Lance Armstrong on Telling Son About Doping: ‘He Trusted Me’
Plus, a criminal lawyer weighs in on what the cyclist could face following his confession to Oprah Winfrey and the world.
Since his public downfall last year, Lance Armstrong has faced many, many critics. But facing his own children over the holidays was a whole different bike route.
During part two of Armstrong’s revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired Friday night on OWN, things got personal -- and emotional.
“First I want to tell you what happened. When this all really started, I saw my son defending me and saying, ‘That’s not true. What you’re saying about my dad is not true,’” he told Winfrey in the exclusive sit-down.
“And it almost goes to this question of why now? He can’t -- yeah. That’s when I knew I had to tell him. And he never asked me. He never said, ‘Dad, is this true?’ He trusted me.”
“I said, ‘Listen, there’s been a lot of questions about your dad. My career, whether I doped or did not dope. I’ve always denied that and I’ve always been ruthless and defiant about that, you guys have seen that, that’s probably why you trusted me on it.’ Which makes it even sicker.”
“I said, ‘I want you to know that it's true.’”
Armstrong also told his 11-year-old twin daughters Isabelle Rose and Grace Elisabeth. Along with Luke, the twins are Armstrong’s children with his first wife Kristin.
“They didn’t say much. They didn’t say, ‘But wait, dad.’ They just accepted it. And I told Luke, I said, ‘Don’t defend me anymore. Don’t.’”
Armstrong noted that it was Kristin who asked him to stay clean ahead of his 2009 comeback at the Tour de France.
“It was a serious ask. It was a serious commitment. She gave me her blessing. If she would have said no, I don’t like this idea, I would not have done it. But I gave her my word, and I did stick to it.”
He finished third, but the feat has since been voided.
During part one of his interview with Winfrey, the famous cyclist admitted to using “banned drugs and blood transfusions” in all of his seven Tour de France wins, the most recent being in 2005. In October 2012, Armstrong was formally stripped of his seven Tour titles.
On Thursday, USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart released the following statement in response to the admission:
“Tonight, Lance Armstrong finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit. His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction. But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
So what could happen to Armstrong in the name of the law, following his televised confession?
“There is nothing but a downside for him in terms of giving that interview,” criminal lawyer Darren Kavinoky told Celebuzz this week. “Some of that may be cushioned because of the statute of limitations."
On the criminal side, Kavinoky said Armstrong could face everything from conspiracy to embezzlement or fraud, or even racketeering because it’s a business-related crime.
“On the side of fighting about money, he could be forced to write a check for about a zillion dollars,” Kavinoky said, adding that things could get ugly if someone like Floyd Landis came after Armstrong.
As for all those sponsors?
According to Kavinoky, “Whether or not they would actually [sue] would depend on their own PR desires. They may want to go after that money because we are going to draw a hard line, we’re anti cheating and this is what we do . . . from a legal stand point they will have a claim based on the fraud.”
Still, there are some benefits from doing an interview with someone like Winfrey, Kavinoky says.
“Let’s face it, as much as we love to build people up, we love to see them fall and then we love to see them resurrected again.”
“The world loves a comeback story.”
What do you think will happen to Lance Armstrong, legally and in the eye of the public, after his Oprah Winfrey interview? Do you think he will ever make a comeback? Weigh in below.