Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Coming clean. Lance Armstrong sits down in an exclusive one-on-one interview with Oprah and admits to doping during his time as one of the greatest cyclists of all times. His admission is drawing strong opinions from local bike shops.
Rochelle Ritchie speaks to people who looked up to Armstrong.
When Lance Armstrong competed, cycling fans across the world could only stare in awe as the cancer survivor did what most thought was impossible–win seven Tour de France titles.
But the impossible became possible with the help of performance enhancing drugs Armstrong now admits to using.
“I view this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times,” Armstrong said.
During his televised confession with Oprah, Armstrong said doping to win at the time didn’t feel wrong. He says he wishes he would have admitted to his drug use last year when given the chance.
“Oprah, I’d do anything to go back to that day,” he said.
It’s hard realization for local organizations like the Livestrong Foundation–a cancer fighting charity which Armstrong stepped down from as chairman. The president of Livestrong declined an interview with WJZ but did release a statement.
“We at the Livestrong Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us,” the statement said.
While Armstrong is taking a lot of flack, some local bike shops say people need to cut him some slack.
“I think today in 2013 in professional sports it’s naive to think not everyone is using some performance enhancing drugs,” said one cyclist.
“Cycling wouldn’t be what it is today if it wasn’t for Lance,” said another.
Armstrong says he got caught up in the hype of winning, but in the end lost it all.
“I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people for the rest of my life,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong has now been stripped of all of his Tour de France titles and his Olympic bronze medal.
Armstrong has also been dropped by Nike.