Body language expert: 'Lance Armstrong proud of fooling everyone'

While the disgraced cyclist confessed his use of
performance-enhancing drugs up until 2005, his gestures suggest he may
not be as contrite as he claims

Lance Armstrong may have finally come clean, but his body language during his tell-all interview told a different story, experts said.

While the disgraced cyclist confessed his use of performance-enhancing drugs up until 2005, his gestures suggest he may not be as contrite as he claims.

Judi James, a body language expert who has appeared on TV shows including Big Brother spin-offs and Strictly Come Dancing, said Armstrong appeared in control of the interview with Oprah Winfrey.

"He was incredibly calm. I don't think it looked like a confessional in the way he played it," she said.

"There were no signals of genuine humility at all there.

"I get the feeling that he was very much in control throughout the interview.

"If you turned the sound down, it was hard to tell who was interviewing who.

"He almost did this for his own benefit so he could get back in control of his life and 'reboot' himself to that strong leadership."

Despite the interview's "no-holds barred" billing, there were clearly some parameters and moments where he either avoided questions or claimed he could not remember, said Ms James.

"Verbally he was a lot more straightforward than the past but there were still moments when he looked uncomfortable and he dodged the questions.

"We didn't get an absolute outpouring of every detail."

Ms James said Armstrong raised both hands in fists, like a boxer, when explaining why he lied so vehemently, while claiming he had "fought back" at people pushing him.

And she said his high crossed legs were a sign of status, not defence: "It's the sort of thing that we keep somebody distant from us because we feel above them.

"He said he has been a bully, and if I was somebody that he had bullied in the past I would be quite scared by what I had seen because it was as though this was a guy who is rebooting his own status."

Robert Phipps, one of the world's leading body language experts, said: "While Armstrong may well have agreed to come clean to her, it didn't really happen, and if it did he remains quite proud of what he has done.

"This was demonstrated numerous times throughout the interview with him showing the micro-expression of contempt by curling only one side of the lip upwards.

"This shows he's actually quite proud of what he managed to achieve in fooling the authorities, the press, the cycling world and the general public."

He said Armstrong's actions often contradicted his words - answering "yes", but shaking his head, indicating "no".

"It was quite obvious from the start that he wasn't going to be that forthcoming as he sat with his right leg crossed over the top of his left leg," he said.

"This is known as the figure four block, as it created an immediate barrier between him and Oprah."

Armstrong also gave "block-off signals" with his hands and arms, he said, while interlocked fingers showing he was withholding answers, and covering his mouth suggested he was not being honest.

"There was also lots of fist-clenching and jaw-tightening, showing his internal stress levels - he was either getting annoyed at the questions, himself or again holding back with the truth," Mr Phipps added.

"In my opinion this was not the truly revealing interview in terms of what he said verbally but was certainly more telling with what he said non-verbally."

Behavioural psychologist and body language expert Jo Hemmings agreed that Armstrong had not necessarily told all there was to tell.

"He puts his hand to his mouth a lot - about 20 times. He sort of almost pinches his lips together with his index finger and thumb when he doesn't want to answer something," she said.

"He plans to make this a very candid interview but there's some bits he is withholding. I think there's a lot more he could tell."

Armstrong's "prayer gesture", when asked if he had doped in his comeback in 2009 and 2010, suggested he could be lying, she said.

"When you push it at somebody else it's just deflecting the truth.

"That's reflection away from the truth, this is a blatant lie."

She said he appeared to be being honest through much of the interview, but may have thought he had dodged the whole truth.

"I think he is very detached from the person he was and struggles sometimes with the answers because he doesn't relate to that period of his life and that person, almost as if he is talking about someone else.

"He did deliver with a certain degree of sincerity but it's easier to be sincere when you feel you are talking about someone else."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Mario Balotelli (left) trudges off at half-time last night, to be substituted during the interval
football
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

EBD Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...

Part Time SEN 1:1 Teacher

£40 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an experience SEN Te...

ICT/Business Studies Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: ICT/Business Studies ...

Front end web developer - URGENT CONTRACT

£250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?