The Armstrong Lie (2013) Script

It's interesting. I didn't think about this.

It's like living a lie.

I didn't live a lot of lies, but I lived one big one.

You know, it's different, I guess. Maybe it's not.

But yeah, it's...

And what I said in there with just how this story is all over the place, and there are these two just complete opposite narratives.

You know, the only person that can actually start to let people understand what the true narrative is is me.

And you should know that better than anybody.

Let's get to the real nature and the real detail of the story.

'Cause we haven't heard it yet, is the truth.

Lance, how you feeling?

Good. I'm very good.

Nervous. But that's good.

Always nervous for these.

Not a lot of room for error.

So makes it interesting.

Oh, yeah. Welcome to the party.

In 2009, I set out to make a film about Lance Armstrong's comeback year.

It seemed like a great ride.

A retired champion with a contentious past comes back to cycling to show them all.

Then the Lance doping scandal erupted and I had to put the film aside.

When I picked the film back up, I faced the same question that haunted me in 2009.

Why did he come back?

He'd won the Tour de France seven times.

I wondered what I had been witness to in 2009.

And what did it mean now that the truth about Lance was known?

In making my new film, all roads seemed to lead back to the past.

I viewed my battle with cancer as an athletic competition.

But in that, you either win or you lose.

When you lose, or if you lose, you die.

So I took that perspective, which is a little dark, and I put it into everything I've done since then.

I like to win.

But more than anything, I can't stand the idea of losing, because, to me, that equals death.

Look at this. Armstrong accelerating once again.

And there's a gap now starting to appear between Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani.

Well, I never thought I'd see the day when Lance Armstrong would blow away the man we've always referred to as the finest climber we've ever seen in the current peloton of cycling.

But there's one matter that's stayed on Armstrong's tail, allegations he's used banned performance enhancers.

Where he's found this strength from, I don't know.

He has torn the field apart here.

The mythic nature of his essential comeback, getting cancer and coming back and being a great athlete, is an astonishing story.

If he's clean, it's the greatest comeback.

If he's not, then it's the greatest fraud.

I don't think any sports team or any athlete has ever come under this kind of scrutiny.

Oh, and Beloki's gone down!

Armstrong's off the road as well.

Armstrong, complete control there.

He's into the field, but what a great bike rider.

He's gone across. This is unbelievable.

I've never seen this before.

Armstrong went across the field there.

He's back on the road with four kilometers to go.

Oh, this is incredible. Armstrong is such a star.

There are people who have really been ruined because of Lance's aggressive attempts to keep them quiet.

He was an immensely intimidating person.

Thing about Armstrong, he has the acceleration.

When he wants to go into a climb, he can do it.

He has now decided, "I want to go."

You can see the yellow jersey is open... What's happened now?

What has happened there?

Can he recover?

He's come back.

Armstrong is out of the saddle again.

He's jumping onto the tail here of {ban Mayo.

This is unbelievable.

Armstrong is now one of the world's most recognized athletes.

To Americans, Lance Armstrong is cycling's Superman.

The bigger you are, the better target you make.

In any generation of professional sportsmen, there will be guys who cheat and there will be guys who don't cheat.

This is a guy who was going to succeed no matter what.

His comeback and storybook life have put Lance Armstrong under a global spotlight.

Armstrong has been less successful in outracing accusations of possible drug use.

I've said it for seven years. I've said it for longer than seven years.

I have never doped.

It's very hard to conceal the truth forever.

So this has been my downfall.

No, thanks.

There you are. Come on in.

I just walk on in?

Hi. Thank you.

Good to see you. Ready?

Saw you get your shoes on.

We're getting my shoes on.

Everybody, let's do everything we need to do...

This is where I came back into the story.

I was in Austin when Lance decided to do an interview with Oprah to address charges of doping in the press that had become impossible to deny.

Tonight on Nightline... Did Lance cheat?

Lance had been the subject of a criminal investigation.

He was also probed by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Many ex-teammates testified against Armstrong.

Did you see Lance Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs?

At times, yeah.

There was EPO.

There was testosterone.

And I did see a blood transfusion.

Look, at some point, people have to tell their kids that Santa Claus isn't real.

You're saying Lance Armstrong is a liar?

Yes.

The anti-cancer crusader was now portrayed as a cheater who ran a doping ring and used his power as a celebrity to cover it up.

UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling, and UCI will strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.

Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.

We ready to go. Ready?

So let's start with the questions that people around the world have been waiting for you to answer.

For now I'd just like a "yes" or "no."

Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?

Yes.

Yes or no, was one of those banned substances EPO?

Yes.

Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?

Yes.

Did you ever use any other banned substances like testosterone, cortisone or human growth hormone?

Yes.

Yes or no, in all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?

Yes.

The first few minutes of Oprah was just riveting.

To finally witness him saying that he doped after the years and years and years and years of just the most amazing denials.

I can emphatically say I'm not on drugs.

Neither I nor any member of my team did or took anything illegal.

We got nothing to hide. We know that. Everybody knows that.

You have never taken any performance-enhancing drug?

Correct.

And to call somebody a cheater, a fraud, a loser, to call them that, it has to be, I repeat, has to be followed up with extraordinary proof, and we've never seen it.

It's cliche'. He looked me in the eyes and told me he didn't dope.

But when he does that, he's got a power.

It goes a long way.

Any idiot with half a brain should have been able to see Armstrong was lying.

They've been testing you like crazy.

They've been following you, watching you.

Don't the results speak for themselves at a certain point?

Hello!

Lance Armstrong is a fraud. I don't believe a word he says.

I want this man to suffer. And I say that with all sincerity.

I can't believe we all got duped.

Lying jerk.

The guy's a complete phony.

He could've come clean.

He owes it to the sport that he destroyed.

Was it a big deal to you? Did it feel wrong?

At the time? No.

It did not even feel wrong?

No.

The prime time confession turned out to be a bumpy ride for Lance.

But it might never have happened if he hadn't decided to take a victory lap in 2009.

And your comeback. Do you regret now coming back?

I do.

We wouldn't be sitting here if I didn't come back.

The comeback. What was he thinking?

I kept wondering about that question throughout the year as I followed him.

It's been a long time. Will you be ready for the Tour?

I'm comin'. I'll be there July 4th.

A few weeks ago, when he first came up with the idea of a possible comeback, I was really surprised.

I remember I sent him a message back and I said, "Are you at a party? Are you sober?"

Johan Bruyneel, Lance's team director for all seven of Lance's Tour wins, was now running Team Astana.

He reunited with Lance to help guide his comeback.

We good? Sure.

So is there a motivator for you this time around?

Is this in some way for you to say to all the critics...

It's been an interesting reaction with the comeback.

I mean, some people are curious, some people are pissed, and some people are ecstatic.

Few people in sport divide public opinion quite like Lance Armstrong.

To millions, he is a source of inspiration.

But to some, his incredible tale is just that, incredible, hard to believe.

Yet so many wanted to believe.

Wherever Lance went, he moved the needle.

More fans, more money for sponsors and promoters.

Even so, the organization that ran the Tour de France was reluctant to invite him back.

Just 10 months before the race, the comeback was in jeopardy.

The story is, "Refused entry into

"the Tour de France for no reason."

This guy is comin' back.

He's never been caught, prosecuted, busted for anything.

He's coming back with the most legitimate, credible program that there is.

They won't let him in the marquee event.

I think the media would fuckin' crush 'em.

If they don't let him ride...

He's gonna take so much attention away from the Tour de France to other events that they have to let him in.

I think they may come out of the gate and say, "Of course he can't race in the Tour de France."

Neither could Ivan Basso, neither could Floyd Landis.

They all cheated.

That's not the same.

They were all busted.

And they think Lance is busted. No, he's not.

But they think... He's not.

They think it might be that way.

L'Equipe said he cheated.

He's never tested positive. They think he has.

He didn't.

But L'Equipe said he did.

What was the headline?

Yes.

"The Armstrong Lie."

Long before Oprah, "The Armstrong Lie" article offered proof that Lance's first Tour win had not been clean.

Through clever detective work, the author discovered that many of Armstrong's urine samples from 1999 contained a doping drug called EPO.

If you consider my situation, a guy who comes back from, arguably, a death sentence, why would I then enter into a sport and dope myself up and risk my life again?

That's crazy. I would never do that.

No. No way.

It was a bold claim, considering how many riders around him had been busted.

And even after Lance's seven Tour wins, pro cycling continued to suffer from doping scandals.

There are a lot of us who wanted this to be a clean sport and a clean effort and a clean victory and everything.

But there's just too much swirl around it constantly.

Shortly after Armstrong retired, there was this huge bust called Operation Puerto, in which most of his rivals got popped.

If it was the NBA All-Star game, it would have been every player on both teams essentially busted for doping except that one guy who just retired.

Throughout Lance's Tour wins, all but one of the cyclists who finished on the podium with Armstrong were implicated in doping scandals.

And finally, the last thing I'll say for the people that don't believe in cycling, the cynics and the skeptics, I'm sorry for you.

I'm sorry you can't dream big, and I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles.

After winning in 2005, what better moment to walk away?

What better moment to stay away?

Why couldn't he have just said thank you?

"I had a nice career and now it's over. Thank you."

But that's not in him.

And that urge to crush, that urge to push back, that urge to dominate, not just to be content with winning, but that urge to dominate, is what ended up bringing him down.

Lance tried to dominate my film, too.

He had lied to me, straight to my face, all throughout 2009.

When the truth came out, I told him he owed me an explanation on camera.

Whether he wanted to try to make things right or whether he still wanted to influence my story, he agreed to sit down one more time.

You vigorously defended your reputation.

Do you feel, in retrospect, that you were protecting that too assiduously?

Had the lie become too big? Did it get out of control for you?

Yeah, that's the biggest regret of my life.

Um, I'm a fighter. I grew up a fighter.

I was a fighter on the bike. I was a fighter off the bike.

And if you were in the race, I was competitive and I was fighting.

I forgot to turn that...

I'd get off the bike, and whether it's in a press conference, whether it's in a team setting, whether it's in a personal relationship, I continued to fight.

And I wanted to defend myself, and I wanted to defend the sport, the team, my foundation.

