American actor Ben Foster has admitted he took drugs in a contained, doctor-supervised manner to better understand why athletes took drugs. Foster is playing the role of Lance Armstrong in a film “The Program”, which is an adaptation of the book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong.

In an interview with the Toronto Star, Foster admitted he wanted to understand — on a personal level, on a cellular level — what that experience is like. Foster also remarked coming off those drugs is the difficult part but that was a calculated risk and part of the joy of the job.

The actor said he would not name the drugs and remarked everything was “all legal” and was “an interesting element”. Foster revealed he would not reveal how long he took the drugs for and remarked he was part of a program (hat went before they started shooting) that was supervised by a doctor. Ben added athletes take performance enhancing drugs to go stronger, go longer, and go faster but also remarked they also can damage the body very long-term and in very serious ways.

Ben Foster added cycling is a brutal, brutal, brutal, brutal sport and he does not understand how cyclists do it and do it for that long. Foster also said the Tour de France is a wicked sport in the way that it’s not just man against man or woman against woman; it’s not flesh against flesh. It’s flesh against machine.

His director Stephen Frears said he came to know about drugs only two weeks ago and did not feel like it was any of his business. Frears added there has been doping at the beginning of sport and there will always be doping and also said they will always be one step ahead but the governing bodies just need to keep up with that. Frears also commented that we have to keep their feet to the fire most importantly and make sure they are not complicit with the athletes creating and generating money for their sport for their endorsements.

Once considered to be the greatest cyclist of all time, Lance Edward Armstrong was stripped of Tour de France seven consecutive title wins from 1999 to 2005 after a protracted doping scandal. The American former professional road racing cyclist was found guilty in 2012 by the United States Anti-Doping Agency of using and promoting the use of banned performance enhancing drugs. The former cyclist decided not to contest the charges and received a lifetime ban from competing in all sports. In January 2013, Lance Armstrong admitted to making use of performance enhancing drugs and said he used Testosterone, Cortisone, and other drugs and methods to win the Tour de France.

In the past, Armstrong has been hugely criticized by outspoken opponents of doping like Paul Kimmage and Christophe Bassons. During the 1999 Tour de France, Bassons wrote many articles in which he made references to doping in the peloton. Lance Armstrong entered into an altercation with Bassons. Kimmage referred to Lance Armstrong as a “cancer in cycling” and posed questions before the former cyclist in relation to his “admiration for dopers” that provoked a scathing reaction from Armstrong.

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