19 Ocak 2013 Cumartesi

Lance @Oprah Söyleşi Çözümü - Bölüm 2 (İng)

Lance @Oprah Söyleşi Çözümü - Bölüm 2 (İng)

Oprah Winfrey: Every article I've seen and everything I've written begins with the word disgraced. Do you feel disgraced?
Lance Armstrong: "Of course but I also feel humbled and I feel ashamed. This is not good stuff."
What was the most humbling moment that brought you face-to-face with yourself?
"I believe it was a Wednesday. [Sponsors] Nike called - this isn't the most humbling moment, I'll get to that - and they said basically that they were out. OK? And then the calls started coming. Trek, Giro, Anheuser-Bush..."
On the same day, the same couple of days?
"Yeah, a couple of days. Everybody out, still not the most humbling moment. Not a fun period."
How did that hit you, though?
"You know, in a way I just assumed we'd get to that point. The story was getting out of control, which was my worst nightmare. I had this place in my mind that they would all leave. The one I didn't think would leave was the [Livestrong] Foundation.
"That was the most humbling moment. To get that phone call - first to step down as chairman and stay on the board, but that wasn't enough for the people and for our supporters and then a couple of weeks later the next call came to step aside. They said 'we need you to consider stepping down for yourself' and I had to think about it a lot.
"The Foundation is like my sixth child and to make that decision and to step aside was big. It was the best thing for the organisation but it hurt like hell. That was the lowest."
Of everything that has happened in this entire process, in this fall from grace, has that been the toughest?
"That was the lowest, the lowest."
Can Livestrong live without your story?
"I certainly hope so. Yeah, I hope so."
Because your story transcended sports and gave hope to so many people fighting cancer. I have this email that a friend sent to me after finding out I was going to be doing this interview and it said 'I have heard that he is a real jerk but I will always root for Lance. He gave me hope at a very dire time. My first-born son had just been diagnosed with leukaemia two weeks before his first birthday. I'm in intensive care barely able to breathe and my brother sends me Lance's new book, It's Not About the Bike, I read it cover to cover through the night, it showed me that there was hope for my son to not only live but to thrive. I had a choice to make that night on how I would respond to my son's illness and teach him how to face the world. My prayer to Lance is that as he faces his demons he remembers it's not about the bike.
Are you facing your demons?
"Absolutely. Absolutely, yeah. It's a process and I think, you know, we're at the beginning of the process."
What has been the financial cost? Have you lost everything?
"I've lost all future income. You could look at the day and a half when people left. You asked me the cost. I don't like thinking about it but it was a $75m day. All gone and probably never coming back."
How did it hit you?
"I've been to a dark place that was not my doing where I didn't know if I would live a month, six months, a year, five years, 10 years and it has helped me now. This is not a good time but it isn't the worst part of my life. You can't compare this to an advanced diagnosis. That sets the bar. It is close but I'm an optimist and I like to look forward. This has caused me to look back and I don't like that. I'm like my mother like that. We don't talk about the past. I've never spoken about my biological father."
So you came back and you didn't believe it was possible to win seven Tours without doping but you came back not going to dope and you expected to win still?
"Yes, because I thought and still think the sport was very clean. There really was a major shift in the mid-2000s with the biological passports. I thought I was competing on a level playing field.
"I didn't expect to finish third - I expected to win like I always expected and at the end I said I just got beat by two guys who were better. It doesn't sound like what I would say."
Were there people who cared about you who knew about this who wanted you to stop the lying and the doping?
Was there anything they could have said or done?
"Probably not. If I could say one name - Kristin [ex-wife and mother of his eldest three children]. She is a smart lady. She is extremely spiritual and she believes in honesty, integrity and the truth and believes that the truth will set you free. We believe differently on a lot of things. We have three kids together, they deserve the honest truth and a dad that is viewed to them as telling the truth."
Was there anybody who knew the whole truth?
Let's go back to Kristin. Did she have conversations with you about stopping or getting out?
