Lance Armstrong is set to confess to Oprah Winfrey in a taped interview airing Thursday and Friday that he used performance enhancing drugs – but did he use steroids, or other methods of doping?
In October, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released over a thousand pages of evidence implicating the cyclist and several others of doping to win, a practice both illegal and widely condemned by sports commentators and fans. The USADA claimed that Armstrong had used “prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO [erythropoietin, a hormone which increases red blood cell activity], blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids and/or masking agents,” stripping him of his seven wins.
USADA says these claims have been verified by 11 former teammates. Armstrong is also alleged to have pushed those teammates to use drugs or be kicked off of his team.
The news comes as no surprise for anyone who has followed the cyclist, except perhaps to diehard fans. For years, Armstrong trashed former friends and colleagues who said he used steroids, continuing long after many in the general public had already come to the conclusion that he was a doper. Victims of his rabid denials included three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond and Betsy Andreu, wife of cycling teammate Frankie Andreu, who testified against Armstrong in court.
In fact, Armstrong has a storied history of threatening and harassing people who knew of his drug abuse. After the hack job Armstrong did on her reputation, Betsy Andreu “can't stomach the idea of watching” the Armstrong interview, she told the New York Daily News. “The people who genuinely cared about him, he just threw away... To me, he’s like Bernie Madoff. He said he was sorry, too, but should we let him trade stocks again?”