Cycling: Lance Armstrong's sorry tale met with ridicule and doubt

Key figures give their reaction to the second part of Lance Armstrong's public confession – and the verdict does not point towards redemption hopes

'He's a little delusional'

"Boo hoo. He's not getting it. What about Greg LeMond's bike company that was completely destroyed? What about Scott Mercier [who refused to dope] not having a career? Christophe Bassons [who also refused] not having a career? Other guys who didn't want to do what he wanted them to do not having a career?

"You can't put a price on opportunity lost and we're not even talking millions of dollars, we're talking about people who just want to pay a mortgage and save some money after."

"So many people in the saga have been hurt. Greg LeMond for example, [Armstrong's] children, people who defended him. He hurt the sport of cycling. He caused it irreparable damage.

"In a way I don't think he understands the magnitude of what he's done. He's trying to reason this out. He's just not being logical. I think he's being a little delusional.

"When Frankie and I spoke with him [recently] we felt that he was sincere and genuine. The way he was on the phone with us was far different to how he's portraying himself on TV. I don't know if it's because he was very nervous, he's trying to be stoic or have a stiff upper lip, but I think it would have been a great benefit to him to let the guard down.

"Part of the problem is telling the truth and being contrite, apologising... it's a new concept to Lance.

"I hope he will testify to Usada [the US Anti-Doping Agency] and tell the truth, and the right thing can be done. But he has to pay the price, some way, somehow.

Betsy Andreu wife of Armstrong's former team-mate, Frankie, who testified he had admitted to doping in 1996 and was subsequently labelled "crazy" by the Texan

'We need to know names'

"I believe the only reason he's come clean is that he would love to race again and he'd give anything to do that. I don't think at the moment he's done enough to be given a relief on his life sentence... we need to know names and how he managed to trick 500 [drug] controllers throughout his career."

Phil Liggett cycling commentator and long-time supporter

'He's a broken man'

"I think he's still confused and not 100 per cent sorry. I think he's in the process of learning how many lives he ruined. It's sad to see him like that. He's a broken man"

Tyler Hamilton former team-mate

'What a piece of work he is'

"Lance responded to my accusations that he was a drug cheat by branding me a prostitute and an alcoholic. [In the interview] he said I was one of the people who had been 'run over' and that he owed me an apology, but more crucially he confirmed that my story about a backdated prescription was true.

"There was this tightness in my chest that was suddenly released.

"He said he had reached out and tried to contact me. I want to speak to him but I'd rather do it face to face. I'd like to explain why I told my story in the first place. I'd like to ask Lance how he could come after me in the way he did when he knew what I was saying was true. He told Oprah he couldn't remember suing me, but I don't believe that.

"There is a part of me that does have sympathy for Lance. I know this will be killing him. But at the same time I think about the way he hid behind cancer in trying to defend himself. What a piece of work he is."

Emma O'Reilly masseur who accused him of doping, as told to Daily Mail

'Our legal case is stronger'

"We noted his numerous admissions regarding taking performance-enhancing drugs. The Sunday Times believes that our case for recovering the £1 million he obtained from us by fraud is now even stronger. We will be pursuing that case vigorously."

Sunday Times spokesman

'Only part of the story'

"I think a lifetime ban is the only option and plea-bargaining isn't acceptable.

"People around him helped and it's very frustrating not to know who was involved in this major conspiracy.

"It was a very carefully constructed interview and he's not going to tell the truth where that's going to have a further impact on him, possibly financially, so we've only got part of the story."

Michele Verroken former director of ethics at UK Sport

'His comeback was clean'

"He cheated in these seven Tours [de France] but still he won [them]. So he still was a good rider and he made his comeback and got beaten the first year by Alberto and me. I know that I always was a clean rider... so why should he be doped and be behind me? So I believe in his comeback that he was clean."

Andy Schleck retroactively awarded 2010 Tour de France win last year

'Apology' accepted

"Oprah pressured him, the apology was, I thought, hesitantly promised. I didn't ask for it, but, yes, if it's offered, I accept."

David Walsh, Sunday Times journalist

'We will sue him'

"No one should underestimate the resolve of SCA. If it doesn't get back its money, SCA will sue Mr Armstrong for the refund of that money, and it will be soon."

SCA Promotions seeking $12m it gave him for his Tour de France wins

What Lance said...

"I feel humbled and I feel ashamed. This is not good stuff." – On his general feelings

"Do I have remorse? Absolutely. Will it grow? Absolutely. This is the first step and these are my actions. I am paying the price but I deserve it." – On whether he has regrets

"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."– On stepping down from his cancer foundation, Livestrong

"It might not be the most popular answer but I think I deserve it, maybe not right now. When you see the punishment – I would go back and say you are trading my story for a six-month ban so I got a death penalty, meaning I can't compete. I'm not saying that is unfair but it is different." – On why he should be allowed to race again

"I've lost all future income. I don't like thinking about it but it was a $75 million day. All gone and probably never coming back." – On being deserted by his sponsors

"I've been to a dark place that was not my doing, where I didn't know if I would live... This is not a good time but it isn't the worst part of my life." – On his current plight compared to when he was diagnosed with cancer

"I saw my son defending me, saying, 'That's not true. What you're saying about my dad is not true.' That's when I knew I had to tell him." – On the moment he decided to tell his children the truth

"I think the claim was $250,000, it was a broad number but they narrowed it down. That's a lot of money. I would know." – On accusations that one of his representatives tried to pay off the US Anti-Doping Agency

"There's another moral to this story. For me, I think it was about that ride and about losing myself and getting caught up in that and doing all those things along the way." – On where it all went wrong

"The ultimate crime is the betrayal of these people who supported me and believed in me and they got lied to." – On letting people down

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?