"I saw her at the kids' game two days ago and said if this comes up can I talk about this and she said yes. She was not that curious. Perhaps she didn't want to know. She certainly knew but on a need-to-know basis. I guess I protected her a little bit from that. The thing about her and my doping and this comeback was she was the one person I asked if I could do that, if I could come back.
"It was a big decision. I needed her blessing. And she said to me, you can do it, under one condition, that you never cross that line again [the line of drugs], and I said you've got a deal and I never would have betrayed that with her. It was a serious ask, 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'll stick to it."
You and Kristin have three children together, what do you tell Luke, he's 13, you've been fighting this thing all his life. What do you tell him and the girls what's going on?
"They know a lot. They hear it in the hallways. Their schools, their classmates have been very supportive. Where you lose control with your kids is when they go out of that space, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, in the feedback columns."
But what did you tell him?
"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.
"That's when I knew I had to tell him. And he'd never asked me. He'd never said 'dad, is this true?'. He trusted me. I heard about it in the hallways….."
What did you say to him?
"At that time, nothing, but that's the time I had to say something. I heard he was defending me and it gets ugly and at that point I decided it was out of control and I had to have a talk with him here over the holidays."
What did you say?
"I said there have been a lot of questions about your dad any my career and whether I doped and I've always denied it and been ruthless and defiant which you have seen, which makes it even sicker but I want you to know that it is true. Then there were the girls who are 11 and they didn't say much. They just accepted it and I told Luke 'don't defend me anymore, don't'."
How did he take it?
"He has been remarkably calm and mature about it. I told him 'if anyone says anything to you, do not defend me, just say 'Hey, my dad says he is sorry'. He said 'I love you, you're my dad and this won't change that'. I had expected something.
Did you expect defiance? Anger? Disappointment?
"Thank God he is more like Kristin than he is like me."
What about your mother?
"She is a wreck and she is not the type of person that would call me and say 'Lance, I'm a wreck' but my stepfather called and told me she was having a hard time. I said she is a tough lady and has gotten through every other tough moment. Then we were facetiming with my kids and I saw my mum and she was a wreck. It took seeing her to really realise that this has taken a toll on her life."
 A lot of people think you're doing this so you can come back to sport…
"If you're asking me if I want to compete again, the answer is hell yes, I'm a competitor. It's what I've done all my life. I love to train. I love to race, I love to toe the line. And I don't expect it to happen."
Do you want to compete again?
"Not the Tour de France but there are lots of other things I could do but can't do because of this punishment [lifetime ban]. If there is a window, would I like to run the Chicago Marathon when I'm 50? I would love to do that but I can't. I can't compete in any event that is sanctioned by a governing body. I would love the opportunity to compete but that isn't the reason why I'm doing this.
"It might not be the most popular answer but I think I deserve it, maybe not right now. When you see the punishment - I would go back and say you are trading my story for a six-month ban so I got a death penalty meaning I can't compete. I'm not saying that is unfair but it is different."
Are you hoping this conversation, your admission that you wished you had done things differently with Usada, that your lifetime ban will be lifted?
"Er, selfishly, yes. But realistically, I don't think that is going happen and I've got to live with that."
There's been a lot of talk about what you were going to say. What was your intention, your hope that would come out of it?
"The biggest hope and intention was the wellbeing of my children. The older kids need to not be living with this issue in my life. It's not fair what I did to them and also for the little ones, they are two and three. They obviously have no idea but they will learn it. This conversation will live forever. That dumb tweet with yellow jerseys lives for ever. So I've got to get that right for them as they enter the depth of their lives."
Do you think you've got what you deserve? For a long time, you were saying everyone was on the witch hunt for you. Do you think, considering how big you were and what your name and brand stand for, you got what you deserved?
"I deserve to be punished. Not sure I deserve a death penalty."
So was it just you being your cocky, arrogant, jerk self that sent that tweet of you lying there with all the jerseys?

