Lies, lies, lies finally catch up to Lance

Cyclists say the darndest things, particularly Lance Armstrong. The seven-time Tour de France champion was exposed as a cheat and a liar after years of denying drug use. “At the end of the day, I have nothing to hide,” he said in 2009. Enlarge photo

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press file photo

Cyclists say the darndest things, particularly Lance Armstrong. The seven-time Tour de France champion was exposed as a cheat and a liar after years of denying drug use. “At the end of the day, I have nothing to hide,” he said in 2009.

Before his abrupt U-turn in an interview this week with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong consistently had denied – many times and in many forums – that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Here is a sample of some of the cyclist’s choicest comments on the subject before he finally admitted to doping:

“Luke’s name is Armstrong, and people know that name, and when he goes to school I don’t want them to say, ‘Oh yeah, your dad’s the big fake, the doper.’ That would just kill me.” – his second autobiography, Every Second Counts, in 2003.

“I came out of a life-threatening disease. I was on my death bed. You think I’m going to come back into a sport and say, ‘OK, OK doctor, give me everything you’ve got; I just want to go fast?’ No way! I would never do that.” – public forum, Aspen, 2007.

“How many times do I have to say it? ... Well, if it can’t be any clearer than ‘I’ve never taken drugs.’” – videotaped testimony in lawsuit, 2005.

“I’m sorry you don’t believe in miracles.” – 2005 Tour de France victory speech, taking aim at “the cynics and the skeptics.”

“There are no secrets. This is a hard sporting event, and hard work wins it.” – same speech.

“Everybody wants to know: What am I on? What am I on? I’m on my bike, busting my ass six hours a day.” – commercial for Nike in 2001.

“We’re sick and tired of these allegations, and we’re going to do everything we can to fight them. They’re absolutely untrue.” – news conference, 2004.

“They say, ‘This is a new guy in the Tour. It can’t be. He must be doped.’ It’s unfortunate.” – TV interview on the way to winning his first Tour in 1999.

“You are not worth the chair that you’re sitting on.” – at journalist and doping critic Paul Kimmage, at 2009 news conference.

“Do we make mistakes, all of us? Absolutely. As a society, are we supposed to forgive and forget and let people get back to their job? Absolutely.” – same news conference, arguing that dopers should get a second chance.

“At the end of the day, I have nothing to hide.” – Associated Press interview, 2009.

“I have never doped.” – on ‘Larry King Live,’ 2005.