Lance Armstrong on Handling Doping Claims: 'I Needed a F--King Nuclear Meltdown'

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIJune 1, 2020

JACO, COSTA RICA - NOVEMBER 01:  Lance Armstrong of the United States competes in Day 1 of the La Ruta de Los Conquistadores on November 1, 2018 in Jaco, Costa Rica.  La Ruta de Los Conquistadores is Costa Rica's premier mountain bike race, and one of the most difficult races in the world. The race was started in 1993 by Roman Urbina. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Lance Armstrong doesn't regret the role he played in performance-enhancing drug accusations against him and the legal aftermath, the 48-year-old cyclist revealed during the second and final episode of ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary titled Lance:

30 for 30 @30for30

Take it from Lance, he got what he needed. https://t.co/gF2UZ88EhJ

Floyd Landis outed Armstrong and other USA Cycling teammates for using illegal performance-enhancing drugs, which launched a United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation. USADA named Armstrong at the center of the "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

ESPN's T.J. Quinn provided more insight into Armstrong's lawsuit against USADA:

T.J. Quinn @TJQuinnESPN

Quick Lance story: The week after USADA hit him with a lifetime ban, Lance called me. We didn’t have a relationship. He started railing about the lifetime ban. He said, “I don’t give a shit about the Tour de France titles. I truly don’t. Everybody knows who won.” But... /1

T.J. Quinn @TJQuinnESPN

I asked, “if USADA said they’d drop the trafficking charge if you cop to the doping charge, would you do that?” He said, “I’d take that deal in a second.” I understood it to be an off-the-record conversation, so I didn’t say anything. /3

T.J. Quinn @TJQuinnESPN

Within a week, Lance went with the nuclear option and filed a lawsuit that had no chance in US District Court. And the rest is history. (I’m only talking about it now because both men have discussed it publicly since.) /end

Armstrong addressed Landis directly:

30 for 30 @30for30

"It could be worse ... I could be Floyd Landis." —Lance Armstrong https://t.co/tV9qM6MroY

And he expressed some remorse:

ESPN @espn

"I wish I could change it. I wish I could have been a better man. All I can do is say I'm sorry and move on." —Lance Armstrong https://t.co/DzyaQ8hQtg

Armstrong was banned for life from cycling and had his seven Tour de France titles stripped. He publicly admitted to doping in January 2013.