The Twitter world exploded Thursday night, as fallen hero Lance Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs in his interview with Oprah Winfrey.
After years of aggressive self-defense, the seven-time Tour de France winner came clean to Winfrey. The interview, which was conducted Monday and aired Thursday on Oprah's network OWN, saw Armstrong admit to using banned substances within the first two minutes.
Armstrong's confession comes after he was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles and his 2000 Olympic bronze medal. He also lost all of his sponsorships and stepped down as the chairman of the Livestrong foundation.
Once seen as an iconic and inspirational figure, the disgraced cyclist has now begun a long and possibly endless path to redemption. Here is how the social media world responded to his confession.
SportsCenter anchor Stan Verrett pointed out that Armstrong robbed the clean cyclists he was competing against (assuming there were clean cyclists at the time).
What about the riders who competed clean? They trained, sacrificed time with loved ones and had NO chance to win because of armstrong and co— stan verrett (@stanverrett) January 18, 2013
Armstrong said he believed Floyd Landis eventually did him in, as Wayne McDonnell, Jr., a professor at New York University, tweeted.
Armstrong believes the Floyd Landis interview and admissions were the proverbial tipping point for Armstrong. @society_sports— Wayne McDonnell, Jr. (@wmcdonn25) January 18, 2013
Amidst all the emotion, let's give blogger Tucker Grady some props for the funniest tweet of the night.
Can't believe Lance Armstrong's inspirational speech to Peter LaFleur before the Dodgeball finals against Globo-Gym was ALL A LIE.— Tucker Grady (@tuckergrady) January 18, 2013
As Jay Busbee of Yahoo! Sports said, one of the most mind-boggling moments was when Armstrong said he sued so many people he couldn't remember them all.
Armstrong has sued so many people he CANNOT REMEMBER EVERYONE HE SUED. Think about that for a second.— Jay Busbee (@jaybusbee) January 18, 2013
Despite allegations, Armstrong said he never paid someone to cover-up a positive test, as John Kreger of talksport.co.uk mentioned.
Armstrong says he had never paid off anyone to cover up positive test results.— John Kreger (@JohnKreger) January 18, 2013
It was a rough interview for Armstrong. Eric Stangel, head writer of the Late Show with David Letterman, provided a photo that summed up his evening.
After years of saying he never failed a drug test, Armstrong amended his statement during the interview. Rob Harris of the Associated Press provided the quote.
Armstrong: "Technically, retroactively I failed those (tests)"— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) January 18, 2013
David Grann of The New Yorker made a good point about Armstrong and the culture of cycling.
Armstrong is right that the culture was rife with cheating; what set him apart was how he tried to destroy anyone who told the truth.— David Grann (@DavidGrann) January 18, 2013
Armstrong has yet to answer some important questions, as Henry Blodget of The Business Insider mentioned.
I want to hear Armstrong talk about trashing his friends who helped him win. That, to me, is the worst part of the whole thing— Henry Blodget (@hblodget) January 18, 2013
Mark Hughes of the Daily Telegraph relayed one of Armstrong's best quotes from the night.
Armstrong says he looks at old interviews of himself and says: "Look at this arrogant prick"— Mark Hughes (@Hughes_Mark) January 18, 2013
Armstrong's fall from grace is historic, but Dan Rafael of ESPN pointed out he has at least one advantage over Manti Te'o, this week's other humiliated superstar.
At least Lance Armstrong's girlfriend existed.— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) January 18, 2013
Rob Harris of the Associated Press provided a solid summary of the first part of the interview.
Armstrong summary from his own words so far: A cheating bully who lied to the world— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) January 18, 2013
Karen Barlow of ABC tweeted Armstrong's quote about how his obsession with winning led to his PED use.
Armstrong on upbringing and surviving cancer: "I took that ruthless, relentless attitude to cycling."— Karen Barlow (@KJBar) January 18, 2013
As ESPN's Adam Schefter said, this has been a rough week for iconic sports stars and their fans.
State of sports today: Lance Armstrong doped and Manti Te'o duped.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 18, 2013
Actor Michael Ian Black added a little comedic relief with this response to one of Armstrong's more interesting quotes.
"I'm out of the business of calling somebody a liar," Lance Armstrong after a very successful career calling people liars.— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) January 18, 2013
Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated provided all the essential confessions that Armstrong made.
Lance Armstrong tells Oprah, 'Yes,' I took banned substances to enhance performance. Says he took EPO, blood doped, took PED's.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) January 18, 2013
Oprah also asked Armstrong if he felt it was possible to win the Tour de France without doping. T.J. Quinn of ESPN provided his response.
Possible to win Tour de France without doping? Armstrong: "Not in my opinion."— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) January 18, 2013
Despite the confessions, Sarah Lyall of the New York Times was not convinced that Armstrong was truly sorry.
Okay, Armstrong is admitting to taking banned substances -- to everything Oprah is putting to him. He does not look sorry to me.— Sarah Lyall(@sarahlyall) January 18, 2013
A.J. Perez of FOX Sports tweeted one of Armstrong's most interesting quotes from the early minutes.
"It was one big lie I repeated a lot of times," Armstrong said of his lies that stretch back more than a decade.— A.J. Perez (@ajperezfox) January 18, 2013
As author Jon Acuff pointed out, there are many victims of Armstrong's lying.
Hardest part of the Armstrong situation is the folks he sued into bankruptcy for libel because they told the truth.— Jon Acuff (@jonacuff) January 18, 2013