US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief executive Travis Tygart on Thursday called Lance Armstrong's admission of doping 'a small step in the right direction' for the shamed cyclist.
'Tonight, Lance Armstrong finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit,' said Tygart, who guided the USADA probe that led to Armstrong being stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles and banned from the sport.
Armstrong had previously dubbed USADA's investigation a witch-hunt and accusing Tygart and his colleagues of pursuing a vendetta against him and going so far as a lawsuit questioning their jurisdiction.
Tygart's brief statement made reference to none of that, nor did it address any details of Armstrong's confessions and which USADA charges Armstrong verified or challenged.
'His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction,' Tygart said.
'But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.'
Armstrong made the admission during the first part of a two part interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Winfrey got right to the point, asking for yes-or-no answers to five questions.
Did Armstrong use banned substances? 'Yes.'
Did he use EPO? 'Yes.'
Did he do blood doping and transfusions? 'Yes.'
Did he use testosterone, cortisone and human growth hormone? 'Yes.'
Did he do it in all seven of his Tour wins? 'yes.
'At the time it did not feel wrong?' Winfrey asked.
'No,' Armstrong replied. 'Scary.'
'Did you feel bad about it?' she pressed him.
'No,' he said. 'Even scarier.'
'Did you feel in any way that you were cheating?'
'No,' Armstrong paused. 'Scariest.'
'I went and looked up the definition of cheat,' he added a moment later. 'And the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe. I didn't view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field.'
Whether his televised confession will help or hurt Armstrong's bruised reputation and his already-tenuous defence in at least two pending lawsuits, and possibly a third, remains to be seen.