CBS NEWS - Lance Armstrong says he began using performance enhancing drugs in the mid '90s. He made the confession during an exclusive television interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Thursday night on OWN.
Armstrong told Winfrey he used banned substances during each of his seven Tour de France victories from 1999 to 2005. When Oprah asked if Armstrong thought it humanly possible to win the Tour de France without doping, he said not in his opinion.
The disgraced cyclist's national confession came just one day after he was stripped of his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In October, Armstrong lost all seven of his Tour de France titles.
"I view this situation as one big lie, that I repeated a lot of times," Armstrong said of his repeated denial that he ever used banned substances. "You were suing people and you know that they're telling the truth," Winfrey said, " What is that?" Armstrong answered, "It's a major flaw, and it's a guy who expected to get everything he wanted, and to control every outcome, and it's inexcusable. And when I say that there are people who her this and will never forgive me, I understand that."
The World Anti Doping Agency says coming clean could help Armstrong reduce his lifetime ban from sports, but only if he confesses under oath.
Armstrong said he did not use banned substances when he competed again in the Tour de France in 2009. Armstrong placed 3rd, but was disqualified.
In his interview with Oprah, Armstrong said taking performance enhancing drugs and other banned substances became so routine that it was as common as having air in his tires or water in his bottles. He said that at the time, he didn't consider taking the testosterone and EPO as wrong or cheating.