I was defending all of these things, and I was prepared to say anything.

The gift that he has that gets overlooked is his gift as a storyteller, his gift as a manager of his own storyline.

A guy at death's door comes back to win the toughest event on the planet.

The story brought more money, brought more attention, brought more sponsorship, brought more inspiration.

Lance became this international cultural icon.

And he had to keep the story going.

He could've ridden around the world to raise money for cancer.

There were a lot of things he could've done, but the best story is to go back to the Tour.

By racing the bicycle all over the world, beginning in Australia, ending in France, it is the best way to promote this initiative.

It's the best way to get the word out.

He understood the power of that story, and he used it.

The disease, testicular cancer, travels up a young man's body, so next stop is the abdomen.

Next stop is the lungs.

And the last stop is the brain.

My dumb ass just ignored symptoms, obvious, glaring, dirty symptoms, for a long time.

And it traveled all the way up.

Severe headaches.

Blurry vision.

Coughing up of blood.

Extreme pain downstairs.

I read that you had a testicle the size of an orange.

That's an exaggeration.

Lemon?

Good-sized lemon.

In 1996, Lance had the cancerous testicle removed and flew to Indiana University for an experimental treatment.

The doctors there thought Lance's chances of survival were less than 50%.

Lance underwent brain surgery to remove cancerous lesions, then began a special chemotherapy program that would not scar his lungs.

The immediate side effects would be brutal, but if he survived, the treatment would protect his career.

Whatever I do in cycling, or whatever I do in the Tour de France, or whatever I do in training, I'll never suffer like I did then.

That initial surgery to remove that primary tumor in the testicle was a big surgery, a big cut.

The cut was probably six inches long, right up at the waist and very physically painful.

So I got on the bike and I just gently rode around my neighborhood.

That was a big day for me.

And I went half a mile.

And I did it in tennis shoes, and I did it on a mountain bike.

But I was on the bike. I was pedaling the bike.

All the feelings that are associated with that, the wind in the hair,

that initial sense of freedom that a bicycle gives a child.

Kids love bikes because it's the first time in their life they're free.

It's the first time when they're not in their mom's car, they're not in Mom's living room, they're not in Mom's backyard.

They get on the bike, they go down, they take a right, take a left.

Nobody sees them. They're completely free.

♪ I'm a mean machine

♪ I'm the kind you don't wanna meet

♪ My middle name is trouble

♪ I'm a danger in the street I'

Lance Armstrong grew up in Plano, Texas, raised by a young mother who worked as a receptionist.

He never met his father.

He comes out of Plano, Texas, and he comes out angry.

He comes out ready to take on the world with his mom at his side and needing no one else.

My morn, she doesn't really have that much money, so...

I could probably get money from somebody, but I don't wanna borrow money, so there's pressure to make the money.

You can see in the yellow helmet there the youngest professional in the field from Plane, Texas, 16-year-old Lance Armstrong.

I just like competing with the best, man.

I like beating those guys. I love beating people.

♪ Comin' at you live

♪ Comm' atcha live

♪ Comin' at you live

♪ Comm' atcha live

♪ Comin' at you live I Oh, here I come ♪

He got into a fight with one of his coaches early on, and the thing he kept saying is, "You're not my dad."

And I think that statement has been something he's been telling everybody since then.

Kids from Plano High School, "Hey, you're not in charge of me."

European cyclists, "Hey, I'm going to take you all on, "and I'm going to show you who's boss."

Oh my, oh no, no!

It's Armstrong who's losing the temper.

I was content with my career.

In '93, '94, '95, I was a young kid.

One of the best one-day racers in the world.

I made plenty of money.

I thought, "This is cool. I'm young. I make some decent money here.

"I'll just do this for a few years

"and then find something else to do."

Then the disease came along, took all of that away.

Just gone.

And when I came back, I thought, "Nobody thinks I'm gonna do anything.

"I'm just washed-up, damaged goods here."

Which is really what the view of the sport was.

I thought, "Okay, fuck it. I'm gonna try to win the Tour de France."

He's got the fastest time in half distance.

SPORTSCASTER 2: He really is flying, Paul, and he looks so good here, making his big return to the Tour de France.

He's been scorching it on all the time checks.

What a comeback this could be. There's only two men behind him now.

Armstrong is the leader. That is astonishing.

Beautiful.

Good job, Lance.

Hold on a second. There we go. Say hi to the camera.

This is Johan Bruyneel, directeur sportif.

Hi, camera.

Here we are with the rock star, George Hincapie.

This is how he prepares for a time trial.

What's up, Lance?

After his bout with cancer, Lance returned to the Tour in 1999, racing for US Postal Service.

Lance, Jon Vaughters, Frankie Andreu.

We were just like The Bad News Bears.

Nobody was really expecting us to do well.

They were so young.

They had a lot of optimism and this youthful carelessness.

I hate the French.

Screw the French.

And they were gonna go over there and just dominate the Tour and change the way cycling is run.

Postal, this tiny team from an unlikely place.

They didn't have a team bus.

They were so small they just had two campers.

Like a family going on vacation.

Betsy, Frankie, smile.

Say cheese.

The innocence of '99, it's a fantastic moment in the story.

Howdy.

It really started with this spectacular prologue that Armstrong won by a handful of seconds.

And there it is, the maillot jaune for an American, Lance Armstrong.

He put on the yellow jersey.

And he's clueless about what to say or what to feel or who to hug.

I mean, right now I'm so surprised.

But yet I'm so pleased and so happy for the team and for...

It's the moment where Lance crossed a boundary.

And this man, Lance Armstrong, from Texas, now has destroyed the field.

That full confidence that he had before he had cancer when he was a little punk kid, you can see that building in him as the Tour was going on.

This man is quite unbelievable.

Towards the mountain stages, when everybody was like, "Okay, this is when he's gonna lose his jersey."

That really helped fuel him and fuel the team and pushed us to limits that we thought we weren't capable of doing.

And the boys who have guided Lance Armstrong, they're in that yellow jersey for two full weeks now.

It was an American team bringing an American captain to the Tour de France and finishing potentially on the podium.

That was unprecedented.

And there's no doubt now who will win the Tour de France.

We hoped maybe to get a podium or top 10.

Soto win was beyond our comprehension.

The power of the story was growing every day.

But so were the suspicions among seasoned observers that it may have been too good to be true.

In 1999, the Tour de France organizers were desperate for what they called a "Tour of Renewal," where they could renew the public's faith in their race.

You've gotta go back to 1998 when Lance was just about coming back into racing after his cancer recovery.

We had this extraordinary Tour de France where the world number one team at the time, Festina, had their masseur traveling to the race.

And he was stopped by French customs and they found a huge cargo of drugs inside.

The police then came and investigated other teams, and pretty much wherever they looked, they found drugs.

So that was 1998.

A year later, Lance Armstrong comes back.

He was sensational.

And everybody who was at that race, in terms of the journalists, when Lance made his big attack in the mountains to Sestriere, I was in the press room that day, I saw the reaction.

People were laughing, incredulous. They didn't believe this.

Because here we had a guy who'd come back from cancer, supposedly riding the race clean, riding more effortlessly, with greater power at a greater speed than all the Tours that had gone before.

So it just didn't make sense.

We have to remember, this is a guy who is not thought of as somebody who could potentially win the Tour de France.

He had always been strong in short races, but never over the long haul and he had never been a climber.

Whenever you start the Tour, they make you fill out these forms.

"How many Tours have you done? How many have you completed?"

And I remember in '99, I had to write down four and one.

Thinking, "That's not a great record."

Lance Armstrong winning, at one level, created a problem because the organizers had actually said before the race, "We want this race to be slower

"than the drug races of previous years

"to prove to the public that these guys are now using less drugs."

But it was the fastest ever Tour.

But on the other hand, they had this winner who was the most romantic figure that sport maybe had ever known.

A cancer survivor, overcoming the disease, comes back and wins the Tour.

Yeah, they liked that.

With Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France, that opened up this huge market in the US.

Oakley and Nike and Trek and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

You name it.

There was a long list of companies that were just getting in line to sign deals with Lance Armstrong because they knew who Lance was, as a cancer survivor and as a person, and an advocate for the cancer-surviving community.

When he first won in '99, that was the last time he was just a bike racer.

And after that, he became a celebrity.

That celebrity is what gave him such immense power.

This is not a story about doping. It's a story about power.

And Lance got the power in '99 and the story became hanging onto that power.

Even in 1999, Lance came close to getting caught when steroids showed up in a urine test.

It turns out I was using some cream for what we call a saddle sore.

It was something that we all use.

Cortisone cream that you use for a crash or for a boil or any sort of skin infection.

The traces were so small. They were ridiculous.

It was always on my heels right away from '99.

Of course, there were plenty of supporters and cheerleaders in the press.

Lance Armstrong forced once again to defend himself there, which is becoming a depressingly familiar sight on this Tour.

But tonight, he has some very high-level help because the UCI, the world-governing body of cycling, have just released this press communique.

It goes against all their commitment to medical secrecy, they say, but they want to do it to clarify this situation and stop it getting further out of hand.

They confirm that the rider used an ointment and they give the brand name, and that he also offered them a medical prescription before his test.

It showed up in the test, and Verbruggen just said, "Look, you gotta give us a reason for this being in your system."

So the guys scoured the Internet, looking for this particular type of cortisone, and we found one that was, indeed, a cream.

And we said it was for saddle sores.

When you say Verbruggen came to you, do you mean he came to you like, "Give us some excuse so that we don't have to make an issue of this"?

He didn't come to me. He went to Johan.

Johan told me that he did speak to Verbruggen about Lance's positive test.

Verbruggen, the head of the UCI, denies that the conversation ever took place.

I've proven my class. I've showed my class from day one.

There's no secrets here.

We have the oldest secret in the book, hard work.

The ninth day of the Tour de France world-famous bike race brings the greatest challenge yet, the lofty hills of the Maritime Alps.

This is the acid test of stamina and endurance.

The Tour de France has always been a brutal event.

For a few dollars from sponsors looking for human billboards, working-class riders are willing to suffer.

An ascent in the mountains can mean climbing steep grades for more than 20 miles.

