WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Former cycling great Lance Armstrong became a fierce competitor after he successfully fought off cancer, he said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey aired on Thursday night.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a scathing report in October last year, condemning him center of a "sophisticated" doping program while riding for the U.S. Postal Service Team and Discovery Channel team between 1998-2005.
In the report, Armstrong was accused by about a dozen of former teammates of abusing performance-enchancing drugs and a bully to pressure his teammates to do so.
When Winfrey asked Armstrong whether these accusation was true, Armstrong admitted and said suffering from cancer changed his attitude.
"I grew up as a fight. Before my diagnosis, I was a competitor, but no so fierce," he said. When diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996 he was given only a 40 per cent chance of surviving. But survive he did, and he returned to cycling with a vengeance.
After that, Armstrong said, he would win at all cost.
In fighting cancer, the ruthless attitude was good, he said. But "that's bad" when he took it out in racing.
"I wasn't a bully before that," he said.