"Yeah, that was another mistake."
The wolves are at your door and you tweet that. What was that?
"That was just more defiance. What's scary is I thought it was a good idea."
You did?
"At the time."
So tell me, when something this gargantuan happens in your life, how has it changed the way you see yourself? Or has it changed the way you see yourself?
"Not completely. This is heavy and this is messy and this is not something I can sit with and then leave and go 'OK, we're all good'."
You mentioned therapy earlier, are you doing therapy?
"Yeah. Over the course of my life, I've done it sporadically. I'm the type of person who needs to not do it sporadically. I've had a messy life, but it's no excuse. This is going to be a long process."
Do you have remorse? Is there real remorse or a sense of sorry you got caught?
"Everybody that gets caught is bummed out they got caught. I'm only starting and I will continue with the ripple effects, people who are sitting there today are still true believers and will hear something different.
"Do I have remorse? Absolutely. Will it grow? Absolutely. This is the first step and these are my actions. I am paying the price but I deserve it."

Do you owe [Sunday Times journalist] David Walsh an apology?
"That's a good question."
Do you owe David Walsh an apology, who for 13 years has pursued this story, who wrote for the Times, who has now written books about your story and about this entire process?
"I'd apologise to David. I've had a couple of these conversations."
What do you say to the woman who wrote that email [above] and those millions of people who believed?
"I say I understand your anger, your sense of betrayal. You supported me forever, through all of this and you believed and I lied to you and I'm sorry. I will spend - and I'm committed to spending - as long as I have to make amends knowing full well that I won't get very many back."
Are you in a space where you're not apologising but you can begin to feel how you shattered other people's lives?
"Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I don't need to be back in that place where I can slip like that and take things for granted and abuse privilege. If I had one of my kids act like that, I'd be apoplectic."
We all know when you're famous, people love to see the rise and they also love to see you stumble and fall. Will you rise again?
"I don't know. I don't know. I don't know what's out there. I do not know the outcome here. I'm getting comfortable with that. That would have driven me crazy in the past. I'm getting there. I need to get even more there. I'm deeply sorry for what I did. I can say that thousands of times. It may never be enough to come back."
Last Wednesday night, Travis Tygart of Usada told 60 Minutes Sports that someone on your team offered a donation which Usada did not accept. He said it was over $150,000. Were you trying to pay off Usada?
"No, that is not true."
That's not true?
"That is not true. In the 1,000-page reasoned decision that they had issued, there was a lot of stuff in there, everything was in there, why wasn't that in there? Pretty big story. Oprah, it's not true."
No-one representing you…
"Nobody, I had no knowledge of that but I asked around. Nobody, not true."
And you are Lance Armstrong and you run your own show so if somebody was going to offer $150,000, you would know about it?
"I think the claim was $250,000, it was broad number but they narrowed it down. That's a lot of money. I would know."
And you're saying that's not true?
"That's not true."
When something like this happens, what you hope is that it causes a change within you. Has it happened to you yet?
"I'd be lying if I said it has. I keep going to the idea and the word 'process' - I have work to do and there is not going to be one tectonic shift."
Are you a better human being today because this happened? Did it help you become a better human being?
"Without a doubt and again this happened twice in my life. When I was diagnosed I was better and smarter after that and then lost my way and this is the second time. It is easy to sit here and say I feel better and smarter but I can't lose my way again.
"Only I can control it and I'm in no position to make promises. I will slip up every now and then. The biggest challenge of the rest of my life is to not slip up again and not lose sight of what I have to do. I had it but things got too big and too crazy. Epic challenge."
It's an epic story. What's the moral to the story?
"I don't have a great answer there. I can look at what I did, cheating to win bike races, lying about it, bullying people, of course you're not supposed to do those things - that's what we teach our children. That's the easy thing. There's another moral to this story. For me, I think it was about that ride and about losing myself and getting caught up in that and doing all those things along the way. And then the ultimate crime is the betrayal of these people who support me and believed in me and they got lied to."
You know what I hope the moral to this story is? It's what Kristin told you: the truth will set you free.
"Yeah. She continues to tell me that."

18 Ocak 2013 Cuma

Lance @ Oprah Söyleşi Çözümü - Bölüm 1 (İng.)

Lance Armstrong - Oprah Winfrey Söyleşi Çözümü - BÖLÜM 1

Oprah Winfrey: Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?

Lance Armstrong: "Yes."

Was one of those banned substances EPO?

Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?

Did you ever use any other banned substances such as testosterone, cortisone or Human Growth Hormone?