Lifting a man and his bicycle up the rising road demands a furious release of energy that is higher than any other animal on earth, except a hummingbird.

That inhuman suffering carves the body in unnatural ways and leaves riders to search for doping methods that can dull pain and push human limits.

There's always been a form of doping in any form of endurance sport.

And in the Tour de France, originally it was alcohol.

You'd be passed a bottle of beer up by a monk on a mountaintop and you'd drink it.

They enter a cafe, shoving everyone aside.

And take anything: red wine, champagne, beer.

Even water, if there's nothing better.

Then, of course, the clever doctors would come on board saying to athletes, "We can prepare you properly for the Tour.

"We'll not just give you dope, but we'll tell you the correct diet, how to train, "and then the coup de grace is to give you the needle of EPO, "and you're gonna be 10% better than your rival."

That is enormous.

And that became apparent in the 1990s, firstly, with the Italians.

This ancient-walled city in northern Italy became a center for a group of doctors determined to find a way to boost cycling performance.

The most notorious of these was Lance Armstrong's trainer Michele Ferrari.

He was a doctor that gave a training program, a full medical program, and would boost your career and make you into the king of the road.

He had a very bad reputation as being a doctor that could set people up with a doping program.

If you took all the rumors and the smoke and the stories of the dark side of cycling and condensed them into one human being, that would be Michele Ferrari.

But he turns out to be a very delightful, communicative, expressive scientist.

That's the bit that gets lost a little bit.

I think he comes across as sort of a cloak-and-dagger enabler, when in fact, his whole story, his core interest, the way he educated himself, is essentially scientific.

Michele Ferrari was obsessed with pushing the limits of human athletic performance.

If cyclists saw themselves as biological racing machines, Ferrari was one of the world's greatest mechanics.

This is one of the first relationship with Lance.

Probably he was already with cancer, but nobody knew.

Surprisingly, in 2009, Lance and his team gave me permission to talk to Ferrari, a man who rarely gave interviews to outsiders.

So in '95, you saw Lance and you thought he has enormous potential.

He was able to develop a lot of power, absolute power, a lot of watts.

His potential was impressive.

His engine, you can say his heart, lungs, is big, is huge.

After Lance survived cancer, Ferrari found a way to turn his weakness into strength.

He was definitely lighter.

He lose a lot of muscles in the whole body, upper and also in the legs.

He lose a lot of power in terms of strength.

To make up for the loss of strength, Ferrari had Lance shift to a lower gear and pedal faster.

So he essentially was shifting the load from the muscles to the heart and the lungs and the blood.

And if you can have the aerobic engine to sustain a higher cadence, you can go farther, faster, longer.

Ferrari also included a secret ingredient, drugs to boost oxygen in the blood that had a special impact with the new cadence.

This unbelievable cadence that he's adopted since he survived testicular cancer is what has allowed him to become one of the best climbers in the world.

Utilizing a higher cadence...

At the beginning, we had to do this choice.

And then, because this choice paid in term of results, we continued.

Ferrari's remarkably unromantic.

I remember one particular conversation.

We had just finished a training ride.

And I said, "Am I watching the limits of human potential here?

"Is that what I'm seeing?"

And Ferrari almost laughed.

He said, "We're nowhere near the limit.

"No, there are ways to push the limits."

Amongst the 200 guys doing the Tour de France at that point, they're like, "You're working with Ferrari. Okay. Respect."

He knew that everybody was doping.

He was like, "Look, you can't do this stuff on your own.

"You guys aren't doctors. You have no idea what all this stuff is.

"So here's what I'm gonna do.

"You can still dope a little bit. I'll tell you what to do.

"The minimum amount of doping, the maximum amount of training.

"Nutrition. Lifestyle.

"Everything that goes into making you

"a good cyclist, I will help you with."

And doping was just a small piece of that.

Ferrari was careful about doping for another reason.

He wanted to avoid detection.

He had sources inside anti-doping labs who kept him updated on the latest tests.

And Ferrari's whole program was cloaked in secrecy.

In March 1999, Lance said, "I gotta go see Michele. I have to do some testing."

We met Michele Ferrari, Lance's doctor, who traveled in a camper van, in the parking lot outside of Milano off the highway by a hotel gas station.

I don't know about you, but I don't see my doctor that way.

It's best that you use the most knowledgeable people, regardless of their reputation.

It's a great mind in cycling and somebody that I consider and my team considers to be an honest man and a fair man.

The guy was a liar and a cheat.

Not only did he dope, but he doped with the best expertise available.

Dr. Ferrari provides that.

And he doped in the most professional, efficient way, perhaps in the history of sport.

What kind of message do you think that your working relationship with Michele Ferrari sends out to the general sporting public?

Well, David, I'm glad you showed up, finally.

It's good to see you finally here.

Good question.

Again, I think that people are not stupid.

People will look at the facts.

They will say, "Okay, here's Lance Armstrong.

"Here's the relationship.

"Is that questionable?"

Perhaps. But people are smart.

Do they say, "Has Lance Armstrong ever tested positive?" No.

"Has Lance Armstrong been tested?" A lot.

Is it fairly easy to prepare for a test?

Does it dissipate in your system really quickly?

The half-life of EPO is four hours.

So, you can back it out from there and figure out when you're in trouble.

"Will he pass every test because he does not take EPO?"

Yes, he will.

My defense was that I've passed every control you've given me.

And that's true.

The samples that were given were clean.

But you never, ever stopped there.

You always went one step further.

No, Alex. I can't... I would have gone... if David Walsh wanted to put on boxing gloves, I would have done it right there. Let's go.

You present yourself as the cleanest of clean riders...

And I have the proof, which you refuse to believe.

Just let me finish the question.

You present yourself as the cleanest of clean riders, and yet you associate with somebody whose reputation is incredibly tarnished.

And that person is going to go on trial in two months' time.

Would you not think that it would be in the interest of cycling for you to suspend your relationship with Michele Ferrari until he has answered the charges of which he's accused?

You have a point. It's my choice.

I view him as innocent. He's a clean man, in my opinion.

Let there be a trial.

There was a trial.

The star witness was an Italian cyclist, Filippo Simeoni.

He told me very clearly that to prepare for a big race I needed to take certain substances.

In particular, EPO.

I had some journals confiscated where I meticulously documented my interactions with Ferrari In October 2004, the Italian court convicted Dr. Ferrari of sporting fraud, forcing Armstrong to publicly end their relationship.

However, Ferrari's conviction would be overturned two years later.

At the end, I was absolved.

Probably, we need a movie to explain the whole story with Simeoni.

But in relationship with EPO, okay.

Generational riders utilize that drug in competition.

That's historic true.

EPO, or synthetic EPO stimulates the production of red blood cells which transmit oxygen to the muscles.

Originally developed to treat anemia, cyclists began using it in the 1990s to boost performance and recovery.

It doesn't make your muscles stronger, it doesn't give you more energy.

There's nothing you feel.

It's just simply that it allows your body to deliver more oxygen from your lungs to your muscles.

So, that burning sensation, that fatigue where you can't go any further, it just happens later.

It began in the late '80s and into the early '90s, and our frustration really came to a head in 1995.

But leading up to that, specifically 1994, I was the world champion.

I was wearing the world champion's jersey, the rainbow-striped jersey, and competing clean.

We were just getting annihilated.

Go on, Lance. Give us the tour.

Holy COW.

There was a group of us primarily living in Italy, and we just said, "We either have to play ball here or go home."

Were you pissed off that you had to do it?

Or was it just you had to do what you had to do in order to be able to compete?

The latter.

Maybe I'd approach the decision differently today, but at the time, I didn't lose sleep over it.

One time, I went into Lance's room to borrow his laptop, and he's brushing his teeth in his boxer shorts, and he decides to give himself a shot of EPO right in front of me.

That was an attempt by him of just saying, "Listen, buddy, you've stepped over the line.

"You're in the club. There's no going back."

Where is everybody?

His perspective was, "Listen, this doping's

"been in place for 100 years in this sport.

"And I came into the system, and the system was already in place, "and I just have to 'play by the rules."'

You weren't trying to beat the system.

You were trying to be in the system.

Nobody made me dope.

I just knew that I had to dope to do the sport that I love to do.

I was a good bike racer, and then all of a sudden, guys who can only sprint were getting over big climbs in front of me and doing things that they never could do before.

And I was getting dropped and struggling, and so...

I lived with that for a while, but after a while, I cracked.

And so I ended up taking EPO also.

And admitting to it doesn't make it justifiable or any better.

But it was something that was pretty prevalent at the time.

Now, in '99, when you were on Lance's team, was there a team program?

I'm not gonna go into all that.

VAUGHTERS. Going into '99, there were massive risks regarding doping.

I was really scared.

You could go to jail for having this stuff.

The big fear was basically getting caught holding.

The Festina affair was not an entire team testing positive.

The Festina affair was a soigneur crossing a border and a customs agent going, "Hang on a second."

1999 was the year they cracked the code.

It was the year they figured out how to win the race.

They hit on a plan, and it was really Lance who hit on a plan.

They would hire a guy.

He was Lance's gardener. He was also a mechanic.

They called him Motoman. He had a fast red motorcycle.

He was fearless.

Motoman basically did the Tour de France on a motorcycle, and he would meet up with a staff member and just do a subtle handoff at some restaurant.

And then, next thing you know, I was back at the hotel and the doctor would administer it.

A lot of people who watch our programs have heard of your illness and see you winning now and think it's nothing short of a miracle.

Do you see it that way?

Um...

It is a miracle.

At that time, he had recently taken delivery of EPO from Motoman.

He was involved in all manner of doping.

If they were doing this drug, why didn't they get caught?

Well, there was no test for EPO at the time.

Those early years, people, they always say to me, "Why didn't they do more? Why didn't they do more?"

They could not do any more. You couldn't find it.

In 2000, they developed a test for EPO.

So the smart guys, Ferrari being one of them, went back to an older technology, which was you take out bags of blood before the race.

During the race, you put them back in.

During the race, the body, in need of oxygen, is thirsty for red blood cells.

A transfusion boosts the number of red blood cells.

And unlike EPO, transfusions are almost impossible to detect.

