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Lance Armstrong: 'I'd probably do it again'

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Lance Armstrong: I'd Probably Dope Again

Monday, Lance Armstrong sat down with BBC for his first TV interview since admitting to taking performance-enhancing drugs.

The former pro cyclist says he wouldn't take any shortcuts if given the same opportunity now - but if you turned back the clock a couple decades, his answer wouldn't be the same.

"If you take me back to 1995 when it was completely and totally pervasive, I'd probably do it again. People don't like to hear that," Lance Armstrong said.

Armstrong also said he thinks his lifetime ban from professional cycling should be reduced, and that doping was a "bad decision" at an "imperfect time."

17 PHOTOS
Lance Armstrong - updated 2/3/2015 - video in slide #2
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Lance Armstrong: 'I'd probably do it again'
Lance Armstrong and the company that owned the U.S. Postal cycling team will have to pay a promotions company $10 million after losing an arbitration hearing.
ASPEN, CO - AUGUST 02: Anna Hansen Armstrong and Lance Armstrong attend Aspen Art Museum 2013 ArtCrush Summer Benefit at Aspen Art Museum on August 2, 2013 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)
ASPEN, CO - AUGUST 02: Lance Armstrong attends Aspen Art Museum 2013 ArtCrush Summer Benefit at Aspen Art Museum on August 2, 2013 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/WireImage)
PERRY, IA - JULY 23: Lance Armstrong (L) departs at the start of the third day of the RAGBRAI en route to West Des Moines on July 23, 2013 in Perry, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JANUARY 14: In this handout photo provided by the Oprah Winfrey Network, Oprah Winfrey (not pictured) speaks with Lance Armstrong during an interview regarding the controversy surrounding his cycling career January 14, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Oprah Winfrey’s exclusive no-holds-barred interview with Lance Armstrong, 'Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive,' has expanded to air as a two-night event on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The special episode of 'Oprah’s Next Chapter' will air Thursday, January 17 from 9-10:30 p.m. ET/PT (as previously announced) and Friday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The interview will be simultaneously streamed LIVE worldwide both nights on Oprah.com. (Photo by George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network via Getty Images)
21 Jul 1995: Lance Armstrong of the United States performs during Stage 18 of the Tour De France between Montpon Men. and Limoges in France.
22 Jul 1995: Lance Armstrong of the United States performs during Stage 19 of the Tour De France near the Lac de Vassiviere in France.
13 Jul 1995: Lance Armstrong of the United States performs during Stage 11 of the Tour De France between B. d''Oisans and St. Etienne in France.
Lance Armstrong talks at Nike Sportswear and Lance Armstrong Launch 'Stages' Global Art Exhibition at Nike Sportswear at the Montalban Theater on March 7, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Brian To/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 07: Athlete Lance Armstrong attends Nike Sportswear and Lance Armstrong's launch of 'Stages' Global Art Exhibition at Nike Sportswear at the Montalb n Theater on March 7, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Redmond/WireImage)
25 Jul 2001: Lance Armstrong of the USA and the US Postal team on stage 16 of the Tour de France from Castelsarassin to Sarran in France. Mandatory credit: Pascal Rondeau/Allsport
30 Sep 2000: Lance Armstrong of the USA celebrates bronze in the Mens Road Cycling Individual Time Trial at Moore Park on day 15 of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. \ Mandatory Credit: Mike Powell /Allsport
17 Jul 2001: Lance Armstrong of the USA rides into a turn during the Tour de France from Aix-Les Bains to Alpe d''Huez in France.Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger /Allsport
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 23: Lance Armstrong (L) of the United States Postal Service Cycling Team, and five time winner of the Tour de France, rides with former Olympian Dave Lettieri training during Media Day January 23, 2004 in the region around Solvang, California.(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 23: Lance Armstrong of the United States Postal Service Cycling Team, and five time winner of the Tour de France, speaks during a press conference on media day January 23, 2004 in Solvang, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JANUARY 23: Lance Armstrong of the United States Postal Service Cycling Team, and five time winner of the Tour de France, gets a tire change while training during Media Day January 23, 2004 in the region around Solvang, California. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
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And that's something he's touched on before - claiming he raced in era where doping permeated the sport.

"It was just a messy time. It was basically an arms race, and we all played ball that way," Lance Armstrong told Outside Magazine.

And there's definitely some truth to that. According to The New York Times, "Since 1998, more than a third of the top finishers of the Tour de France have admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in their careers or have been officially linked to doping."

Though that certainly doesn't get Armstrong off the hook, it does put things in perspective.

"The top twenty guys all tested positive for 'roids. Our roided up guy beat your roided up guy!" Comedian Bill Burr said.

But at least one writer wasn't sold on Armstrong latest confession.

"Armstrong is a false prophet and a symbol to nothing. His attempts at trying to clear his name are pathetic, especially with zero regret and remorse for lying to everyone and making so much money off of them while doing so."

During the peak of his career, Armstrong was considered by many to be the greatest cyclist ever. But that all changed after the doping scandal tarnished his legacy.

"Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?" Oprah Winfrey asked.
"Yes," Lance Armstrong said.

In 2012, Armstrong was banned from professional cycling for life after coming clean following years of denial.

The shamed cyclist was also stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 to 2005.

Since then, Armstrong admits it's been a tough road to clean up his image, but he hopes "there's some light at the end of the tunnel."

This video includes images from Getty Images.

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