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'Yes, I was a bully': Highlights (and lowlights) from Armstrong's Oprah interview

Cyclist Lance Armstrong is interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in Austin, Texas, in this Jan. 14, 2012, handout photo courtesy of Harpo Studios.

Reuters

After years of vehement denials, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has finally admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Here is some of what Armstrong told Oprah Winfrey in an interview broadcast on Thursday.

On whether he feels he cheated:

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"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."

On doping in cycling:

"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."

On the U.S. Postal Service team's doping program:

"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."

On whether he was afraid of getting caught:

"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."

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On whether he thought his drug use would be revealed:

"I just assumed the stories would continue for a long time. We're sitting here because there was a two-year criminal federal investigation."

On whether he was 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."

On others' involvement in doping:

"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."

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On whether he regrets returning to competitive cycling in 2009:

"I do. We wouldn't be sitting here if I didn't come back."

On the myth of Lance Armstrong:

"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."

On betraying his fans:

"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 apologize to people."

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