Consumer Health Features

Lance Armstrong interview spotlights health dangers of 'juicing'

By April MacIntyre Jan 16, 2013, 3:45 GMT

Lance Armstrong interview spotlights health dangers of 'juicing'

Former Livestrong Founder and Chairman Lance Armstrong delivers remarks urging Congress to oppose cuts to cancer research and prevention programs during a press conference in Washington, DC USA, on 24 March 2011. EPA/SHAWN THEW

Lance Armstrong's emotional interview with Oprah Winfrey revealed he had been obfuscating the truth for years, that he was using performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles.

Oprah recounted her session with Armstrong on "CBS This Morning" as her Armstrong interview to be aired in a two-part special on her OWN network.

However, international doping officials said it wouldn't be enough to save the career of the former Wheaties box American sports icon.

"I don't think `emotional' begins to describe the intensity or the difficulty he experienced in talking about some of these things," Winfrey said.

"It was surprising to me," she said. "I would say that for myself, my team, all of us in the room, we were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers."

Winfrey said the interview will now run in two parts on consecutive nights - Thursday and Friday - because there is so much material.

The World Anti-Doping Agency said he must confess under oath if he wants to reduce his lifetime ban from sports and last year, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a 1,000-page report that accused him of orchestrating a long-running doping scheme.

WADA's statement said: "Only when Mr. Armstrong makes a full confession under oath - and tells the anti-doping authorities all he knows about doping activities - can any legal and proper process for him to seek any reopening or reconsideration of his lifetime ban commence."

Armstrong is said to be worth around $100 million. But most sponsors dropped him after USADA's scathing report - at the cost of tens of millions of dollars - and soon after, he left the board of Livestrong.  Armstrong visited the headquarters of Livestrong, the charity he founded in 1997 and turned into a global force based on his personal journey of surviving testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and brain, to apologize.

Winfrey has promoted her interview as a "no-holds barred" session and said she was ready to go with 112 questions.

In advance of Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah regarding steroid usage, Dr. Damon Raskin, M.D. —a board-certified internist in Los Angeles  who is both an addiction expert and a men’s health specialist—spoke to Monsters and Critics. 

Dr. Raskin is the supervising medical director for Ageless Men’s Health, a nationwide facility dealing with men’s health and anti-aging issues. He has worked with scores of patients with long-term steroid usage.  He also  is an attending physician at Cliffside Malibu, a leading addiction treatment center in Los Angeles.

Dr. Raskin’s comments regarding Armstrong: “Long term abuse of anabolic steroids can definitely increase the risk of cancer...it is unclear whether this many have been a contributing factor to his testicular cancer...  as well as atherosclerosis (increased plaque in arteries and risk of heart attacks and strokes), and lower the good cholesterol in the body (HDL). Steroids can also contribute to higher blood pressure, acne, and aggressive behavior.”

“In addition, blood doping, which involves blood transfusions and/or taking a hormone called eryrthropoetin which increases red blood cells and thus more oxygen to muscles, can also lead to strokes by making the blood too thick.”

Like this article? Please share on Facebook and give Monsters & Critics a "Like" too!

Further Reading on M&C

COMMENT

comments powered by Disqus

Follow Monsters and Critics

Search

Custom Search

Latest on M&C