They're still against the rules, but hard to stop unless inspectors can find the blood bags.

My initial reaction to this was how gross it was.

That you want to win this race so bad that you would take your blood in a bag,

put it in a cooler with ice and beer and other stuff, and then eventually put it back in?

On the other hand, it's like, "Look, "if this is what they thought it took to win, "and that they also thought that everybody else was doing it..."

Is that an argument you buy?

No, I don't buy it.

But I think that when you're talking about this stuff, there is definitely a moral relativism to the whole thing.

2000. It was a time when they were trying to implement the test.

They didn't know exactly what was positive, what was negative.

The science wasn't ready yet.

My suspicion is that everybody used it at the Tour.

Michele came to me and said, "You shouldn't use EPO at the Tour.

"I don't feel good about that. I think they're close to getting the test right."

He knew when the test was gonna be ready.

He said, "it's not worth the risk.

"Let's just do one transfusion."

We all agreed, and so we did one transfusion in the middle of the Tour.

But a lot of the Tour was won before...

The Tour was won on Hautacam in 2000 when I won by four minutes.

That was pre-transfusion.

But he made that call.

And we all questioned that call.

Because you thought it wasn't gonna be enough.

I thought that was not gonna be enough.

Each year, the bar got nudged a little higher.

The innovation demands grew.

You had to keep up with the Joneses or fall behind.

It became this game of hide-and-seek.

And the best place to hide sometimes is plain sight.

And that's what they chose to do in 2004.

They faked a mechanical breakdown, pulled the bus over to the side of the road and administered blood bags to the entire team.

In front of everybody. In front of the police, in front of the fans.

It struck me as odd, but it made sense.

We were gonna do it eventually.

So might as well knock it out on the bus before we got to the hotel and be done with it.

When everyone cheats, then it becomes hugely distorted.

It becomes a different contest, a contest of who's got the best doctor, who's got the most money, who's got the biggest risk tolerance.

And the guy who was that guy for this era was Lance.

That's where it becomes a game of power.

When you can say, "I'm signing up Ferrari to be my exclusive doctor."

When you can say, "I'm gonna use a private jet

"to travel around to evade detection."

Life, for me, at the time, was moving fast.

Look at 2005.

I had won seven Tours in a row.

I was engaged to a beautiful rock star.

But that all just felt normal to me.

I certainly was very confident that I would never be caught.

Armstrong rather enjoyed this. I think he embraced it.

I think he had the attitude, "If you're gonna cheat, "you don't cheat halfway.

"You cheat all the way. You bring everything."

If it's training, it's 100%.

If it's equipment, it's 100%.

If it's doping, it's 100%.

So once he crossed that tine, and once he'd overcome his moral dilemma, it was two feet in for him.

Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.

I think he thought that the Tour de France was a gunfight, and why show up with a knife if everyone else has guns?

When you take that killer mentality and put it in a sport where there are no regulations, where there are no rules and people are transfusing bags of blood and taking all kinds of drugs and using their power to avoid being detected, that's where it stops being sport and starts being something much darker.

Why did you come back in 2009?

Did you think this was an opportunity to actually convince people that you had never doped?

I don't think so.

I don't think you're ever gonna shut their mouths.

But I did intend to go back and win and do it clean.

Did you have any concern about going back and opening up some of the questions that had been raised in the past?

Of course.

So Lance knew the risk he was taking in coming back.

With new doping controls in place in 2009, maybe he thought he had a chance to ride clean and win.

I thought that his comeback might have been a way of proving to his critics and to himself that it didn't matter if he had doped in the past.

I know what I did and didn't do, so therefore, I sleep at night.

Um...

And I'm one of the greatest riders of all time.

If you look at the books and you look at the records, you won seven Tours in a period where everybody thought everybody was dirty.

If I win again, they can't say that.

They cannot.

Well, you can, but...

There'd be a few dickheads that say that, trust me, but...

No way.

Lance, you've spoken recently about the return of Ivan Basso and Floyd Landis after their suspensions and that they should be welcomed back.

What is it about these dopers that you seem to admire so much?

So I'm driving to the press conference.

And George Hincapie texts me.

And he says, "Kimmage is here. He's asking all kinds of crazy questions."

I knew the name, but I didn't really know what he looked like.

I knew he was Irish, obviously.

And so I said, "Okay. It's on. Today's the day.

"He's gonna ask something. He's gonna say something stupid."

Excuse me. What is your name again?

My name is Paul Kimmage. I work for Sunday Times.

I asked for an interview, but I didn't get one.

Right. And just as a little preface, I might just clear up one thing.

The reason you didn't get it, Paul...

I wanted to make sure that was you 'cause I don't know what you look like.

When I decided to come back, for what I think is a very noble reason, you said, "Folks, the cancer has been in remission for four years, "but our cancer has now returned."

Meaning me.

I am here to fight this disease.

I am here so that I don't have to deal with it, you don't have to deal with it, none of us have to deal with it, my children don't have to deal with it.

But yet you said that I am the cancer, and the cancer is out of remission.

So I think it goes without saying, no, we're not gonna sit down and do an interview.

And I don't think anybody in this room would sit down for that interview.

You are not worth the chair that you're sitting on with a statement like that, with a disease that touches everybody around the world.

Lance was threatened there, and the only thing he knows what to do is to fight back.

I have to say, at least in the footage, you look a little bit uncomfortable.

Yeah, you think?

That's one of those moments where you're thinking, "Why the hell did you come back to this sport?

"Why do you want to deal with this stuff?"

I mean, here he was, a successful, retired athlete, and had everything he wanted in the world.

Why would you want to come back and suffer with us?

This sport is not glamorous at all.

I mean, you go out, ride in 30 degrees in pouring rain.

You just suffer on the bike all the time.

And yet he wanted to come back to it and prove a point, send a message.

Let's go, Lance!

♪ Well I stumbled in the darkness

♪ I'm lost and alone

♪ Though I said I'd go before us

♪ And show the way back home

♪ There a light up ahead

♪ I can't hold onto her arm

♪ Forgive me pretty baby but I always take the long way home

♪ Money's just something you throw

♪ Off the back of a train

♪ Got a head full of lightning

♪ A hat full of rain

♪ Watch your back if I should tell you

♪ Love's the only thing I've ever known

♪ One thing for sure pretty baby I always take the long way home I

The misery of the rain stung one rider more than most.

Lance's old teammate, Floyd Landis.

Floyd had ridden with Lance for three Tour wins.

He'd also won the Tour on his own, only to be busted for doping.

In the middle of the pack, he wondered, why should he be treated as a cheater while his old teammate, Lance Armstrong, was welcomed back as a hero?

Great job, boys. Congratulations.

Floyd actually contacted Johan Bruyneel, and he said, "Can I just get a spot on your team?"

And Bruyneel said, "Look.

"You're radioactive in cycling. We can't have you on our team.

"We're trying to portray ourselves as this clean cycling team

"and you're a convicted doper."

Landis was enraged about the hypocrisy there, right?

Here's Johan Bruyneel talking about a clean team with Lance Armstrong as its biggest star.

Of course, Floyd knows all the details of the truth.

It was pretty tough for him to swallow that.

The undertow of Floyd's resentment would, in the end, lead to the downfall of Lance Armstrong.

Anybody else want to write a message on the ground for the Lance Armstrong Foundation?

Hope rides again. Hope rides again.

Lance! I'm getting my pen ready!

There was a huge energy at Tour of California.

It was almost like he's a movie star.

There were people there that know nothing about cycling, and they were just screaming, reaching over the barriers, trying to touch the great hope.

My grandpa loves you.

Will you sign this for my mom? She's a cancer survivor.

This is a special year. I wanted to come back, and I wanted to tell this Livestrong message around the world.

Some mock Livestrong as nothing more than a front to hide Lance's doping.

But I didn't see it that way.

Livestrong had raised over $300 million to support cancer victims.

And 70 million people around the world proudly wore those yellow wristbands.

All right.

Thank you!

What's he racing for? Sorry?

What's he racing for?

To raise money for cancer.

He raises money? Yeah, to help...

And then he gives it to us?

Yeah.

The ones who always stick with you are kids.

There's nothing like seeing a kid with cancer.

Visibly with cancer.

And at the same time, there's nothing like seeing the parents of a child with cancer.

So, while I've been that patient, now I'm a parent.

And I can't imagine being that mom or that dad in that hospital room, looking down on a 5-year-old that's weak, that doesn't want to eat.

Just hanging out? Yeah?

It's a little crazy in there. Yeah.

There are some crazy girls in there.

I wouldn't go in there. No.

I've seen him with kids in the cancer wards.

And I also know people he's reached out to, and that's real.

It's as genuine as sort of that fury he has on the bike.

Hello!

We heard lots of different things about Lance.

"Maybe he's doping." "He's not a nice guy."

But all of a sudden, there are wards full of people who think, "Not only can I beat this disease, I can be better than I was."

Good luck.

Ultimately, the chasm between being this hero and the reality of it just bothered people hugely.

He thought that, "Because I raised so much money and I gave so many people hope, "it allows me to do what I did." No, it doesn't.

The critics say I'm arrogant.

A doper.

Washed up.

A fraud.

That I couldn't let it go.

They can say whatever they want.

I'm not back on my bike for them.

The Tour of Italy would be Lance's vital warm-up for the Tour de France.

He was determined to see how he would fare riding clean against the best riders in the world.

I look to have some good days.

If I left the Tour of Italy, and I didn't win a stage and I wasn't a factor on some of the difficult days, I'd be disappointed, and I think I have to do that.

To challenge his critics, Lance started to post his blood values during the Giro.

Based on those findings, even the most skeptical observers concluded that Lance was riding clean.

The big question was, "Could he still compete?"

Anytime you see him, if he's in trouble, he can never be alone.

So, Dani, Jani and Chechu, on the climb, you guys look for Lance.

And if there's a problem, he needs guys to stay with him and pace him up the climb.

On this day's final climb, Lance cracked and dropped way behind all the top racers.

His supporting riders slowed down to stay with him.

It's tough because I put pressure on myself and expect to...

In my mind, I think back to what it used to be like.

And you forget that you've been away for a few years.

