Lance Armstrong has attacked other drug-cheat athletes and said he does not feel like a ‘failure’ in his first interview since admitting he doped to win his seven Tour de France titles.
The 47-year-old disgraced athlete spoke to CNBC Squawk Box’s Andrew Ross Sorkin Thursday and he took the opportunity to throw shade at Alex Rodriguez, who was only suspended for a month after admitted to using drugs to enhance his performance.
‘A-Rod didn’t raise half a billion dollars and try to save a bunch of people’s lives, I mean that’s the irony of this,’ Armstrong said during the chat.
Lance Armstrong appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box for his first TV interview since having his Tour de France titles stripped
He told Andrew Ross Sorkin that he doesn’t feel like a failure after raising millions to help the fight against cancer
‘It’s great when somebody hits home runs and holds and event here and there for the boys and girls club… this story holds a place in people’s hearts and minds that was way beyond…’
Rodriguez, 43, returned to baseball after the scandal after a season but soon retired. These days fans are more likely to see the former New York Yankees star working in sports media or attending events with girlfriend Jennifer Lopez.
Before Armstrong’s streak of sports accolades he beat testicular cancer and has since worked on the non-profit Livestrong Foundation, which was founded in 1997, to help fight cancer.
But then he was revealed to be a drugs cheat on an epic scale and stripped of his titles in 2012 – still protesting his innocence.
A year later he came clean in a famous 2013 Oprah Winfrey interview, but said Thursday that his life has suffered since due to his bad reputation.
‘The last six years in a lot of ways has really sucked. It’s been terrible,’ he admitted. However he argued that the way he has been labelled isn’t necessary accurate but he has chosen to deal with the consequences.
He said he’d done more since his ban from cycling than Alex Rodriguez had since he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs
A-Rod got into trouble for cheating in 2014 and later retired as a baseball player
Rodriguez is pictured with girlfriend Jennifer Lopez attending the after party for the finale of her Las Vegas, Nevada residency at Caesars Palace on September 30
‘I don’t know if it’s fraud – you can call it whatever you wanna call it,” Armstrong said. ‘It doesn’t matter, right? I mean, it’s fraud, betrayal, feeling complicit, all of these things that we know people felt.
‘That’s on me. I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to make that right.’
Being characterized by the US Anti-Doping agency as the mastermind of the ‘most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program that sport has ever seen’ at the time of the 2012 ban, does not sit well with Armstrong.
However he insisted it was the only way to compete with everyone else at the time.
‘What I would rather do is go back and win seven in a row against everybody else that’s drinking water and eating bread,” he said. ‘That’s what I would want. And I believe that that would happen.’
He claims he never forced teammates to participate in doping and didn’t pay off governing bodies to allow him to cheat.
Armstrong believes opening up to Winfrey did not get him sympathy from the public, claiming there is a ‘double standard’
Before Armstrong’s streak of seven Tour de France sports accolades he beat testicular cancer and has since worked on the non-profit Livestrong Foundation. But his career ended in disgrace on an unprecedented scale
However many of his colleagues and sponsors filed lawsuits against him for damages to their own reputation because of the scandal.
Therefore he believes opening up to Winfrey did not get him sympathy from the public, claiming there is a ‘double standard’.
‘I think it absolutely did not work. For half of the room, it wasn’t enough. And then for the other half of the room, it was way too much,’ Armstrong added.
Although his career has changed, Armstrong isn’t dwelling on the mistakes and hinted that he’s proud of his achievements.
Armstrong is engaged to Anna Hansen and they have two children together. He is also a father to three children from his first marriage to Kristen Richard.
Responding to Donald Trump calling him a failure in 2013, he said he was ‘half-right’ but only because he lost a lot of money.
He is now starting his own investment fund.
‘I don’t feel like a failure,” he said. ‘And I’ve never felt like a failure since then.’