Lance Armstrong: I'd follow the pack

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and banned for life from professional cycling in 2012, said in an interview that he'd again use performance-enhancing drugs if faced with the same circumstances.

"If I was racing in 2015? No, I wouldn't do it again," Armstrong told BBC Sport for an upcoming documentary. "Because I don't think you have to do it again. If you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive? [I'd] probably do it again."

Armstrong raced professionally from 1992 to 2011 and won seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005. However, in 2012, those titles were stripped after a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation found that he had used PEDs during his cycling career. The UCI agreed with the USADA's decision to vacate Armstrong's titles and ban him for life.

Armstrong maintains the sport was riddled with PED usage and that he was just keeping up with his competitors.

"It's an answer that needs some explanation," Armstrong told BBC Sport. "I look at everything when I made that decision -- when the whole peloton made that decision. We get it, it was a bad decision in an imperfect time, but it happened.

"I know what happened to the sport of cycling from 1990 to 2005. I saw its growth, I saw its expansion. I know what happened to the industry ... do all those people want to, do we want to take it away? I don't think anybody says yes."

During his cycling career, Armstrong repeatedly faced allegations of PED use. He denied all allegations during his career until coming clean in January 2013.

"Listen, if I go back to 1995 -- and some started earlier, some a little later, but let's take that as ground zero -- I think we're all sorry," Armstrong told BBC Sport. "And do you know what we're sorry for? We're sorry that we were put in that place. None of us wanted to be in that place. We all would have loved to have competed man on man, bread, water, naturally clean, whatever you want [to] call it.

"We're sorry. Yeah, we're sorry that we were put in a place and we looked around as desperate kids and thought: 'God, I've got to go back to Plano [Texas] and maybe go back to school, or get a job, or work in a bike shop or work in a factory.' Or a kid goes back to Australia, or Eastern Europe, or the fields of France."

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