Lance Armstrong sat down for an informal conversation with a group of students in an Introduction to Sports Governance class at the University of Colorado, where he told them he would not have won the Tour de France without blood doping, according to a report in Daily Camera. He also went on the attack against the US Anti-doping Agency (USADA), calling the agency "one of the most ineffective organisations in the world".
Armstrong was invited to speak at the campus to talk about his life now, while serving a life-time banned from sport and what he thinks of USADA, the body that determined through its 2012 reasoned decision that Armstrong was the leader of wide-spread doping on the US Postal Service team during his seven Tour de France victories. He later admitted to doping in an two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013.
According to the Daily Camera report, Armstrong spoke to students for 90 minutes, and the first question asked was whether he could have won without blood doping. He answered "no", and went on to say that blood doping during the 1990s and early 2000s was powerful and so sustained success in cycling would have been impossible without it.
He also said that he believed almost every professional rider was doping during those years and that taking their successes away because of doping was frustrating, according to the Daily Camera.
Armstrong said, "You had to have all those building blocks and then, unfortunately, you had to have the last block, and the last block was high-octane doping. That doesn't discount — it's not like we all just went to Saint-Tropez every day and sipped rosé and then just showed up to the Tour de France and won."
Armstrong spoke about his thoughts on USADA, too, stating first that he felt the organization was "absolutely necessary" but then that it is "probably the most ineffective organisations in the world".
"If you consider a budget of $10 or $15 million a year and then you lay that over the testing results, that come back 0.7 per cent as positive, you know that that is not a realistic number. I don’t know what the number is, whether it’s 10, 15 or 20 [per cent], I don’t know, but that tells you that system is broken too."
Armstrong went on to say that he believed that USADA needed a case like his because of the low percentage of athletes caught for doping given the large amount of money put into the anti-doping organization. "I was that story, I was that case. It is what it is. They needed something to show that they were effective," he told students.
Armstrong also spoke informally to the students about his life now, saying and that he stills exercises and spends time with his family but that the last few years have been a turbulent. He told students that "for a lot of reasons, whether it's from our family's perspective, whether it's from my own personal perspective or whether it's a financial or legal perspective — it's just been a complete, colossal meltdown, let's be honest."