Shamed U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong says his 13-year-old son trusted him, never asking about doping allegations.
Armstrong said in the second installment of his interview with television host Oprah Winfrey that he knew he had to tell his son the truth when he saw his son, Luke, defending him, telling others “what you're saying about my dad is not true.”
Armstrong, near tears, told Winfrey he told his son “Don't defend me anymore. Don't.” Armstrong said he told Luke “just say 'hey, my dad said he was sorry.'”
The retired and disgraced athlete said in the segment that aired Friday the fallout from the revelations about his doping have left his mother “a wreck.”
He also said that while he should be punished, he does not believe he deserves the lifetime ban from the sport issued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Armstrong has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in all seven of his Tour de France victories from 1999 through 2005.
The 41-year-old cancer survivor, who had repeatedly denied doping accusations, told Winfrey in the first installment of the interview Thursday on her fledgling OWN network that he could not have won the seven Tour de France titles without the banned substances.
Armstrong said he used testosterone, cortisone, blood transfusions and human growth hormone to boost his chances of winning the prestigious French races.
He was stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France victories last year when the U.S. Anti Doping Agency announced it had proof of his involvement in a complex illegal doping program.
Armstrong told Winfrey he lost about $75 million when his sponsors deserted him last year after the release of the damning report on him.
Late Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee asked Armstrong to the return the bronze medal he won in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Games.