It's hard, man. It's not easy to be away.

And you can feel that...

Blood, urine, both? Both.

Both, cool.

Yesterday was number 31, I believe.

Blood and urine.

More than anybody else.

While I do the blood, I don't want that the cameras will film it.

And also when we go to...

Whose blood is it?

It's a Dopingkontrollstation, and it's not public.

We've had this... Yeah, you can call PWC or the UCI.

I know it's not comfortable for you, but it's my right, so...

Okay. We're gonna film it.

It's my blood and my urine.

Yeah, but...

Go ahead and call the UCI.

Nobody else than you and I, we are going to the toilet.

Yeah, that's obvious.

Hello.

Hi, Bella.

The biggest dilemma gets to be that your home is your home.

You're there and you're eating breakfast with your kids, and they're getting ready for day camp and you're thinking about your day, and then these people just kind of come into your world, and it could take close to an hour.

If you can't go to the bathroom, it could take longer than that.

They sit there and wait with you.

Is this the biggest audience you've ever had?

Yes.

Nobody thinks that's normal.

We're used to it.

A few of the haters in the press and these people that are just on this whole anti-doping frenzy, which I think we need... There's a place for that, but there are people that are obsessed with it.

They think that's absolutely normal. That's not normal.

Why are you taking blood, Dad?

For my job.

His job is to take blood.

No, her job is to take blood.

My job is to take blood.

My job is to give blood.

Oh.

All right.

Bye-bye, cameraman.

Bye-bye, cameraman and funny, skinny man.

Go!

Let me tell you something.

I'm all for a clean game, but this is fucking ridiculous.

Now here we are.

Yesterday, we had a surprise UCI control, the 31st of the season.

Now, this morning, again.

See you pull up. Fine, no problem.

32nd control. Then, Higgs, look.

USADA walks in.

Talk about a broken system.

Stupid.

How can there not be any communication?

It's 2009.

You guys look like fools.

When I'm in the bathroom, going to the bathroom, I look outside, another car pulls up.

And it's the American Anti-Doping Agency.

So 10 minutes before, the International Cycling Federation shows up, and then the American Olympic Federation shows up.

And I've got to get dressed to ride.

So I gotta go up and change and everybody's gonna escort me up there?

In front of my girlfriend, who's breastfeeding?

Is that the way it's gonna work?

Okay. No.

So I gotta walk in where you can't see me, and you say, "No, that's a violation"?

That's stupid.

Anyways, off we go.

Six hours on the bike today.

See you.

After his poor performance in Italy, Lance had to find some way to get better.

With only a month before the Tour de France, Lance trained in Aspen with his Astana teammate, Levi Leipheimer.

For both men, riding in the Rockies was all about the altitude.

Training in the thin air causes the body to produce more red blood cells, the exact same effect as EPO.

I learned that altitude training also played a role in doping.

To prepare for competition, riders would often train in the mountains to boost their red blood cells, take out a bag or two, and then be ready to transfuse them during a tour.

At the time, I wondered, "Was that what Lance was doing in Aspen?"

I watched Lance and Levi do a series of 1K tests, timed runs up a one-kilometer hill with a blood test at the top of each climb.

They measure lactic acid levels, which indicate fitness and the ability of a rider's leg muscles to deliver sustained power over time.

It's a test that was developed and refined in Italy by Michele Ferrari.

Okay.

You still pass on a suggestion or two from time to time to Lance?

Yes, not so many as in the past.

But probably, he doesn't need so many.

But sometimes I give him some inputs.

May be useful.

They were useful.

Lance had told everyone that he had stopped working with Ferrari in 2004, but an investigation by Italian police revealed that Armstrong kept contact with Ferrari through his son Stefano.

In e-mails, Papa Ferrari was known by his nickname, Schumi.

Bank records and e-mails confirmed Armstrong's payments to Ferrari.

In 2009, I wasn't honest about my relationship with him, but I didn't know who else to trust when it came to training and advice.

And to his credit, he was the first to say, "You cannot take any risk.

"They are coming for you.

"They want you."

From Italy, Ferrari monitored Lance's progress.

He compared his performance from a month earlier and concluded that Lance had improved by 10% in his power output number, watts per kilogram.

The watts-per-kilo number now is just a hair under 6.5.

6.5 might be good enough to win the Tour.

I've seen higher. I've been higher.

The best Lance with 1K tests was 7.

More than 7.

The best Lance was the year of the last Tour win.

2005.

He won the Tour like this.

It was impressive.

Lance took it easy, because... if you win by too much... everybody blah, blah, blah...

The other seven Tours...

In late June, you know, the last test before the Tour based on power output, we sat down and said, "Okay. We win.

"If we don't fall off the bike, if you don't get sick, "if you don't have any kind of terrible strategic error, "you win easy." it was amazing.

4.5? At 326.

At 326?

326.

Oh, snap! 4.7.

He pushed too hard on my finger.

I'm strong.

Quite honestly, I think...

I mean, if you want a prediction, I think I'll win the Tour.

How could Lance be so confident?

He hadn't performed well all year.

What did he know that I didn't?

We are close to the moment when big Lance returns to the sport of cycling.

And when he left in 2005, he wouldn't be back, he said.

There he is. He's back.

Going good. Going good. Going good.

Demand it. Accelerate your body.

Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on.

In the first stage, a short time trial, Lance wanted to make a statement.

In the past, he had always dominated time trials.

An impressive performance here would show everyone he was back.

He doesn't look good to me.

Come on, Lance. Come on, come on. Pick it up.

Come on, come on. Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!

One kilometer. One kilometer. Hello?

Yes, I'm in the race now. I'm in the race.

I'm in the race. Call me back.

Look at his face.

Lance Armstrong, seven times the winner of Tour de France.

He's headed for the best time.

Lance's time put him in first place by 30 seconds, but with all the best riders still to come.

Cancellara pushes on for the finish.

He's looking to beat the time of Bradley Wiggins of 19:51.

He's sprinting for the line and the best time.

One by one, the best riders in the world, including his Astana teammate, Alberto Contador, beat his time.

A great ride by Alberto Contador, who won the Tour in 2007.

Contador is second.

Is he now the leader of Astana?

He certainly laid claim to that.

Lance finished the first stage in 10th place, 40 seconds behind the leader, and 22 seconds behind his teammate, Alberto Contador.

From the start, I watched Lance's comeback hopes collide with a ferocious rider who bore an eerie resemblance to Armstrong 10 years earlier.

These guys never talked to each other.

They came out of the bus, I never once saw them look at each other, make eye contact.

They would walk right past each other.

It was the weirdest thing.

The honest truth is that there's a little tension at the dinner table.

The truth is...

I have seen Lance's statements, but on my side there are no tensions.

I'm completely relaxed...

He's got the gunslinger hat on.

Journalists behind... That would drive me nuts.

This guy's gonna fall in the fucking water.

That would drive me nuts, people behind me.

The Tour de France is the world's most demanding sporting event.

It covers 2,200 miles over three weeks.

The 21 daily stages combine flat roads, brutal climbs and time trials.

Each day, among the entire group of cyclists, known as the "peloton," the rider with the fastest overall time wears the yellow jersey, or the maillot jaune.

While each team on the Tour has nine riders, usually just one, the team leader, is riding for the yellow jersey.

On Astana, Armstrong and Contador are dueling for the right to lead.

The other cyclists were known as "domestiques French for "servants."

Ludi has no arm warmers.

This, this. Okay.

Who else? Anybody else?

An energy bar for Alberto.

This?


Another job of the domestiques is to shelter team leaders from the wind.

When riding at high speeds on flat roads, the effects of wind resistance are huge.

Riders in front have to work as much as 30% harder than those sheltering behind.

At high speeds, you can see the domestiques, often from different teams, sharing the work of fighting the wind.

For Lance's victories, there were some where he rode in front by himself only a matter of minutes, like three to five minutes for the entire Tour, because he essentially is using the muscle of his team as an extension of himself to drive forward and to burn other people off.

Relying on a group of domestiques, Lance found a way to use the wind when the cyclists rode near the ocean and sea breezes whipped into the peloton.

We were coming into that corner, and I was about 40 guys back.

And I was kind of like, "I better move up."

The crosswinds caused a split in the peloton.

Lance and two of his domestiques made it to the front group.

The rest of his Astana teammates, including Contador, were left behind.

In this situation, Lance reached out to an old teammate now on a different team, George Hincapie.

I had to call in some favors, George and those guys.

I said, "George, you keep riding.

"Hard."

Just like I would do in the old days when he was on the same team.

I just remember Lance being all fired up that he was in the first group and asking us to go harder, and we're like, "Dude, we're doing our own thing here.

"Sure, you're here, but we're not really doing this for you."

They could be putting Lance Armstrong in yellow in the next 24 hours.

Little bit further back down the road, that is Alberto Contador.

He got caught out, but he's keeping at the front end of the main field.

But I wonder what he's thinking about the presence of Lance Armstrong in that little group.

French radio was like, "This is a betrayal."

Betrayal?

It's like, "Why is he riding out front?

"Why is he pulling? Why don't they wait for Alberto?"

Because I won the fucking Tour de France seven times.

That's why we're out there riding. That's not...

That's stupid.

If you can take advantage of the wind or any other situation like that, that's the way you race bikes.

That's the way you win bike races.

We were in the right place at the right time, and I deserved to have those guys ride.

That's what I told Johan.

"You better start getting used to this again because..."

The breakaway finished 41 seconds ahead of the peloton, enough to move Lance from 10th to third, nineteen seconds ahead of Contador.

Suddenly, Lance's comeback was looking pretty good.

If everything goes right, I mean, if it goes perfectly for us and not that great for the others, we take the yellow jersey.

It would be...

You don't wanna take the yellow jersey this early in the Tour, do you?

Sure. I'd take it.

Hell, yeah.

Four years later, why not?

I'd totally take it.

I'm pedaling tomorrow for that.

Looking back on that moment now, I admit that I was caught up.

I wasn't naive about past doping allegations, but I couldn't help but root for the old pro, and he promised he was doing it clean.

But my presence at the Tour and my access to Lance was mystifying to Lance's longtime critics.

