(File pix) Cyclist Lance Armstrong of the US speaks to journalists as he leaves his bus before taking part in Geoff Thomas's 'One Day Ahead' charity event during a stage of the 102nd Tour de France cycling race from Muret to Rodez, France, July 16, 2015. Reuters Photo

LOS ANGELES: Disgraced former American cyclist Lance Armstrong says he wouldn’t change a thing about the reign of doping that led to him being stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles.

All of Armstrong’s titles between 1999 and 2005 were vacated by the International Cycling Union six years ago.

“I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t change the way I acted,” Armstrong said in excerpts of an interview with American broadcaster NBC Sports that will air on May 29. “I mean I would, but this is a longer answer.

“Primarily, I wouldn’t change the lessons that I’ve learned. I don’t learn all the lessons if I don’t act that way. I don’t get investigated and sanctioned if I don’t act the way I acted.

“If I just doped and didn’t say a thing, none of that would have happened. None of it. I was begging for, I was asking for them to come after me. It was an easy target.”

Armstrong has largely been shunned by the international cycling world since being exposed as a doping cheat. He was issued with a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in 2012.

Having denied the doping allegations for years, Armstrong eventually made a public confession in a television interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey in 2013.

“We did what we had to do to win. It wasn’t legal, but I wouldn’t change a thing: whether it’s losing a bunch of money, going from hero to zero,” Armstrong said. -- AFP