In all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?

Was it humanly possible to win the Tour de France without doping, seven times?
"Not in my opinion. that generation. I didn't invent the culture, but I didn't try to stop the culture."

For 13 years you didn't just deny it, you brazenly and defiantly denied everything you just admitted just now. So why now admit it?
"That is the best question. It's the most logical question. I don't know that I have a great answer. I will start my answer by saying that this is too late. It's too late for probably most people, and that's my fault. I viewed this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times, and as you said, it wasn't as if I just said no and I moved off it."

You were defiant, you called other people liars.
"I understand that. And while I lived through this process, especially the last two years, one year, six months, two, three months, I know the truth. The truth isn't what was out there. The truth isn't what I said, and now it's gone - this story was so perfect for so long. And I mean that, as I try to take myself out of the situation and I look at it. You overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times. You have a happy marriage, you have children. I mean, it's just this mythic perfect story, and it wasn't true."

Was it hard to live up to that picture that was created?
"Impossible. Certainly I'm a flawed character, as I well know, and I couldn't do that."

But didn't you help paint that picture?
"Of course, I did. And a lot of people did. All the fault and all the blame here falls on me. But behind that picture and behind that story is momentum. Whether it's fans or whether it's the media, it just gets going. And I lost myself in all of that. I'm sure there would be other people that couldn't handle it, but I certainly couldn't handle it, and I was used to controlling everything in my life. I controlled every outcome in my life."

You said to me earlier you don't think it was possible to win without doping?
"Not in that generation, and I'm not here to talk about others in that generation. It's been well-documented. I didn't invent the culture, but I didn't try to stop the culture, and that's my mistake, and that's what I have to be sorry for, and that's what something and the sport is now paying the price because of that. So I am sorry for that. I didn't have access to anything else that nobody else did."
USADA issued a 164-page report. CEO Travis Tygart said you and US Postal team pulled off the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping programme sport has ever seen. Was it?
"No. It definitely was professional, and it was definitely smart, if you can call it that, but it was very conservative, very risk-averse, very aware of what mattered. One race mattered for me. But to say that that program was bigger than the East German doping program in the '70s and '80s? That's not true."

What was the culture? Can you explain the culture to us?
"I don't want to accuse anybody else. I don't want to talk about anybody else. I made my decisions. They are my mistakes, and I am sitting here today to acknowledge that and to say I'm sorry for that. The culture was what it was."
Was everybody doing it? That's what we've heard. Was everybody doing it?
"I didn't know everybody. I didn't live and train with everybody. I didn't race with everybody. I can't say that. There will be people that say that. There will be people that say, 'OK, there are 200 guys on the tour, I can tell you five guys that didn't, and those are the five heroes', and they're right."

How were you able to do it? Walk me through it. Pill deliveries, blood in secret refrigerators… how did it work?
"I viewed it as very simple. There were things that were oxygen-supplying drugs that were beneficial for cycling. My cocktail was EPO, but not a lot, transfusions and testosterone.
"I thought, surely I'm running low [on testosterone following the cancer battle] but there's no true justification."

Were you afraid of getting caught? In 1999 there was not even a test for EPO...
No. Testing has evolved. Back then they didn't come to your house and there was no testing out of competition and for most of my career there wasn't that much out-of-competition testing so you're not going to get caught because you clean up for the races.
"It's a question of scheduling. That sounds weird. I'm no fan of the UCI but the introduction of the biological passport [in 2008] worked.
"I'm paying the price and I deserve this. That's okay. I deserve it.
"My ruthless desire to win at all costs served me well on the bike but the level it went to, for whatever reason, is a flaw. That desire, that attitude, that arrogance."

When you placed third in 2009, you did not dope?
"The last time I crossed that line was 2005."

Does that include blood transfusions? No doping or blood transfusions in 2009… 2010?
"Absolutely not."

Were you the one in charge?
"I was the top rider, the leader of the team."

If someone was not doing something to your satisfaction could you get them fired?
"No. I guess I could have but I never did. I was the leader of the team and the leader leads by example. There was never a direct order. That never happened. We were all grown men and made our choices. There were team-mates who didn't dope." 

