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I would still be in denial, admits Armstrong

ESPN staff
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Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles © PA Photos
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Lance Armstrong says he would never have revealed his doping history had he not been forced to confess by the US Anti-Doping Agency's investigation.

Armstrong won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005 but is now serving a life ban from the sport after being found by USADA in October 2012 to have been part of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Speaking to CNN, Armstrong said: "Once you say 'no' you have to keep saying 'no'. If this stuff hadn't taken place with the federal investigation, I'd probably still be saying 'no' with the same conviction and tone as before. But that gig is up."

However, Armstrong said "there has to be totally no bull****" when planning his new book, insisting it would be completely honest.

"I need to write a book and it needs to be pretty raw," added Armstrong. "The book needs to be pretty intense and transparent. It has to be the right book, the right tone.

"I'm fully committed to putting it all out there. I don't blame anyone for thinking, 'I don't trust this guy with all his bull**** for 10 years'."

Armstrong is also facing a $100m lawsuit from the US Federal Government which claims to have been damaged by their association and investment in Armstrong's US Postal team, for whom he rode from 1998 to 2005.

"I'm very confident that that's a winner for us," said Armstrong. "I don't think anyone can truly argue the US Postal Service was damaged. They made a lot of money in the deal and got what they bargained for.

"I worked my ass off for them and I'm proud of it. Furthermore, there wasn't a technical relationship between myself and the U.S Postal Service."

Armstrong's long-term coach Johan Bruyneel was handed a 10-year ban in April for helping to organise widespread doping, including the trafficking and administering of doping products.

Although Armstrong claims to be leading a "positive and free" life after confessing, he said he would not have come clean even for the sake of his children.

"Well, that's a conversation for my kids," added Armstrong. "But there was a lot of stuff in that lie, not simply me saying, 'no'. I couldn't change the story.

"My therapy is riding my bike, playing golf and having a beer. I haven't gotten around to it [therapy]. I get it totally, but it's not something that's taken place yet."

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