Former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his 7 Tour de France victories in 2012 and banned from professional cycling after it was found that he used performance enhancing drugs through his career in racing, has said that if he was in the same circumstances when he started racing, he’d use PEDs again.
“If I was racing in 2017? No, I wouldn’t do it again,” Armstrong told BBC Sport in preparation for a new documentary. “Because I don’t think you have to do it again. If you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive? [I’d] probably do it again.”
Armstrong first started racing professionally in 1992, and his career took off starting in 1999. In 1999 Armstrong won his first of 7 consecutive Tour de France titles, something that was unprecedented, and would still be had the titles not been stripped from Armstrong as a result of his PED usage.
While Armstrong now openly acknowledges that he used performance enhancing drugs during his career, he also claims that it wasn’t just him who was utilizing PEDs at the time, but rather the that PEDs were an epidemic in cycling at the time.
“Listen, if I go back to 1995 — and some started earlier, some a little later, but let’s take that as ground zero — I think we’re all sorry,” Armstrong told BBC Sport. “And do you know what we’re sorry for? We’re sorry that we were put in that place. None of us wanted to be in that place. We all would have loved to have competed man on man, bread, water, naturally clean, whatever you want [to] call it.”
Armstrong had long denied usage of performance enhancing drugs despite multiple allegations through his career, but admitted their usage in 2013 after more allegations had taken place.
While Armstrong does say in the same environment he would do it again, he seems to think the sport of cycling would go back and change the culture if they could.