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Lance Armstrong Speaks With CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin

Lance Armstrong

CNBC Unique: CNBC Transcript: Lance Armstrong Speaks with CNBC‘s Andrew Ross Sorkin

WHEN: Interview airing immediately, Thursday, December 6, 2018

WHERE: CNBC’s “Squawk Box”

Lance Armstrong

The next is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Lance Armstrong and CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M-F 6AM – 9AM) immediately, Thursday, December sixth. The next are hyperlinks to video from the interview on

Lance Armstrong on escaping a $100 million lawsuit and Uber

Lance Armstrong speaks out on his drug scandal, Phil Knight and Thom Weisel

All references have to be sourced to CNBC.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: I feel should you polled the world, the primary concern, doping within the sport of biking, at that era, I feel most individuals now have sufficient historical past and sufficient information to know that, gosh, it appeared like– it seemed like everyone did it. That isn’t the difficulty for individuals. The difficulty is how I so aggressively defended myself, being litigious, going after individuals. That’s the factor.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: Nicely, yeah. However all of us lied. I imply, in no level have been you simply gonna say, “Oh, you know what? I’m, kind of, sick of lying. I’m gonna tell you the truth.” However, in fact there have been lies. However even then, individuals– this notion or this concept of bullying is a horrible. Look, I imply, I say it on a regular basis. I imply, if I noticed my– if– once I watch previous clips, as a result of I get to observe them both by means of lawsuits or simply no matter– the best way I acted, if I noticed one in every of my youngsters act that means, I imply, it will be– it might be a really tough dialog.


ANDRW ROSS SORKIN: Donald Trump earlier than he was president, I don’t know in case you noticed this, the night time after or the morning after wrote, “Lance Armstrong did himself great harm last night. Lawsuits and failure will follow him.” Did you see that?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: I did see it. Yeah.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: What did you assume if you noticed that?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Nicely, pay attention, you must keep in mind. I imply, that is six years in the past. So he was simply– Donald Trump was only a loudmouth, you recognize, out making an attempt to get consideration. And that was in a sea of– there have been– I don’t assume there have been tens of millions of these, however there have been tens of hundreds of these. And so he was simply one other individual. Now he’s our president– someway. And, no matter. I imply, he– he’s– he’s proper. He’s half proper. “He’s gonna cost himself a lot of money.” Proper? We all know that occurred. So he acquired– he obtained—and, “a lifetime of failure.” Nicely– I don’t know who judges individuals’s lifetimes, whether or not or not they’re failures or successes or simply okay. However I don’t really feel like a failure. And I’ve by no means felt like a failure since then. And so– however sure, I learn that on the time. And he was half proper. He received a 50.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: There’s been folks that we ask for a gathering they usually simply don’t reply. So you need to assume that’s what they’re considering. Proper? “I don’t want this association. I can’t trust this guy.” And by the best way, truthful play. I perceive. I’m not gonna be upset or bitter about that. You could have each proper. And fairly frankly, perhaps you must really feel that method.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: What do you assume you now have to do to show your self as an investor?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Look– I consider that we’re uniquely positioned as a result of we get early appears at issues– we won’t be fooled on the product aspect. I simply don’t consider that anyone at NEXT VENTŪRES will probably be fooled. As a result of it– that is our world, and it’s not as if we will– we’ve got to guess, proper? If it’s any product, we check it. We be sure that it really works. So, you’ve got– to us, there’s actually three issues: there’s the product aspect, which might– we expect we’ll bat a thousand on, there’s the individuals aspect, which we wish to assume that we will decide good individuals, and other people that may lead nice corporations, after which there’s the story, proper, it’s how they inform their story; whether or not it’s via their very own advertising, their very own branding, their very own packaging. That may simply be fastened, proper? That’s the simplest of the three. The individuals, a bit of harder to repair. The product, if it sucks, then we will’t begin.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Is there any product you assume you missed? Which means, a enterprise the place you appeared– checked out it in your area and thought, “I don’t think that’s gonna work?” After which, a yr or two later stated, “Man, it– that worked way better than I expected?”

LANCE ARMSTRONG: — If the founding father of Peloton got here to me 5 years in the past with that concept, I in all probability would’ve stated, “Buddy, you’re crazy.”

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Peloton? You didn’t assume that was gonna work?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Nicely, I imply, I– I didn’t– I– I by no means actually considered it, however– if I put myself in that place 5 years in the past, I– I might’ve thought, “Boy, I don’t know.” I imply, partly as a result of I– I can’t see myself doing that. Like, I couldn’t see myself– I don’t assume I’m their goal shopper however– or buyer. However I in all probability would’ve handed.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: Whether or not or not I might do it once more, what I might slightly do is return and win seven in a row towards everyone else that’s consuming water and consuming bread. That’s what I might need. And I consider that that may occur. And in order that isn’t what– that isn’t what acquired me to this place.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: Even when I did all that and I used to be a gentleman and I had class and I had dignity and I handled individuals with respect, they might’ve let me off. No one would’ve come after me. It was straightforward.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: You recognize, in your e-book, you speak about how EPO saved your life. And I used to be all the time curious when you ever thought concerning the irony of the truth that EPO saved your life, but in addition might have been, at the very least professionally, your undoing.

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Proper. I insist it was– it was the best way I acted. That was my undoing.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Do you assume there’s a double commonplace between the best way you’ve got been handled and the best way different athletes have been handled and accepted again into their sport and and society? I’m considering of A-Rod–


ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: –for instance.

