, Hamilton, Floyd Landis, Emma O'Reilly... I've already apologised to journalist David Walsh ('Sunday Times'), although you can't repair all the damage". Oprah also asked about the photo Armstrong published on Twitter with his seven yellow jerseys, when the "wolves were already at the door". "I was being defiant, and I thought it was a good idea", said Armstrong.

"I'm a better human being now", said Armstrong, "it's the second time in my life I've been in a dark place; the first was when I received the cancer diagnosis. That was the biggest challenge of my life. Afterwards I promised myself I wouldn't lose my way and I lost my way. Things got out of hand. This is the second time and only I can control things, to make sure it doesn't happen again."

"My worst crime was to betray the people who supported me. I have to fix this so my children can hold their heads high for the rest of their lives". Oprah said that this statement from Armstrong was "epic", to which the ex-cyclist replied "thank you".

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