Lance Armstrong outlines a pattern of deceit and habit of dishonesty in the new ESPN Films feature on his life titled "LANCE."
Armstrong is the subject of the two-part documentary that has already caused backlash from the decorated and shamed cyclist. He participated fully as an interview subject, and the results will play out over the next two Sundays in the same slot ESPN gave "The Last Dance" documentary on the final season of the championship dynasty of the Chicago Bulls.
"LANCE" debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
The 48-year-old Armstrong is transparent and unvarnished all the same in the film, which includes access to his family and backstory through those who know him best.
"Marina Zenovich has done some of the great character studies in all of documentary film. When she took an interest in uncovering the depths of Armstrong's story, we were all in," said Libby Geist, vice president and executive producer for ESPN Films and Original Content, in a USA Today interview.
Armstrong said the fast track to a life of lies and attempts to cover up cheating started at an early age when he falsified his birth certificate to compete in races.
"Nobody dopes and is honest," he said. "You're not. The only way you can dope and be honest is if nobody ever asks you, which is not realistic. The second somebody asks you, you lie. It might be one lie because you answer it once. Or in my case it might be 10,000 lies because you answer it 10,000 times."
While there are moments in the feature when Armstrong appears to be moderately contrite, the grudges that began to color his character as a competitor simmer to the surface.
"Could be worse," he said. "I could be a piece of (expletive) like Floyd Landis. That's what I know. I don't think it. I know it."
Armstrong was banned for life from cycling in 2012. Landis, who won the 2006 Tour de France before it was nullified for a positive doping test, helped uncover Armstrong's doping history and detailed how he cheated to win.
Landis would later be disgraced and admit to doping, which led to his own ban from cycling.
--Field Level Media