It was perceived that you were making the puff piece on Lance.

I thought it was odd that you were doing a movie about the comeback, because it seemed like it was going to be an inspirational movie.

The fear was that you would buy into the bullshit.

I was afraid I was starting to buy into the bullshit, too, so I sought out Jonathan Vaughters.

He was running Team Garmin, the so-called anti-doping team.

But he wouldn't agree to talk to me.

Back then, he had not yet made public what he knew about Lance's doping.

People have to realize that the truth in all this was hard.

Such a huge number of people wanted to believe so bad that they hated anyone who didn't believe and hated anyone who questioned it.

As a team manager, imagine what the reaction would've been had I said something about Lance.

Lose the team Lose the riders.

You know, lose the whole thing.

As it happened, Vaughters had a dog in the hunt in 2009, Bradley Wiggins was one of the leaders and Lance's team was worried about him.

We want to get rid of Wiggins.

You, too?

I know that ultimately you want to get rid of us, too, but that's another story.

Everyone at the Tour was playing angles.

Greg LeMond, the former Tour winner and longtime Lance critic, paid for a video crew to tail Lance's comeback.

Their mission, according to the cameraman in the straw cowboy hat, was to make the anti-Gibney film.

I was caught in the middle of a battle between the myth-makers and the myth-busters.

One of the strangest subplots was Lance's interview strategy.

He insisted that the only American to be able to interview him would be Frankie Andrea, an ex-teammate he had feuded with for years.

Lance has multiple motivations.

One of them was sort of to show Frankie that he could still make Frankie do whatever he wanted.

One of them was to show everyone that, "Hey, I can accept Frankie back.

"I'm not the jerk."

Another one was to control who had access to him.

So all that was going on.

Months before, I was with Lance when he hatched his plan to make Frankie wait outside the bus every day to interview him.

Johan begged him not to do it, but Lance couldn't contain himself.

When I asked him later about the Frankie plot, Lance was back on message.

But there wasn't anything mischievous about it like, "Frankie's gonna have to come to me now after those days."

Absolutely not.

No, this is totally different.

The kids had been watching the Tour on TV, and they said, "Mom, Dad's interviewing Lance."

Frankie called me right after and he said, "Lance wanted me, and only me, to interview him."

I said, "Frankie, you should spit on that guy.

"After everything he's done to you, done to me, done to us?"

All right, thank you. Yeah.

And to say the least, I was shocked because for four or five years before that, we just walked right past each other.

No eye contact with me. Wouldn't say a word to me.

Lance, Frankie and his wife Betsy had once been good friends.

Frankie had been on three US Postal teams, but in 2000, Lance's second Tour win, Frankie wouldn't dope.

He asked for a raise, but the team director, Johan, told him he'd have to take a steep pay cut.

When Frankie was looking at other teams, he had two other offers.

He was on the phone with Johan who asked him, "Which teams are you looking at?"

And Frankie told him the two teams.

Offers rescinded.

In late 2005, Frankie and Betsy were served with subpoenas to testify in a lawsuit involving Lance.

At issue was doping and a conversation between Lance and his doctor while he was being treated for cancer.

Yeah.

Let's talk about the Indiana hospital room.

Tell us what was said during this conversation.

A group of us were inside of a room where Lance had mentioned that he had taken certain drugs when a doctor asked him about it.

The doctor came in.

I said to Lance, "I think we should leave to give you your privacy."

And Lance said, "No, that's okay. You can stay."

Were you present when that conversation or statement took place?

Yes.

The doctor asked him a couple of questions.

And then came the question, "Have you ever taken any performance-enhancing drugs?"

Lance's response was that he had taken...

EPO, growth hormone...

Cortisone...

Steroids and testosterone.

Do you deny the statements that Ms. Andreu attributed to you in the Indiana University Hospital?

100%. Absolutely.

Do you also deny what Mr. Andreu said regarding those statements?

100%.

How could it have taken place when I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs?

Look, how could that have happened?

That was my point. It's not just simply you don't recall?

How many times do I have to say it?

If you have a doping offense or you test positive, it goes without saying that you're fired from all of your contracts.

Not just the team, but there's numerous contracts that I have that would all go away.

Sponsorship agreements, for example.

All of them.

And the faith of all the cancer survivors around the world.

So everything I do off of the bike would go away, too.

And don't think for a second I don't understand that.

Yeah, that was...

Um...

Honestly, it's embarrassing to hear.

It's humiliating.

That was going too far.

I know that now.

I didn't at the time.

Were you surprised when Mr. Armstrong said he had taken those various performance-enhancing drugs?

Yeah, I was surprised.

From that point on, trying to do announcing gigs or commentary or work, I was too controversial.

And I was told that a lot.

I was shunned, banned, from everybody, and a lot of people wouldn't look at me, shake my hand.

I was the outsider.

Lance wanted to humiliate Frankie, and he wanted to get back at me.

She swore to this, and Frankie, your former teammate and former friend also swore to this.

They had to be compelled to testify. They did not want to testify.

Why would they say this?

You know, I was present for Betsy's deposition and we asked her that question.

We said something to the effect of, "What do you think of Lance Armstrong?"

And, Bob, I've never been in a room where somebody looks straight across the table at you right in the eye, and she goes, "I hate him."

There's some allegations being made by the wife of a former teammate of yours, again accusing you of using performance-enhancing drugs.

The things they don't report is what happened under cross-examination when the person who made the accusation couldn't remember anything about the room.

Couldn't remember if the doctor was a man or a woman.

Couldn't remember if they had a lab coat on or not.

Couldn't remember if they had a clipboard. Couldn't remember anything.

No facts, no figures, no evidence. Just a mouth.

Aren't you sick of it?

Beyond the media, Lance had many supporters who helped him sustain the myth.

One of those was Stephanie McIlvain.

She worked for Oakley, one of Armstrong's sponsors.

She had also been in the hospital room.

According to Betsy, in their conversations, Stephanie confirmed Betsy's story.

But in Stephanie's deposition, she took Lance's side.

Were you ever in a hospital room or other part of the hospital with Mr. Armstrong, where he said anything about performance-enhancing drugs?

No.

After the deposition, she left a message on Betsy's answering machine.

I HOPE SOMEBODY BREAKS A BASEBALL BAT OVER YOUR HEAD BUT I ALSO HOPE THAT ONE DAY YOU HAVE ADVERSITY IN YOUR LIFE AND YOU HAVE SOME TYPE OF TRAGEDY THAT WILL HIT YOUR FAMILY AND MAKE YOU REALIZE WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT OTHER THAN GOING AFTER PEOPLE THAT YOU ACTUALLY HATE.

IT'S PATHETIC BETSY.

I THOUGHT YOU WERE A BETTER PERSON THAN THAT.

I AM SO SADDENED THAT YOU'RE NOT.

YOU ARE SUCH A SHALLOW BITCH!

It didn't matter if the world thought I was a liar, as long as the people close to me knew I was telling the truth.

However, when it affected Frankie's ability to work in the sport, that's when I put my foot down and I said, "I'm going to be obsessed with getting the truth out there."

This is the first time Andreu has spoken about it on television.

He replied, "Growth hormone, "steroids, testosterone, EPO, cortisone."

From the moment Betsy started speaking out, Frankie was confronted by an old teammate, George Hincapie.

Frankie was my mentor, and the first time I ever saw dope was in Frankie's refrigerator.

And that's when I realized, "Well, fuck, I have to dope."

So for me, that really bothered me that all of a sudden he changed, and he wasn't racing anymore and said, "Well, Lance is doping."

Well, I mean, you taught me how to dope.

How could you stand by when you know that you did what you did?

Lance never sat there and said, "You're gonna dope or you're out or I'm firing you."

That's just not true, and they made it seem like that was the case.

You're either on his side, or you're off his side.

If you crossed him, you were doomed.

You were thrown out very quickly, cast aside, and then you could sit there waiting for the revenge to be sent upon you.

That desire to bully. That desire to crush people.

He tried to wreck their lives.

Armstrong used his fame to undermine the credibility of his critics like Greg LeMond.

Greg, who I know has serious drinking and drug problems, was clearly intoxicated.

Hey, Emma!

Emma O'Reilly, part of Postal's team support staff, had helped Lance hide his doping.

After she left the team, she told a reporter about it.

Emma.

Afraid that we were gonna out her as a, you know, all these things she said, as a whore or whatever. I don't know.

Lance's lawyers pressured Emma to change her tune, but she was determined to tell the truth and refused to back down.

Lance's counsel sued for libel in Britain and France.

One of his many modus operandi was "just sue."

The financial drain, the emotional drain, the mental drain...

It's a pretty effective legal strategy when you think about it.

It's like, "I've got deeper pockets, "and I can fight this war of attrition and you can't."

It just built one upon another, and the denials became more defiant, and the arguments became more heated.

I should have just backed away.

In 2004, Armstrong launched lawsuits over L.A. Confidentiel, the first book to air doping charges against him.

He stopped its publication in America, forced an apology and won a judgment worth $1.5 million that tarnished the reputation of the co-author, David Walsh.

How can this guy dope so much and not get caught?

That tells us about how cycling was run.

It tells us about the attitudes of the UCI, which is the world governing body for cycling.

Its president for most of the Lance Armstrong years was Hein Verbruggen.

Hein Verbruggen and Lance Armstrong have always been friends.

The UCI denies that they ever covered up a drug test for Lance Armstrong, but they do say that when Lance and other top riders tested with suspicious levels, they would go and talk to those riders and they would say, "Listen, you're flying a little too close to the sun.

"We're going to be watching you.

"You better stop what you're doing."

There were dozens, if not hundreds, of those conversations going, "Hey, this is close."

But the truth is that everybody was making money.

Everybody.

And I mean everybody.

Trek Bicycles, in 1998, does $100 million in revenue.

Now they're pushing a billion.

We all made money. Some made a lot more than others.

Some of Verbruggen's money was managed in an appearance of conflict of interest by an investment firm owned by the man who bank-rolled Armstrong's team.

As head of the UCI, Verbruggen knew how much money and popularity Lance had brought to the sport.

So when L'Equipe published evidence of doping by Armstrong, cycling had a problem.

