Oprah didn't make us wait. After a very brief intro, she took the first part of the two-part "Oprah's Next Chapter" special straight to the question of whether Lance Armstrong had taken banned substances during his cycling career, and which ones.
He had. He'd taken them all, and he'd taken them all along. (Well, not during his 2009-10 comeback, Armstrong claimed, but he also admitted that he can't expect anyone to believe that.)
A few other memorable moments from the interview:
- Armstrong called his inspiring story "one big lie, that I repeated a lot of times."
- The cyclist, notorious for going on the attack against (read: "suing") those who accused him of doping, was asked by Oprah about myriad specific accusations he'd previously denied. Early on, he announced that he's "out of the business of calling somebody a liar."
- Why did he antagonize his accusers when he knew they were telling the truth, Oprah wondered. "It's a major flaw," Armstrong acknowledged. "It's a guy who expected to get whatever he wanted, and to control every outcome -- and it's inexcusable."
- He justified the use of testosterone to himself because he'd had testicular cancer, and "surely I'm running low." He also theorized that it was his diagnosis that turned him from a mere competitor into a "fierce competitor" with a "win at all costs" philosophy.
- Oprah asked him, "Were you a bully?" He took little time in answering, "Yeah. Yeah, I was a bully."
- He sees "the anger in people … and betrayal" at learning that everything they believed about him was tainted. "They have every right to feel betrayed, and it's my fault."
- Almost everyone else was doping; Armstrong didn't try to excuse his own on that basis. "I didn't invent the culture, but I didn't try to stop the culture, and that's my mistake."
The second part of the Lance Armstrong "Oprah's Next Chapter" interview airs Friday, 1/18 Jat 9 PM on OWN.