19 Jan 2013

Armstrong admits all, but wants to compete again

9:16 pm on 19 January 2013

The disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong says he wants to take part in competitive sports again, even after admitting to using a variety of performance-enhancing drugs in races.

In the just-aired second part of an exclusive interview with US talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong said he was not sure he deserved a life ban from sanctioned sporting events.

"I'm a competitor," he said. "It's what I've done my whole life. I love to train. I love to race."

Armstrong said he was desperate to compete again, not in the Tour de France but in events like the marathon.

He stopped short of calling the life ban unfair, but said that his "death penalty" was different to what other cheating cyclists had received.

Armstrong fought back tears as he told Winfrey he finally cracked and decided to confess to cheating after he heard his son defending him.

He said he knows that he has let a lot of people down and that millions who believed in him will feel betrayed.

Major legal risk seen

Lawyers say Armstrong has taken a major risk in admitting to using banned drugs, because he has exposed himself to significant litigation.

The seven-time Tour de France champion, who has been stripped of all those titles, already faces several potential lawsuits from former teammates and sponsors.

Armstrong also told Winfrey that being forced out of his cancer charity Livestrong has been his most humbling moment.

Asked if he had any remorse about his years of cheating and lying, he said he was at the beginning of a process.

The interview, broadcast on Winfrey's OWN cable channel, was watched by 3.2 million people in the United States.