It was in his interest for the sport to continue to grow and grow controversy-free.

A thing we weren't very good at.

I mean, it was controversies every year. Every year. Big ones.

Verbruggen asked an acquaintance, Emile Vrijman, to conduct an investigation into the newspaper allegations.

In the conversations with Hein Verbruggen, clearly was the focus point on saying find out what kind of research did they do is this a positive test according to our definitions and if yes, should we do something about it.

Oddly, the Vrijman Report didn't focus on whether Lance had doped.

Instead, it looked at technical details, lab protocols, and attacked the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Without examining samples for drug use, the report concluded that Lance was completely exonerated.

The 130-page Vrijman Report that came out, he was the independent investigator hired by our international federation, it outlined, very clearly, what happened.

What Lance didn't say then, but what he told me years later, was that he and his team had input on the report and were delighted with the result.

Based on further talks with Lance, I had more questions.

Did you or your law firm receive any payments from Lance Armstrong or his representatives?

Not at all. As far as I know, not at all.

Vrijman's denial led me to an odd coincidence.

In 2007, the UCI paid the final bill for the report, approximately $100,000.

Earlier that year, Lance had made a donation to the UCI.

The amount? $100,000.

The reason, says the UCI, to pay for a blood-testing machine purchased in 2005.

Listen, nobody believes in doping controls more than me.

I've submitted to all of them, whether in competition or out of competition.

On the road, Lance was able to protect his lie by enforcing the power of omerté, a code of silence among riders about doping.

During the 2004 Tour Lance Armstrong very publicly humiliated me.

What happened was that Filippo Simeoni tried to attack to join the six-man breakaway that had built up a bit of a lead on the peloton.

The trouble is that Lance doesn't like Simeoni, who is actually suing him for slander in Italy after Armstrong called him a liar.

Was that all about Ferrari?

Simeoni had testified at a trial against Ferrari, and Lance was working with Michele Ferrari and considered Ferrari a good friend.

So, in the race, Simeoni attacked, and Lance, who had the yellow jersey on, followed the move, which is unheard of, 'cause normally you just let your team do all the chasing for you.

But he went up to Simeoni, and Simeoni was trying to win the stage, and, pretty much, Lance said, "No way."

It was kind of wrong of him to do that, but the peloton was happy about it because they didn't appreciate what Simeoni was doing at that point.

You mean sort of outing the secret?

Yeah, outing the secret.

They were all probably doing the same thing.

The result was that Simeoni returned to the field having apparently been told by Lance to sit at the back and shut up.

That's the kind of authority the patron of the peloton has, and Lance is not afraid to wield it.

Lance, can I ask just what went on between you and Simeoni today in the race?

I was just following the wheels.

He can be revengeful and vindictive, but then at the same time, very, very loyal and supportive, and I've been on both sides.

What do you expect at the finish for yourself?

Honestly, I don't know.

If Cancellara's dropped, and the climb isn't as hard as we all think and I stay with the leaders, then I can take the jersey.

And what would that mean to you?

It'd be great. It'd be a trip.


After the first week, the Tour moved to the Pyrenees.

Mountain stages are where the best riders make their moves and where Lance had dominated in the past.

But unlike previous Tours, Lance didn't look like he was in control.

He sure rode like he was clean.

He was struggling physically.

He looked beaten for a lot of those stages.

He was not anywhere close to as fast as where he was in 2001 or '99, but he was also almost 40 years old.

Is it conceivable to think that he was racing clean in 2009?

It's possible. You know, he knows the answer to that.

Not that the sport was harder, but I found it harder.

And I don't know if it was being older, or if it was being clean, or if it was...

I want to believe that the rest of the group was clean in '09.

I can't speak for them, but I like to believe that we all were basically clean.

Gibney, we gotta win this fucking Tour de France.

Yeah, I'm counting on you for the movie.

This is all about me.

Trust me, this will not be the same if I don't.

Gonna be hard. Harder than I thought.

Harder than I thought a week ago.

Lance had lost ground, but he was still close to the lead and only two seconds behind his rival, Contador, going into the biggest climb of the Tour.

I figured that if Lance was gonna manage his mythic comeback, he would have to beat Contador here.

But would that be enough to put an end to all the questions about the past?

Today is a very important day.

We have two weeks of racing behind us.

We have one very hard week ahead of us.

And today could be a day where a lot of things change.

You know, everybody's always talking about Alberto, Lance, Lance, Alberto.

We are here to win the Tour de France.

Of course, both of them are feeling good, and both of them want to try to win.

The start of that day, I'd been hanging out at the bus and Lance came out of the bus.

And I said, "Pretty big day."

And he said, "Yeah, this one's for all the fucking marbles."

Just before the steepest climb, Contador looked back at Lance.

Was that teamwork? Or a last "fuck you"?


But who's gonna stop Contador now?

Well, I don't think anybody can stop him, because the gap is opening.

Twenty-three seconds to Schleck, 42 seconds to Armstrong, a minute, 22 to the yellow jersey.


Alberto Contador now is establishing himself as the leader of the Astana team.

And, boy, when you see him climb like this, who else could there be?

There's the pistol shot. Alberto Contador's over the line.

He's the next maillot jaune of the Tour de France.

Very fast at the bottom of the climb.

Contador went once and you went after him.

And the second time he went, what were your thoughts there?

He showed he's the best rider in the race, certainly the best climber.

When everybody's on the limit and then you can accelerate again, I've been there, and it's...

Do you think your chances for winning the Tour now are over?

Um...

Yeah. It'll be hard.

You know, a day like this really shows who's the best, and I wasn't on par with what's required to win the Tour, so, I mean, for me, that's the reality.

That's not devastating news or anything.

But are you disappointed with...

The Lance Armstrong I know always is a fighter, always is one that is in attack mode.

And when I asked him that question, he was different.

I think there was a lot of doubt in his head on what he was gonna be able to accomplish at that Tour.

When Frankie was talking to him, it was such an honest exchange between those two guys.

When he was looking at this guy, who had been his friend for years as well as his teammate, and who had doped, and he seemed to be admitting to Frankie more so than to the camera that, "I just don't have it. I'm not good enough."

He had lost time, and he showed himself to be the weaker rider.

I don't have that punch that I used to have. GIBNEY: Uh-huh.

Yeah. Yeah.

No, but I mean, I...

I guess I'm... You know...

In terms of...

I know. It fucked up your documentary.

No, no. No. Nothing fucks up my documentary.

I'm sorry.

I don't think Lance's apology was just banter.

Part of it was real.

Saying he was sorry he couldn't deliver, one more time, the perfect fairy tale that everyone had come to expect.

Going forward, he was looking for a way to salvage things.

What meaning would his comeback have if he couldn't finish in the top three?

Now in second, he braced for attacks from Garmin's Bradley Wiggins and the Schleck brothers, all determined to push him off the podium.

Johan knew that Lance was not at his best.

So he pursued a delicate strategy, protecting Contador's yellow jersey and a spot on the podium for his old friend.

Without the podium, the comeback, it's not just a wash, but it's a disaster for him.

Remember that to win the Tour you don't have to attack.

Only if you know you can leave everyone, then you can go.

Johan didn't want Contador to attack, because he might push the Schlecks to a faster pace than they would ride on their own.

If they raced ahead, that could cost Lance a spot on the podium.

What's happening here? Contador's moved.

He's decided to go it alone.

Now can there be a reaction from Andy after all the work that man has done?

Contador is now going for the top.

He's allowed himself just under two kilometers to the summit, and he's going for the win.

Contador testing the waters here this afternoon, but he hasn't got the gap on the two Schleck brothers.

Stop, stop Alberto, they're on you.

And it was a terrific acceleration, but that's what this man is famous for, is the acceleration on the mountains.

There was no need for that shit!


Shit!

Lance took dangerous chances on the descent.

It was his only chance to get back in the game.

By following Contador's attack, the Schleck brothers were now second and third behind Contador.

Lance was in fourth, off the podium.

I wondered what words were exchanged between Contador and the Schlecks.

He doesn't care, he's going all alone on the podium, not with the team.

I don't blame Contador one bit.

He didn't trust anybody on that team, and he wanted to make sure that he had that yellow jersey firmly on his shoulders.

He learned this from Lance.

When you have a chance to seize the yellow jersey and take time out of your opponents, you do it.

Alberto was doing textbook Lance Armstrong.

It just backfired on Lance.

This guy is really unbelievable Why did he have to attack?

There was still one more mountain to climb, cycling's mythic Mont Ventoux.

If Lance didn't do well here, his whole comeback would backfire.

Some people would say he lost precisely because he couldn't win clean.

It was a tough challenge.

In years past, Lance had never won Ventoux.

I've had such a long history with that fucking mountain.

Lance believed that a strong showing here might somehow extinguish the doubts that haunted his legacy.

Following a time trial, Contador was still safely in the lead, but Lance had clawed his way back to third place, just a few seconds ahead of Wiggins and Frank Schleck and just over a minute behind Andy Schleck.

The Schlecks seemed determined to break Armstrong's will by attacking him again and again.

But this time, Armstrong would not be dropped.

Look at the face of Armstrong there.

He's just telling Frank, "You ain't going nowhere this afternoon, mate, "because I'm going to stick all over your back wheel."

Ventoux opens up, and you could see a very small group that included him.

Against every possible odd, he had managed to stay with that group and he was not gonna lose time.

I was like, "He's gonna do it! I can't believe it!" You know?

The guy is amazing.

To see him not just hanging on, but having some aggression, not just surviving, but asserting, was the most dramatic moment of the Tour.

He wasn't gonna win. He was doing it for some other reason, some reason that was unfamiliar to him.

I was caught up, too.

At that moment, on that fucking mountain, I was just a fan, rooting for Lance.

Just before the finish, Wiggins cracked, but Lance found another gear.

He pedaled on with Contador and the Schlecks.

It was a good day.

I thought I'd be fine, but I felt better than I expected.

Right. Which was good.

Although I came in here and wanted to win and thought I could win, thought I could be close, that's not going to happen.

I'm gonna get third.

I can stand on the third step and still say that I have won.

And I've won because of all of the reasons I wanted to do this.

My foundation has benefited.