LANCE ARMSTRONG: I do know who you’re serious about. I give it some thought on a regular basis. I do assume there’s a double commonplace. However– however I’m okay with it. A-Rod didn’t– A-Rod didn’t increase half a billion dollars and attempt to save a bunch of individuals’s lives. I imply, that’s, sort of, the irony on this. However, A-Rod was a baseball participant. And so the– this story and what I’m getting at is that this story meant a lot extra to each– to society. Proper? And look, it’s nice when anyone hits homeruns and you recognize, perhaps does an occasion right here and there for the Women and Boys Membership. However this story held a spot in individuals’s hearts and minds that was approach past these guys.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: What concerning the sponsors? So one of many issues that I’ve been fascinated by is Nike stood by Tiger Woods by means of his personal issues. Totally different issues. Nike didn’t stand by you.

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Proper. As a result of I had a lifetime ban. If what occurred to Tiger the subsequent day, they stated, “Hey, buddy. I’m sorry, but we’re taking all the golf clubs. You can never hit a ball every again on TV, in a tournament, ever.” They might not have stood by him. I promise you.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Philip Knight, founding father of Nike, was an amazing defender of Lance Armstrong. Did you ever have a dialog with him in any case this occurred about this?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: So Phil’s been, fascinating. He’s been a terrific pal. And I’ve no affiliation with Nike. I don’t put on the product, ever, I imply. However Phil has maintained — he’s continued to be an incredible good friend. I see him yearly. We’ve lunch once I see him. We don’t essentially speak about this. I imply, I feel he has his views on it. And at that time, it didn’t actually matter what– I imply, Phil is the founding father of Nike and the – actually the spirit behind it. But when Mark Parker, the CEO and the CMO and all of the– you recognize, the board says, “He’s out,” it doesn’t matter what Phil thinks.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: Thom’s an fascinating man. And I’m not right here to inform on individuals or throw them beneath the bus. However yeah, Thom hasn’t been trustworthy.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Was he complicit–



LANCE ARMSTRONG: We’ll depart it at that. He simply wasn’t– he wasn’t– he hasn’t been trustworthy with the press. He wasn’t trustworthy in his deposition within the postal case. He’s simply not– he’s simply not trustworthy. However—

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: What number of different individuals do you set in that class?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Only a few. Only a few. He– he’s, type of, the yellow jersey with regards to this.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: I didn’t assume I acquired off scot-free as a result of the settlement with them for 5 was in all probability the tenth settlement. You already know, there was– there have been all of those instances and the staff, unbeknownst to me, had insured most of my pay and most of my bonuses. I knew about one of many insurance coverage corporations. However then they only began coming in. It was like, “Who are you?” So internet/internet, I imply, if you– like, that is gonna shock you. However, you recognize, when you complete up all of it. So lack of assured revenue, authorized charges and settlements, it got here to 111 million bucks. So, you already know, I didn’t really feel like I obtained off straightforward.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: Once I met Chris Sacca, he was– I consider he was at both Google or Twitter. And, you already know– you understand Sacca’s character. Bigger than life and we have been having enjoyable and we stored in contact. After which some years later, in all probability round ’08 or ’09, he left to start out his personal enterprise capital fund referred to as Lowercase Capital. And he referred to as me and stated, “Looking for investors. Would you invest?” And I’m considering to myself, “This guy has a huge personality, but he’s also very smart and very well-connected. Why not?” So I invested in Chris Sacca. I didn’t even know that he did Uber. I assumed he was shopping for up a bunch of Twitter shares from staff or former staff and the most important funding in Lowercase fund one was Uber.


LANCE ARMSTRONG: At a valuation of three.7 million.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: How a lot cash did you give him?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: 100,000 bucks.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: How a lot is that—


ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: –100,000 value immediately?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: It’s much more.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: What are we speaking? Ballpark.

LANCE ARMSTRONG:  No. No. I imply, it’s too good to be true.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Ten, 20, 30, 40, $50 million?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: It’s a type of. It’s so much. It’s lots. It’s saved our household.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: So in the present day, how a lot do you comply with the travails or success, relying on the day, of Uber?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Very intently. Very, very intently.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Have you learnt Travis Kalanick?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Somewhat bit. Truly, Chris Sacca introduced him to one of many excursions.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: What did you assume when he was ousted?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: God. It’s straightforward to say, as a result of in hindsight, I feel Dara’s finished a fantastic job. And, you already know, what they’re poised to do is fairly spectacular. I can’t like that. Proper? I imply, I used to be that man. That’s– Travis and Uber is Lance and Livestrong. Proper? Is there not some hybrid answer right here? You’re uncontrolled. Timeout. However, once more, in hindsight, they haven’t missed a beat. And so, I truly fear about Travis. I imply, I’ll e-mail him typically, you already know, as a result of he’ll say issues and I’m like, “Dude, I’ve seen this movie. It’s got a real s*** ending.” And so– in fact, his ending has numerous zeros on it. However, no, you’ll be able to’t query their determination now.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: However you noticed your self in him?

LANCE ARMSTRONG: Sure, within the sense that he was– and I get it, man. I get that you simply– that is your child and also you wanna struggle for it and also you wanna shield it and you’ll do something, say something, do something, go anyplace, confront anyone. And this present day, you simply — in 2018, you possibly can’t.