Lance Armstrong of the U.S. waves on the podium of the 20th stage of the 97th Tour de France cycling race between Longjumeau and Paris. (Photo : Reuters)
Much of the U.S. sat in disappointment and disgust following Lance Armstrong's admission of steroid use in a Thursday interview with Oprah, seemingly confirming most sports fans can usually forgive and forget when athletes commit murder, rape, and/or other crimes, but draw the line at lying and cheating.
Following the airing of part one of Oprah's interview with the disgraced cyclist, ESPN columnist Rick Reilly wrote on Twitter, "Armstrong said he didn't think it was cheating because everybody did it. Then he said he didn't bully teammates who didn't dope. Lie."
Cyclist Lance Armstrong confessed to using steroids while winning his seven Tour de France titles in a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, USA Today reported. Armstrong reportedly admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs during the time period after delivering an emotional apology to the Livestrong charity he founded.
Rob Montgomery, a Chicago cyclist, and fan of Armstrong's wrote that his hero let him down: "The interview with @lancearmstrong and @Oprah was stunning. Lance, you lost a follower and a guy that believed in what you were doing. #sad."
The Livestrong Foundation, the cancer charity Armstrong helped found, but which split with the athlete in 2012, released a statement about his doping comments shortly after the interview.
"We at the Livestrong Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us," reads the statement. "
"Earlier this week, Lance apologized to our staff and we accepted his apology in order to move on and chart a strong, independent course. We look forward to devoting our full energy to our mission of helping people not only fight and survive cancer, but also thrive in life after cancer."
The statement continues: "Even in the wake of our disappointment, we also express our gratitude to Lance as a survivor for the drive, devotion and spirit he brought to serving cancer patients and the entire cancer community. Lance is no longer on the Foundation's board, but he is our founder and we will always be grateful to him for creating and helping to build a Foundation that has served millions struggling with cancer."
Armstrong's confession is a shocking reversal for the athlete who's insisted in public statements, interviews and court proceedings for years that he never used steroids.
Armstrong was unceremoniously stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a damning 1,000-page report accusing him of masterminding a long-running doping scheme. USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said the drug regimen Armstrong practiced while leading the U.S. Postal Service team was, "The most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."
More reactions on Twitter
"@Vaughters A good first step. I need to sleep," tweeted cyclist and former Armstrong teammate Jonathan Vaughters.
"@DavidWalshST First reaction is Oprah began the interview brilliantly with her series of 'yes or no' questions. It felt good to hear him admit to doping," said David Walsh, author of Armstrong's book "Seven Deadly Sins."
"@GrahamRahal Watching Lance's interview. Man, like so many this guy was a hero. Guess I can take his signed TDF worn jersey off my wall," tweeted IndyCar driver Rahal Graham.
"@piersmorgan What a snivelling, lying, cheating little wretch @lancearmstrong revealed himself to be tonight. I hope he now just disappears. #LiveWrong," tweeted television host Piers Morgan.