Cancer survivors and their families all over the world have benefited because of this.

I think I've answered a lot of questions about the performances in the past.

Right.

Um...

It was incredible.

No sooner was the race over than Lance was busy writing a new ending to his story, one that even the French embraced.

The headline in the paper that had once trumpeted "The Armstrong Lie" now sang a different tune.

"Chapeau, le Texan." "Hats off to Armstrong."

This was the perfect ending for the original movie I started to make.

But four years later, investigations revealed something strange about Lance's blood values in 2009.

During the Tour, Lance should have seen a decrease in the concentration of his red blood cells.

Instead, there was an increase more than once.

And just before Ventoux, the day he saved his comeback.

What happened there with Ventoux is kind of what happened with his life.

Just like when he was a kid and he couldn't do it clean, there came a point in 2009 when he couldn't do it clean.

And I think he'd made that deal again before Ventoux.

I know what I know, and I know that it was clean.

We finished the Ventoux. It was a five or six hour day.

It was hot. It was hard, obviously.

Immediately in the car, down to the hotel and the French guy was there to take the blood draw.

I've never in my career had blood taken at the end of a day, at the end of a stage like that.

It does not happen.

Why?

Because it's normal and natural that when the body goes through stress like that, the body is obviously, if not very dehydrated, extremely dehydrated.

It's not what they would call "steady state."

And I think that's common knowledge and common science.

It's not a fair number.

You know, he still swears to me that he didn't.

We've talked about this and I tell him, "That's really a tough one to believe."

it was tough for me to believe, too, since Lance had lied to me so often.

But he was adamant he did not dope in 2009.

Why was Lance hanging on to this one?

Could it possibly be true?

Or was the comeback a new lie to replace the old one?

Armstrong was in a position of saying, "Look, I'm gonna do what I did in '99.

"I'm gonna come in in the wake of this.

"I'm gonna clean up my name. I'm gonna prove that I'm doing it clean." it's like a bank robber breaking back into the bank again with everyone watching, feeling he would get away with it.

Feeling sure he would get away with it.

Lance Armstrong!

Maybe this is why they came after you.

It's almost like you were daring them to look under the hood.

And they did.

We now know that the comeback was not a new beginning, but the beginning of the end.

Yet at the time, in the fading sun of Paris, Lance imagined the start of a new chapter to his mythic story.

And I'll be back next year.

And then maybe we'll really win.

In 2010, Lance did not win.

He finished 23rd.

Contador won the race and was busted for violating doping regulations.

Did you see Lance Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs?

I had, yeah.

Armstrong's comeback brought all of his enemies out of the woodwork.

The first to come forward was Lance's old teammate Floyd Landis.

Yes. I saw Lance Armstrong using drugs.

I'd remind everybody that this is a man that's been under oath several times and had a very different version.

This is a man that wrote a book for profit that had a completely different version.

If you said, "Give me one word to sum this all up."

Credibility.

And there's...

Floyd lost his credibility a long time ago.

In the hubbub over Landis, a new name surfaced. Jeff Novitzky.

He had prosecuted Barry Bonds.

And now, as part of the FDA, he was looking at Armstrong.

Why would Novitzky have anything to do with what an athlete does in Europe?

Armstrong's team was sponsored by a branch of the federal government, the US Postal Service.

It may have involved transfers of controlled substances.

It may have money laundering, tax evasion, bribing foreign officials.

.Doping is not illegal, but it's everything that happens around doping that federal investigators wanted to try and use to prosecute a crime.

They started subpoenaing cyclists, one by one.

Assistants, wives.

Jeff Novitzky called me.

I said, "What's taken you so long to call me?"

"Well, I... These things take time."

I said, "Do you have a pen and paper on hand?"

And he said, "Yeah." I said, "Let's get to work."

As the investigation continued, another cyclist who had been busted for doping, Tyler Hamilton, began to consider his options.

Tyler had been Lance's teammate in 1999.

Tyler had been subpoenaed by the grand jury, and he had a realization.

Number one was, all this is gonna come out one way or the other.

The lie is too big.

And the second thing was that he wanted to tell his story.

You saw Lance Armstrong inject EPO?

Yeah, like, we all did.

And you see in that footage Tyler's intense discomfort at facing the truth, how hard that was.

Omerté is very real, the code of silence, which is why it took Tyler until he was talking to someone who had a badge and a gun before he could fully start the process of telling the truth.

It seemed like the dam broke when suddenly somebody shows up with a badge and a gun.

Different ball game.

That was never even a thought in my mind going, "Well, I'm just gonna go lie to

"a federal prosecutor." It's, like, no way.

Early in 2012, an election year, the Department of Justice made a surprising announcement.

It would not pursue charges against Armstrong.

But USADA, the US Anti-Doping Agency, continued with its own investigation.

He was one of the ringleaders of this conspiracy that pulled off this grand heist using tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, defrauded millions of sports fans and his fellow competitors.

Travis Tygart, with help from government investigators, pried detailed testimony from many of Lance's former teammates.

Landis, Vaughters, Hamilton, Andrea, and most damaging of all to Lance, his loyal friend, George Hincapie.

They said, "Cooperate, and you'll get six months."

Right. Yeah.

And don't cooperate?

And you're banned for life.

Through his lawyers, Lance attacked Tygart and USADA.

USADA had said publicly that they had offered Lance the same deal as everyone else.

It's a claim Armstrong and his lawyers deny.

The message wasn't, "Hey, we gotta give you something.

"We gotta give you six months. We gotta give you a penalty, a sanction."

That did not happen.

The call to me came and said, "You're screwed.

"Why don't you come on in here and confess?"

But I don't understand then why go tell the world, every opportunity YOU get today that we offered Lance the same deal that we offered everybody else?

Just say, "We wanted him. We got him.

"Go dance on his grave."

USADA banned Armstrong for life.

His sponsors and Livestrong cut all ties.

The UCI stripped him of all his Tour de France titles and his third-place finish in 2009.

Armstrong responded with a defiant tweet.

I know what it took to win those Tours.

Okay, it was a little more detailed than we were told, or you guys were told.

But I know what it took, and my teammates know what it took.

And those 200-strong pelotons over seven years, they know what it took.

And they know who won.

Did Lance win it according to the rules of the road at that time?

Yeah. But did Lance win it according to the rules?

No. He still broke the rules.

Just because everybody's breaking the rules doesn't mean it's okay.

Lance still refused to admit to doping, but his fans no longer believed in his denials.

With his fairy tale story in tatters, Lance reached out to friends and critics alike and began to wonder out loud if he should at last admit to his lie.

After 10 years of his tirade on me, he called to say he was sorry.

I still get emotional. It was...

It took a lot of courage for him to say he was sorry and for him to tell me he's done a lot of bad things to good people.

I said, "I'm sure this was a tough phone call for you to make, "and I'm sure that these last two months have been hell for you."

But I said, "You know what? You've put me through hell for 10 years."

I said, "You're going through nothing.

"I hope you do the right thing."

He started calling me and we got to talk about how his secrets were gonna be given to the world.

His decision to go on Oprah did not win back his fans, particularly those who had defended his lie.

For the cycling crowd, it wasn't enough.

They didn't hear enough. They wanted to hear more.

I didn't say enough. I didn't tell them enough.

And for the general population, it was too much.

Which leads to everybody being pissed off.

Because he had lied for so long and he was so vicious in protecting that lie, um...

I don't think people were...

I really think that people said, "Okay, wait. Let's see what he does.

"Just because he says this stuff

"does not mean everything is gonna be okay."

We understand now that if you wanted to win or if you wanted to help someone win or if you wanted to make a good living, you had to dope in that era.

We understand that now.

And I think people would give him that context, but it's the lie.

The doping is bad, but Lance's abuse of power is worse.

I see the anger in people.

And they have every right to feel betrayed.

And it's my fault.

Yet after all the revelations, Lance would continue to hold onto one thing.

Was Betsy telling the truth about the Indiana hospital?

I'm not gonna take that on.

I'm laying down on that one.

Was Betsy lying?

I'm just not...

The hospital room is where it all began.

It all started at that damn hospital room.

And he just...

He was there. I know the truth. He knows the truth.

If it's complicated for him to say that it happened, then fine. I understand that.

But at this point...

It doesn't really matter what happened in that hospital room.

Doesn't matter at all anymore.

But its symbolic weight is enormous.

It's not about doping anymore.

That's out there. That's the least of his problems.

He has a support group that's around him that have protected him for years and years and years.

And now, if he comes out, he throws a lot of them under the bus.

He's not ready. I don't think he's ready for the entire truth.

He just can't stand to lose.

He'll go to any length if he decides he's not gonna lose.

I think the stakes are enormous for him really coming to terms with what he did.

Did you feel in any way that you were cheating?

No.

You did not feel that you were cheating?

At the time, no.

Psychologically, when you tell that lie for that long over and over and over and people are believing it, it's very, very difficult, if not impossible, to fully reckon with that right away.

I kept hearing, you know, I'm a... That you're a cheat.

I'm a drug cheat. I'm a cheat. I'm a cheater.

And I went and looked up the definition of "cheat."

Yes?

And the definition of cheat is "to gain an advantage on a rival or foe."

You know, that they don't have, or that, you know...

I didn't view it that way.

GiBNEY: Another definition for cheat is "to deceive."

That's why Lance is a cheater.

He deceived his fans.

Yet it's also fair to say that they were willing to be fooled.

So many people, from cancer survivors, to reporters, to sponsors, to myself loved the beautiful lie more than the ugly truth.

The story was a bestseller for Lance, too.

It made him a fortune of over $125 million.

That is a bitter truth.

It pays to believe in winning at all costs.

And the cruelty Lance showed his enemies off the bike was the very thing that allowed him to win on the bike.

People will forgive and forget and move on, or they won't.

And there will be plenty of the latter.

Sure.

You know, at some point people will say, "Okay, here's what happened."

And then judge for themselves.

I mean, I don't know what people will think in 20, 30, 40, 50 years.

Is the record book still gonna be blank for seven years?

I guess it will be. I don't know.

Or do people go...

They look at this thing, in the context that it is and say, "Well, yeah.

"He won the Tour de