"The Armstrong Lie" Director Was Caught in Lance Armstrong's Web of Lies

Oct 30 2013, 8:44pm CDT | by ABC News Radio

"The Armstrong Lie" Director Was Caught in Lance Armstrong's Web of Lies
Photo Credit: ABC News Radio

Elizabeth Kreutz/"The Armstrong Lie"(NEW YORK) -- In 2009, Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney and his studio were given access to Lance Armstrong that no outsider had ever had before for a film documenting the cycling champion's incredible Tour de France comeback after battling testicular cancer.

Despite spending a year inside Armstrong's normally private bubble, what Gibney and his team didn't know was that much of Armstrong's successful pro cycling career, including his seven previous Tour wins, was all based on a lie, and Gibney and his team were being played.

"I think particularly at the beginning there was not a sense of vulnerability, a sense of 'hubris,' is what the Greeks call it, that 'nobody is ever going to discover my lie, so come along for the ride,'" Gibney said.

Gibney's film, The Armstrong Lie, which premieres on Nov. 8, dissects what has been called the biggest fraud in all of sports, exploring how Armstrong lied for years about doping, how it became all-consuming and how he did almost anything to protect it.

"It was Lance's abuse of power that was really the most reprehensible thing, and that is how people really get offended by this story," Gibney said. "Part of it was the way he went after people, part of it was the way he actually wrapped himself in the mantle of the cancer survivor."

It is a film Gibney never intended to make. Initially, Gibney was directing a positive story about Armstrong, who returned to competitive cycling in 2009 after a four-year hiatus as he trained for his eighth Tour de France title. The studio finished the film, which was originally called The Road Back, complete with narration by Matt Damon, but before the studio could release it, Nightline ran a tell-all piece in 2010 with Armstrong's former teammate Floyd Landis.

During the Nightline interview, Landis said he had used performance-enhancing drugs and received illicit blood transfusions for much of his cycling career. He made sweeping accusations against others, including Armstrong, saying he had seen the cycling giant receive illicit transfusions "multiple times."

After the interview aired, Armstong publicly denied Landis' accusations, but Gibney shelved the film and went to work reshooting a completely different story. The Armstrong Lie ended up detailing Armstong's epic collapse.

"In terms of his ability to be a liar and to be a cover-up artist, he is at the tippy top. He is the very best," Gibney said.

Year after year, Armstrong repeatedly denied having ever doped, often lashing out at reporters in frustration for asking questions about it. Then, in an infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey this year, Armstrong came clean about his doping past, saying he had been "living a lie." He was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and left his Livestrong Foundation.

Using footage from The Road Back, Gibney was left with moments he never imagined capturing. He had remarkable access and spoke to Armstrong hours after the Oprah interview in which the cycling star delved deeper into how he kept his doping a secret.

In the film, a shell-shocked Armstrong explains matter of factly how it all began -- his decision to cheat by using performance-enhancing drugs. He also further explained how he got away with using the blood booster EPO during races.

Gibney said "the great tragedy" of Armstrong is that he continually justified what he was doing.

"He couldn't see the difference. He couldn't see the borderline between where the sport ended and the where real life began," Gibney said.

Much of Armstrong's life today centers on trying to keep what he has left. Three major lawsuits, including a fraud case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, that seeks to strip him of more than $100 million.

"The last time I communicated with Lance was when I let him know that the film was going to be called The Armstrong Lie," Gibney said.

When asked how Armstrong took the news, Gibney said "not so well."

If Armstrong's reputation stands a chance at any kind of redemption, it will likely take a while.

"People don't like that truth as much as they liked the beautiful lie, and that's a hard thing for Lance to accept, because he found much more affection in telling the beautiful lie than the ugly truth," Gibney said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>/>

Source: ABC News Radio

 
 
 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Facts
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Facts
Everything you need to know about the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014.
 
 
The Best Photos of All Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Models
The Best Photos of All Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 Models
The sexiest runway show took place in London on Dec. 2. The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 was for the first time in Europe. The show will air on CBS December 9. See already now the hottest photos of all 45 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014 models.
 
 
Fire TV is $69 in Amazon Cyber Monday Deal
Fire TV is $69 in Amazon Cyber Monday Deal
Amazon will offer the $69 Fire TV deal on Cyber Monday afternoon.
 
 
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
The Black Friday 2014 Sales You can Shop Today 11/26
Over 20 Black Friday 2014 sales are already launched. Get the deals early to get your head free for the hard to get Black Friday deals to be released on Thanksgiving Day.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Australian researcher discovers first artwork by early human
Sydney, Dec 4 (IANS) An Australian researcher has discovered what is believed to be the first artwork created by a human. The simple zigzag pattern found on a fossilized shell from the Indonesian island of Java has...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Insects compete with rats to clear garbage
New York, Dec 4 (IANS) Insects play a very important role in cleaning up cities and they compete with other pests like rats and pigeons in their endeavour, a study has said. Scientists sampled arthropods - such as...
Read more on Business Balla
 
School headmaster shot dead in Pakistan
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) Unidentified gunmen Thursday killed the headmaster of a private school in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Police officials said the armed men opened fire at the vehicle of Zahid Ali,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Four more bodies recovered from sunken South Korean ship
Seoul, Dec 4 (IANS) Four more bodies were recovered Thursday from a sunken South Korean fishing ship in the Bering Sea, the foreign ministry here said. This increased the toll to 16, including six South Koreans and 10...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Lesbian couple asked to desist in London restaurant
London, Dec 4 (IANS) A lesbian couple in a London restaurant was asked to desist by a staff member, who asked them to "stop what you are doing". Lydia Cawson, 29, said that she and her girlfriend were asked by a staff...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Oxford Dictionaries to add 1,000 new words
London, Dec 4 (IANS) 'Mamil' (middle-aged man in Lycra), 'silvertail' (a person who is socially prominent or who displays social aspirations) and 'crony capitalism' are among the 1,000 new words to be added to...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Oceans play key role in global 'warming hiatus'
London, Dec 4 (IANS) Increased heat uptake across three oceans - North Atlantic, the Southern Ocean and Equatorial Pacific Ocean - is the likely cause of the 'warming hiatus' -- the current decade-long slowdown in...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Novel imaging to identify if TB drugs are working
Washington, Dec 4 (IANS) Tuberculosis patients who are not cured of the infection can develop multi-drug resistant TB and have to take as many as six drugs for two years. Now, researchers at University of Pittsburgh...
Read more on Business Balla
 
PM makes first appointment to High Court of Australia
Canberra, Dec 4 (IANS) Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government Thursday appointed former Victorian Supreme Court judge Geoffrey Nettle as the next Justice of the High Court of Australia. Attorney General George...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
18 suspected militants killed in Pakistan airstrikes
Islamabad, Dec 4 (IANS) At least 18 suspected militants were killed Thursday in airstrikes conducted by Pakistan Air Force fighter jets in North Waziristan. According to officials, the airstrikes were conducted in...
Read more on Politics Balla