Lance Armstrong told the BBC in an interview that he would probably dope again if faced with the same choices when he started cycling professionally in the mid-1990s. He added that since the sport has gotten cleaner, he didn’t think he would make the choice to dope if he were an up-and-comer today.
The 43-year-old Texan has been given a lifetime ban for doping during his record seven Tour de France victories. He’s been banned from virtually all sports, including noncompetitive charity rides and local swim meets.
Armstrong said he still feels like the winner of seven Tours de France (even though he was subsequently stripped of the titles) and expressed frustration that no replacement winners have been named. “I don’t think history is stupid. History rectifies a lot of things. … I feel like I won those Tours,” he said. (This isn’t the first time he’s expressed that sentiment: See our interview with him from last spring.)
He went on to express the hope that he could return to public life: “Selfishly, I would say, yeah, we’re getting close to that time,” he told the BBC. “Listen, of course I want to be out of time-out. What kid doesn’t?”
Armstrong did admit that while he considered the athletic implications of his doping to be unclear, the secrecy around it caused him to treat people poorly. “I would want to change the man that did those things. Maybe not the decision, but the way he acted,” he said.
The BBC will broadcast the full interview on Thursday night.