The ordeal of being found out for doping was ‘not worth it’ despite the effect it has had on cleaning up the sport, Lance Armstrong has said.
Speaking of the behaviour among pro racers in the years up to his eventual lifetime ban and revocation of his seven Tour de France titles, Armstrong insisted that he considered himself a ‘convict of the road’, forced to take all the enhancements available to him.
Speaking to Colorado Quarterly, Armstrong said that doping was the competitive advantage over other riders. “Of course, you always want science to be ahead of where doping would be,” he said. “But at that time, science was way, way behind.
“There was a substance, EPO, that was tremendously helpful, up to the tune of 10 percent (in enhanced performance), and just as important, it was completely undetectable. And, of course, it ran like wildfire through the peloton (professional cycling).”
Asked whether his fall from grace was ultimately worth it for the good of the sport, Armstrong replied: “That’s a great question, and one that I ask myself every day. My answer is not a popular one. My answer is that it wasn’t worth it.”
Earlier this month Armstrong gave a sworn testimonial about his years of doping as part of SCA Promotions’ attempt to recoup millions of dollars it paid him for his Tour wins.
At a hearing in Austin, Armstrong gave a sworn deposition, although a protective order prevented reporting of the testimony.
Armstrong has long fought to block SCA’s bid to recover $12 million in costs and bonuses it paid him.