BBC, ESPN (U.S.), THE GUARDIAN, THE TELEGRAPH (U.K.)

Worldcrunch

LOS ANGELES - During an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday night, Lance Armstrong has admitted that he did, in fact, take performance enhancing drugs during all seven Tour de France wins.

The BBC callex it the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.

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Gawain78 via Wikipedia

The first part of the interview, the second of which is to air Friday, opened with a confession from the disgraced cyclist in which he just answered “yes” to the questions from pop culture icon Oprah Winfrey.

The Telegraph reports that Armstrong, who has been banned for life and stripped of his titles after the U.S. anti-doping agency (USada) found him guilty of doping, claimed that doping was so common in the sport that it was “like saying we have to have air in our tyres, we have to have water in our bottles.”

Before being diagnosed with testicular cancer, Armstrong said that he didn’t really consider himself truly a competitor but soon gained a “win at all costs attitude,” doing anything to survive. When he took the substances, he said “I knew I was going to win.”

ESPN provided the following transcript:

"I'm a flawed character," Armstrong said.

Did it feel wrong?

"No," Armstrong replied. "Scary."

"Did you feel bad about it?" Winfrey pressed him.

"No," he said. "Even scarier."

"Did you feel in any way that you were cheating?"

"No," Armstrong paused. "Scariest."

"I went and looked up the definition of cheat," he added a moment later. "And the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe. I didn't view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field."

So, what did we learn from the first part of the interview?

Because, we actually already knew that he doped before we saw it- Usada told us and so did the teaser clips for the interview.

The Guardian says we learnt that Lance Armstrong is prepared to call himself a "jerk" and an "arrogant prick", but only admits to bullying in limited circumstances and as a personal flaw. A bit like biting one's nails.

Because it has been such a high profile case and because he inspired so many people, not just with his cycling efforts but also with his Livestrong cancer charity, the public backlash was particularly strong, especially on social media sites like Twitter. Here are eight of our favourites from last night:

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