I don't think it's so bad. Lance was a product of his time. I remember one Tour de France racer being interviewed. He wasn't a contender for the lead - middle of the peloton type. The interviewer asked him how he was doing, and did he think he would be able to move up into the lead group with the contenders?
He said "I'm doing well, but there are two groups here. The men that I am racing with, are doing as expected. The men in the lead group are the supermen. I won't be able to catch them."
Remember that when Lance started professionally cycling, he wasn't a big star. He was just another rider, with a lot of grit and raw talent. As such, he had to follow what his team director "sportif" had to say. Which is of course, "if you want to compete with the best riders, you have to use the same techniques as they are using."
Which is abundantly clear, as we have all seen. Those using good doping/drug help to recover, to gain more muscle mass, etc., will always beat an undoped/undruged, racer, in a long race.
I remember whole teams were sent home from the Tour de France, as soon as they started testing. Several top contenders, were caught out, as well.
The ONLY thing that Armstrong did that was different was, that he, and his team and director, were better at hiding it, from the testers.
Naturally, he had to deny it in public! After winning the Tour de France using illegal drugs/doping, are you going to say "Oh yes, and I cheated"? I don't believe anyone would do that. And nobody has, unless they were already caught.
So was Armstrong a cheat, and a liar - yes, but he leveled the racing field with all the OTHER cheaters and liars, in the ONLY way that was possible. Amongst the racers in the second tier group, it wasn't fair, of course. But among the racers in the top tier, he was competing equally, because every one of them either was using drugs or doping, until the Tour REALLY got stringent drug controls in place, in the last few years.
i don't know how it was in Greg LeMond's days, but I suspect it was no different. Tour racers have been using cocaine, meth, and all kinds of drugs, etc. to help them out, since the very earliest days of the Tour de France. That's all been known, since day #1.
Before Armstrong, (especially after Tom died on Mt. Vontoux), nobody really cared.
Sit down for a sanctimonious moment, and put yourself into the shoes of a young cyclist. You have real talent, and are keen to race professionally, but you can't win any of the longer races. Your team director says "you'll never beat them without drugs/doping. If you want a spot on the team, we'll set up a drug and doping schedule for you. If you ever want to be on the podium of any Grand Tour, say yes."
What would you say, in reply?
The pressure to say "yes", is unbelievable. Armstrong, like any athlete, wants to win, and he's only human.