Armstrong: I started believing my own lies

Lance Armstrong told Oprah how he kept telling the same lie over and over again until he believed it.

Lance Armstrong admits exclusively to Oprah Winfrey that he doped. Picture: Oprah.com

CAPE TOWN - Lance Armstrong said in his world exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey he saw doping as 'levelling the playing field' and didn't feel bad about it at the time.

The 41-year-old admitted he used the blood booster EPO and had blood transfusions and testosterone.

He said that it would have been humanly impossible to win the Tour De France seven times in a row without it.

Armstrong said he now feels sorry for the mistakes he made after he began believing in his own lies.

"All the fault and blame here falls on me. But there's momentum behind that story. Whether its fans or the media, it just gets me going and I lost myself in that."

He said doping was so well planned and orchestrated.

"I was used to controlling everything in my life and now the story is so bad and toxic - and a lot of it is true."

Armstrong said he was living a lie for so long.

"While I loved going through this process, I know the truth. The truth isn't what was out there and not what I said. This story was so perfect for so long."

When asked why he finally decided to come clean Armstrong said, "This is too late, it's probably too late for most people and that's my fault. I view this as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times."

The World Doping Agency (WADA) described Armstrong's explanation that he used performance-enhancing drugs to create 'a level playing field' in cycling as 'a convenient way of justifying what he did.'

WADA said if Armstrong 'was looking for redemption, he didn't succeed in getting it.'

However, the US Anti-oping Agency's chief called the admission 'a small step in the right direction.'

Meanwhile, in 2010 Armstrong competed in the Cape Argus Pick n Pay cycle tour and was placed 9th.

Organiser Dave Bellairs said their board of trustees would have to decide whether they will follow the Tour De France and International Olympic Committee (IOC) in stripping Armstrong of his medals.

"There were no discussions around his placing at the cycle tour. He was certainly not paid to be here. He gave us a certain amount of exposure in Europe. But what he has done is completely wrong."