Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong estimates he told ‘10,000 lies’ to shield his use of performance-enhancing drugs, as he explains in an upcoming two-part ESPN documentary titled ‘LANCE’ – a film that appears to have displeased him.
‘Nobody dopes and is honest,’ he said in the upcoming film, according to USA Today. ‘You’re not. The only way you can dope and be honest is if nobody ever asks you, which is not realistic. The second somebody asks you, you lie. It might be one lie because you answer it once. Or in my case it might be 10,000 lies because you answer it 10,000 times.’
‘LANCE’ will premiere on ESPN this Sunday, with Part Two airing on the network Tuesday evening.
While giving an admitted liar like Armstrong a platform may seem strange to some, director Marina Zenovich says she maintained control of the project, adding that the cancer survivor was actually displeased with the finished product when he first viewed it in December.
‘We went toe to toe on a couple of issues in the film, and I haven’t talked to him’ Zenovich told USA Today in a separate interview. ‘I don’t want to go into details, but I was very clear with him that I was going to make the film that needed to be made. And I did. I think he’s processing that.’
ESPN’s upcoming documentary about Lance Armstrong appears to question his credibility
Armstrong did not respond to USA Today’s request for comment. According to Zenovich, Armstrong did not have any editorial control of the film.
If fans are expecting Armstrong, 48, to be contrite while admitting to years of fraud, they may be surprised by his vitriolic references to former teammates-turned legal nemeses.
Admitted steroids cheat Floyd Landis is apparently one of the Armstrong targets.
‘Could be worse,’ Armstrong said of his situation. ‘I could be Floyd Landis … waking up a piece of s*** every day.’
A former teammate of Armstrong’s, Landis finally admitted to PED use in 2010 while also implicating the seven-time Tour de France champion in the crime.
According to USA Today, the two-part documentary is profane, and ESPN will release an edited version for family viewing.
Director Marina Zenovich poses for a portrait to promote the film ‘Lance’ at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival
The footage shows both sides of Armstrong: the heroic Texan who overcame cancer to win seven Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005, and the disgraced cheater and bully who belligerently attacked his critics, who were ultimately proven right.
‘He’s utterly fascinating, and he’s likeable, and he’s light on his feet, and he’s funny,’ Zenovich told USA Today ‘But he also did horrible things to people, so it’s kind of like you’re trying to understand someone. It’s like a perfect documentary subject. For me to be able to have the access to him to try to kind of uncover all of this was like a dream job.’
The film also tries to capture the complicated reaction to Armstrong’s cheating, which affected fans of his cycling and the beneficiaries of his cancer charity much differently.
‘Another thing that was surprising was to see how different people reacted to him in different ways,’ Zenovich said.
Even teammate Bobby Julich admits in the film that he struggles to define how he feels about Armstrong.
If fans are expecting Armstrong, 48, to be contrite while admitting to years of fraud, they may be surprised by his vitriolic references to former teammates-turned legal nemeses. Admitted steroids cheat Floyd Landis is apparently one of the Armstrong targets
‘Thirty years of knowing a person, you either love him or hate him,’ Julich said. ‘I still haven’t decided where I stand after all that.’
If this feels like well-worn territory for Armstrong, that’s because he already gave a tell-all interview to Oprah Winfrey in 2013, confessing that it would not have been possible for him to win seven Tour de France titles without cheating. However, he denied accusations at the time that he pressured teammates into doping, bribed cycling officials, or took PEDs during his comeback in 2009 and 2010.
The preview makes it clear that Armstrong’s credibility remains in question after years of vehemently denying steroid use and berating reporters who questioned his integrity.
‘He’s very good at making sure he’s one step ahead of taking true responsibility for his actions,’ an unidentified voice can be heard saying during the trailer.
Livestrong’s trademark yellow wristbands were once worn by celebrities and politicians the world over. Donations and commercial ties to athletic apparel company Nike brought in tens of millions annually. But those days are gone. The wristbands are rarely seen anymore, and Nike ended its Livestrong clothing line years ago
Armstrong was one of the most admired Americans amid his cycling dominance, and was the face of the Livestrong Foundation, the cancer charity that he helped to popularize by wearing a yellow band around his wrist.
‘I can never be honest about this because all of this goodness will come crashing down,’ Armstrong said in the preview as fans are shown wearing the yellow wrist band.
Although nearly every sport in North America has been sidelined by coronavirus, ESPN has generated interest with its 10-part docu-series on the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls titled ‘The Last Dance.’
Episodes 7 and 8 ran Sunday night, drawing 5.3 million and 4.9 million viewers, respectively, according to ESPN.
The first six episodes actually averaged 12.2 million viewers when DVR recordings are taken into account, according to ESPN.
ESPN has also announced an upcoming documentary about Tom Brady, which will be released in 2021.
Armstrong was one of the most admired Americans amid his cycling dominance, and was the face of the Livestrong Foundation, the cancer charity that he helped to popularize by wearing a yellow band around his wrist