He hesitated when Winfrey asked him if a desire to still be a part of cycling or competitive sports factored into his decision to come clean in the interview.
Blair said sometimes you have to walk away from a career you love if you really want to honor the profession and its values.
“I can come up with a long list of explanations why what happened happened, but at the end of the day, I also feel like because I love [journalism] and care about it…I don’t think I should be part of that profession and that’s part of the price I’m paying.”
He also said it was recognizing that he could build a life in another field.
“I think it’s hard for people to realize that. I think we all are like boxers who don’t know when to give it up. This may have been the only profession you’ve known, but there are other things you can do and it’s good when there are people around who can point it out to you.”
Blair said after the Winfrey interview it might be a good idea for Armstrong to maintain a low profile.
Blair said he wrote his book way too early, while he was raw emotionally and didn’t have the perspective of healing – physically and psychology – and time to reflect on what he did and the impact it had.
“When you come off of doing something like this you are nowhere clear in your understanding. If you look at that first crazy interview I gave the New York Observer after I left…I made the mistake,” said Blair, who in the Observer interview attacked Times management and complained he was not given credit for the skill it took to fool his editors.
“There is pressure to respond” to everything said about you in the immediate aftermath of the scandal, Blair said, “and sometimes the best thing to do is just to be silent and to take it all in.”