Lance Armstrong: 'I deserve to compete in cycling again'

Lance Armstrong during his interview with Oprah Winfrey on January 14, 2013
© AP Photos
Lance Armstrong claims that he "deserves" to compete in professional cycling and says that he would "love" to participate in the Chicago Marathon.

Lance Armstrong believes that he "deserves" to compete in professional cycling again despite admitting that he took performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.

The 41-year-old American, who has been banned from cycling for life by the International Cycling Union, says that he should be allowed a chance at redemption.

"If you're asking me do I want to compete again? The answer's hell yes," he told Oprah Winfrey in an interview. "I've been a competitor all my life. I don't expect it to happen.

"Not the Tour de France. with this penalty and this punishment, if there was ever a window - would I like to run the Chicago Marathon when I'm 50? I'd love to, but I can't. I'd love the opportunity to be able to compete, but this isn't the reason I'm doing this.

"This may not be the most popular answer, but I think I deserve it. When you look at the culture and what everyone else got [as punishment] - you're trading my story for a six-month suspension? I got the death penalty. I'm not saying that's unfair necessarily, but it's different."

Armstrong admitted on Thursday that he took EPO, testosterone, blood transfusions and cortisone injections to help him win all seven of his Tour de France titles.

Lance Armstrong during his interview with Oprah Winfrey on January 14, 2013
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