AUSTIN (KXAN) - Lance Armstrong admitted to doping, being a bully, and living "one big lie" for many years.
But woven between the contrite words, he may have also been trying to protect a legacy that is in limbo.
"He was very careful with his choice of words and how he talked about things," said John Bartholomew, a sports psychologist at the University of Texas.
Even though Armstrong admitted to things he had denied for years, he also told Oprah he did not feel he was cheating, because he was not gaining an advantage over a cycling culture that was riddled with doping.
Preserving his natural abilities as a cyclist and athlete may have been the reason why, according to Bartholomew, Armstrong spoke generally about things but not specifically.
"The impression I got was he was trying to undersell the amount of doping he was doing so people will still recognize him for the achievements he had."
Armstrong admitted that he would not have won 7 straight Tour de France titles without doping, but how much of his success can be attributed to the drugs versus natural ability is a question that may never be answered.
"They still have to train hard, but it does give you an edge," said Dr. John Ivy with the UT Kinesiology department.
EPO (Erythropoietin) is a hormone that helps generate red blood cells and is often prescribed to leukemia patients.
A larger amount of red blood cells help carry more oxygen to muscles allowing a cyclist to ride longer before tiring.
Cortisone and testosterone, two more banned substances Armstrong admitted to using, help with recovery so that the body stays fresh.
Bartholomew believes Armstrong is a phenomenal athlete, but that athleticism is forever tainted.
"That is what happens when this comes out. You've tarnished that and it is hard to argue with what has happened," said Bartholomew.
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