One former team-mate, Christian Vande Velde, told Usada you threatened to kick him off the team if he didn't shape up and conform to the doping programme?
"That's not true. There was a level of expectation. We expected guys to be fit to be able to compete. I'm not the most believable guy in the world right now. If I do it I'm leading by example so that's a problem.
"I view one as a verbal directive and that didn't exist. I take that. The leader of the team, the guy that my team-mates looked up to, I accept that 100%. I care a lot about Christian but when you go on to other teams and show the same behaviour..."

Were you a bully?
"Yes, I was a bully. I was a bully in the sense that I tried to control the narrative and if I didn't like what someone said I turned on them." 

Is that your nature - when someone says something you don't like, you go on attack? Have you been like that your entire life - 10-years-old, 12-years-old and 14-years-old?
"My entire life. Before my diagnosis I was a competitor but not a fierce competitor. When I was diagnosed, that turned me into a fighter. That was good. I took that ruthless win-at-all-costs attitude into cycling which was bad." 

How important was winning to you and would you do anything to win at all costs?
"It was win at all costs. When I was diagnosed (with cancer) I would do anything to survive. I took that attitude - win at all costs - to cycling. That's bad. I was taking drugs before that but I wasn't a bully."

To keep on winning it meant you had to keep taking banned substances to do it? Are you saying that's how common it was?
"Yes, and I'm not sure that this is an acceptable answer, but that's like saying we have to have air in our tyres or we have to have water in our bottles. That was, in my view, part of the job."

When you look at that do you feel embarrassed, shame, humble, tell me what you feel?
"This is the second time in my life when I can't control the outcome. The first was the disease. The scary thing is, winning seven Tour de Frances, I knew I was going to win."

Was there happiness in winning when you knew you were taking these banned substances?
"There was more happiness in the process, in the build, in the preparation. The winning was almost phoned in."

Was it a big deal to you, did it feel wrong?
"No. Scary."

It did not even feel wrong?
"No. Even scarier."

Did you feel bad about it?
"No. The scariest."

Did you feel in any way that you were cheating? You did not feel you were cheating taking banned drugs?
"At the time, no. I kept hearing I'm a drug cheat, I'm a cheat, I'm a cheater. I went in and just looked up the definition of cheat and the definition of cheat is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe that they don't have. I didn't view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field."

But you knew that you were held to a higher standard. You're Lance Armstrong.
"I knew that, and of course hindsight is perfect. I know it a thousand times more now. I didn't know what I had. Look at the fallout."

What do you mean by you 'didn't know'? I don't think people will understand what you're saying. When you and I met a week ago you didn't think it was that big? How could you not?
"I see the anger in people, betrayal, it's all there. People who believed in me and supported me and they have every right to feel betrayed and it's my fault and I'll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologise to people."
You never offered it [performance-enhancing drugs] to them [team-mates], suggested they see Dr Michele Ferrari?
"There are people in this story, they are good people, we've all made mistakes, they are not toxic and evil. I viewed Dr Michele Ferrari as a good man and I still do." 

Was he the leader and mastermind behind the team's doping programme? How would you characterise his influence on the team?
"No. I'm not comfortable talking about other people. It's all out there."

David Walsh of the Sunday Times in London said your relationship with Ferrari immediately dialled suspicion on you. Can you see that relationship was reckless?
"There were plenty of other reckless things. That would be a very good way to characterise that period of my life."

What about the story [masseuse] Emma O'Reilly tells about cortisone and you having cortisone backdated - is that true?
"That was true."

What do you want to say about Emma O'Reilly? You sued her?
"Emma O'Reilly is one of these people I have to apologise to. We ran over her, we bullied her."

You sued her?
"To be honest, Oprah, we sued so many people I don't even [know]. I'm sure we did."

When people were saying things - Walsh, O'Reilly, Betsy Andreu [wife of former team-mate Frankie Andreu] and many others - you would then go on the attack for them, suing and know they were telling the truth. What is that?
"When I hear that there are people who will never believe me I understand that. One of the steps of this process is to say sorry. I was wrong, you were right."

