After years of tenacious spin that he was innocent, Lance Armstrong has backpedaled in a confessional interview with Oprah Winfrey.
He admitted unequivocally to using performance-enhancing drugs in his seven Tour de France wins.
But his critics say he is still spinning the story.
Armstrong has, in the past, persistently and angrily denied the allegations -- even under oath.
And he has persecuted former close associates who went public against him. "We sued so many people," Armstrong told Winfrey -- people who were telling the truth.
Did he use the blood-enhancing hormone EPO? Testosterone? Cortisone? Human growth hormone? Illegal blood transfusions and other blood doping?
Armstrong answered "yes" on all counts in the first installment of a two-part interview that aired Thursday night. Part two airs Friday on Winfrey's OWN channel and online.
The disgraced cyclist, who has been stripped of his Tour de France titles and an Olympic bronze medal, blamed no one but himself for his doping decisions, careful not to implicate others.
Armstrong: I was 'a bully'
Armstrong described himself as "deeply flawed" and "arrogant," and spoke often of how so much was his "fault."
"I was a bully," he told Winfrey of how he treated others who might expose him.
But Armstrong was not telling the whole story, author David Coyle, who wrote a book about doping and the Tour de France, told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday night.
"A partial confession is sort of the pattern here," he said. "Maybe this is Armstrong's partial, and more will come out later."
The cyclist denied pushing teammates to dope, an assertion Coyle countered.
"Tyler Hamilton gets a phone call: Be on a plane tomorrow. We're flying to Valencia to do a blood transfusion. That's what happens," Coyle said.
Armstrong told Winfrey that doping was widespread at the time and just as much "part of the job" as water bottles and tire pumps. This attitude prompted Winfrey to ask again if he really didn't coerce other teammates to dope.
Bill Strickland, an editor for Bicycling Magazine, praised Armstrong for the confessions he did make.
"I think it's clear what we're seeing here is someone learning to tell the truth," he said.
Both men described the interview as a "therapy session."
Appearing tense, Armstrong told Winfrey it was a happy day for him to be there with her.
He described his years of denial as "one big lie that I repeated a lot of times." He had races to win and a fairy tale image to keep up.
Armstrong reminisced on his storied past of being a hero who overcame cancer, winning the Tour repeatedly, having a happy marriage, children. "It's just this mythic, perfect story, and it isn't true," he said.
It was impossible to live up to it, he said, and it fell apart.
The lies and aggressive pursuit of those debunking them was about controlling the narrative. "If I didn't like what somebody said ... I tried to control that and said that's a lie; they're liars," Armstrong said. It's a tactic he has followed his entire life, he said.