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“Winfrey asked if that was why he agreed to the interview. "If you're asking me, do I want to compete again ... the answer is hell, yes," Armstrong said. "I'm a competitor. It's what I've done my whole life. I love to train. I love to race. I love to toe the line -- and I don't expect it to happen." Yet just three questions later, a flash of the old Armstrong emerged. "Frankly," he said, "this may not be the most popular answer, but I think I deserve it. Maybe not right now ... (but) if I could go back to that time and say, `OK, you're trading my story for a six-month suspension?' Because that's what people got." "What other people got?" Winfrey asked. "What everybody got," he replied. Eleven former Armstrong teammates, including several who previously tested positive for PEDs, testified about the USPS team's doping scheme in exchange for more lenient punishments. Armstrong said in the first part of the interview that he knew his "fate was sealed" when his most trusted lieutenant, George Hincapie, who was alongside him for all seven Tour wins between 1999-2005, was forced to give Armstrong up to anti-doping authorities, "So I got a death penalty and they got ... six months," Armstrong resumed. "I'm not saying that that's unfair, necessarily, but I'm saying it's different." Armstrong said the most "humbling" moment in the aftermath of the USADA report was leaving Livestrong lest his association damage the foundation's ability to raise money and continue its advocacy programs on behalf of cancer victims. Originally called the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the cyclist created it the year after he was diagnosed with a form of testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. Doctors gave him 50-50 odds of surviving. "I wouldn't at all say forced out, told to leave," he said of Livestrong. "I was aware of the pressure. But it hurt like hell. ... "That was the lowest," Armstrong said. "The lowest." Armstrong's personal fortune had sustained a big hit days earlier. One by one, his sponsors called to end their associations with him: Nike; Trek Bicycles; Giro, which manufactures cycling helmets and other accessories; Anheuser-Busch. "That was a $75 million day," Armstrong said. "That just went out of your life," Winfrey said. "Gone." "Gone?" Winfrey repeated. "Gone," he replied, "and probably never coming back." So was there a moral to his story? "I can look at what I did," he said. "Cheating to win bike races, lying about it, bullying people. Of course, you're not supposed to do those things. That's what we teach our children." Armstrong paused to compose himself before a final mea culpa. "I just think it was about the ride and losing myself, getting caught up in that, and doing all those things along the way that enabled that," he said. "The ultimate crime is, uh, is the betrayal of those people that supported me and believed in me. "They got lied to." Many aren't forgiving. At tennis' Australian Open on Saturday, Roger Federer said Armstrong's admission has affected all of sport and the world's athletes. "What a sad story," Federer said. "Obviously he's hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning. But now the burden they live under, all other sports maybe as well." Federer, a 17-time major winner, said he watched the first portion of Thursday's Part 1. "I guess all I needed to see was the first few minutes and then I knew what was the deal, and the rest I don't really care," Federer said. "I'm an active athlete right now, and it's not fun times really to be in sports to a degree." Serena Williams said Armstrong let all athletes down by doping and lying about it for so long, while top-ranked Victoria Azarenka said Armstrong "deserves everything he gets." "I think a lot of people now look and are like, 'OK, if somebody (is) that great, what about everyone else in every other sport?' " Williams said. "As an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was 4 or 3, I think it's a sad day for all athletes in general. Overall, it's even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them." Azeranka said "everybody works so hard to be the best." "You cannot be a hero in the end of the day," Azeranka said. "You cannot lie. You cannot cheat. Everybody works so hard to be the best, and you have to respect that." On Friday, No. 1 Novak Djokovic said it was a "disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this" and that Armstrong should "suffer for his lies." Part 1 of the Lance-Oprah interview was seen by a total of 4.3 million viewers in back-to-back airings Thursday night. But the interview drew only 3.2 million viewers for its first airing, an audience that fell short of OWN's most-watched program: an interview Winfrey conducted with the family of Whitney Houston last March following the singer's death the previous month. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Frankly, this may not be the most popular answer, but I think I deserve it (to be eligible to compete). Maybe not right now ... (but) if I could go back to that time and say, 'OK, you're trading my story for a six-month suspension?' Because that's what people got. ... What everybody got.” -- Lance Armstrong