Have you called Betsy Andreu? Did she take your call? Was she telling the truth about the Indiana hospital, overhearing you in 1996? Was Betsy lying?
"I'm not going to take that on. I'm laying down on that one. I'm going to put that one down. She asked me, and I asked her not to talk about it."

Is it well with two of you? Have you made peace?
"No, because they've been hurt too badly, and a 40-minute [phone] conversation isn't enough." 

[With] Emma you implied the 'whore' word. How do you feel about that today? Were you trying to put her down? Shut her up?
"I don't feel good. I was just on the attack. The territory was being threatened. The team was being threatened. I was on the attack."

This is the clip I just cannot reconcile [winning speech after seventh Tour de France win]… What were you trying to accomplish there?
"I've made some mistakes in my life and that was a mistake (standing on podium after winning 2005 Tour de France and saying "believe in miracles").

Were you particularly trying to rub it in the faces of those who came out against you and say they were lying - were you addressing them? What were you saying that for?
"That was the first year they gave the mic to the winner of the Tour and I was wondering what I was going to say. That just came out. Looking back at it now, it looks ridiculous."

You said dozens of times in interviews you never failed a test. Do you have a different answer today?
"No I didn't fail a test. Retroactively, I failed one. The hundreds of tests I took, I passed them. There was retroactive stuff later on."

What about the Tour de Suisse [in 2001]?
"That story isn't true. There was no positive test. No paying off of the lab. The UCI did not make that go away. I'm no fan of the UCI.

You made a donation to the UCI and said that donation was about helping anti-doping efforts. Obviously it was not. Why did you make that donation?
"It was not in exchange for help. They called and said they didn't have a lot of money - I did. They asked if I would make a donation so I did."

Many people feel the real tipping point was [former team-mate] Floyd Landis's decision to come forward and confess?
"My comeback didn't sit well with Floyd."

Do you remember where you were when you heard Floyd, a former team-mate and protege, was going to talk?
"I was in a hotel room (upon hearing Landis would reveal details of Armstrong's doping). Floyd was sending text messages about his interview. I finally said 'do what you have to do'. He went to the Wall Street Journal with the story."

Did you rebuff him, would you say you rebuffed Floyd? Did you rebuff him after he was stripped of his Tour win, did you just blow him off?
"Up to that point I supported him when he tested positive. I tried to keep him on my team because he knew what others didn't. I didn't shun him."

So that was the tipping point. And your comeback was also a tipping point. Do you regret coming back?
"I do. We wouldn't be sitting here if I didn't come back."

You would have gotten away with it?
"Impossible to say, there would have been better chances but I didn't."

Did you not always think this day was coming? Did you not think you would be found out at some point, especially as so many people knew?
"I just assumed the stories would continue for a long time. We're sitting here because there was a two-year criminal federal investigation."

When the Department of Justice dropped the case, did you think 'now finally it's over, done, victory'? You thought you were out of the woods; the wolves had left the door?
"I thought I was out of the woods. And those were some serious wolves."

What was the reaction when you learned Usada was going to pick up the case and pursue the case against you?
"My reaction was to fight back. I'd do anything to go back to that day. I wouldn't fight. I wouldn't sue them. I'd listen. I'd say guys, granted I was treated differently to other guys. Treated differently in that I wasn't approached at the same time as other riders.
"They gathered all of the evidence and they came to me and said what are you going to do? Going back I'd say 'give me three days. Let me call my family, my mother, sponsors, foundation' and I wish I could do that but I can't."

Will you co-operate with Usada to help clear up the sport of cycling?
"I love cycling and I say that knowing that people see me as someone who disrespected the sport, the colour yellow. If we can, and I stand on no moral platform here, if there was truth and reconciliation commission - and I can't call for that - if they have it and I'm invited I'll be first man through the door."

When you heard that [former team-mate] George Hincapie had been called to testify by Usada, did you feel that was the last card in this deck, the last straw?
"My fate was sealed [by George]. If George didn't say it then people would say 'I'm sticking with Lance'. George is the most credible voice in all of this. We're still great friends. I don't fault George. George knows this story better than anybody."