In what was billed as a no-holds-barred question-and-answer session, Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, which led to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from the sport. The International Olympic Committee also sent a letter to Armstrong on Wednesday night asking him to return his bronze medal from the 2000 Games.
Some highlights of the interview from Thursday night:
Oprah: Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?
Oprah: Was one of those banned substances EPO?
Oprah: Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?
Oprah: Did you ever use any other banned substance like testosterone, cortisone or human growth hormone?
Oprah: In all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?
Oprah: In your opinion, was it humanly possible to win the Tour de France without doping? Seven times in a row?
Armstrong: Not in my opinion.
Oprah: For 13 years you didn't just deny it, you brazenly and defiantly denied everything you just admitted just now. So why now admit it?
Armstrong: That is the best question. It's the most logical question. ... I don't know that I have a great answer. I will start my answer by saying that this is too late. It's too late for probably most people, and that's my fault. I viewed this situation as one big lie that I repeated a lot of times, and as you said, it wasn't as if I just said no and I moved off it.
Oprah: Right, you were defiant. ... You called other people liars.
Armstrong: I understand that. And while I lived through this process, especially the last two years, one year, six months, two, three months, I know the truth. The truth isn't what was out there. The truth isn't what I said, and now it's gone -- this story was so perfect for so long. And I mean that, as I try to take myself out of the situation and I look at it. You overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times. You have a happy marriage, you have children. I mean, it's just this mythic perfect story, and it wasn't true.