Transcript for Nightline 10/30: 'The Armstrong Lie': Director on Armstrong's Doping Deception
Tonight on night line. Beautiful alive we don't inside the world of Lance Armstrong and the shocking -- that changed everything I didn't lose. A lot of allies -- other one -- -- tonight he's deconstructing his -- like never before and we're going along for the ride. Costly com. Big hospital big businesses and millions of dollars at stake tonight Brian Ross questions doctors who may be causing -- Hundreds of coal -- the money they say they deserved. -- investigate this. And if you're thinking about losing wait for the holiday -- please send all your friends to consider a photo shop pro instead. It's -- portraits. From New York City and this is Nightline. Juju Chang. Good evening it was a beautiful -- and a liar was one of the most celebrated sports figures in the world. Lance Armstrong reached the pinnacle of athletic achievement winning the tour -- France year after year even after a battle with cancer. But when the -- unraveled so -- life as he knew it's now the former American hero explains how it took over and spiraled out of control. Here's ABC's Neal Karlinsky. You're inside one of the most challenging sporting events on earth with access no outsider -- ever had to Lance Armstrong. At the time still considered a seven time winner of the sort of problem. But what Academy Award winning filmmaker Alex -- he and his studio didn't know despite a year in sight Lance Armstrong's normally private bubble. Was that it was all a lie and they too. -- being played a lot of people wonder why would Lance talked. I think that particularly at the beginning there was a sense of invulnerability. Since that. Nobody is ever gonna discover my -- so come along for the ride the ride ended up traversing Armstrong's epic collapse -- kidney with moments he never imagined capturing. I certainly was very confident that I would never -- -- A shell shocked Lance Armstrong matter of factly explaining how it all began. His decision to cheat by using performance enhancing drugs. It was a group of us primarily live in in Italy and we just said we either have to play ball here are -- We just thought that -- had to was it just happens at noon hour -- The latter. But but but but but. -- -- -- May -- -- that approached the decision differently today but at the time I didn't lose sleep over. It is a slice of the new film the Armstrong -- Which dissect what's been called the biggest fraud in all of sports and explores how -- -- became so all consuming Armstrong would do almost anything to protect it. I have never -- -- have never taken performance in his book my best defenses I've never tested positive how do you rate Lance is a liar. And even more than that as a copper up artist he is. -- tippy top he's one of the very best. The Armstrong -- is a film -- -- never intended to make. He was directing a feel good story about Armstrong's 2009 comeback. They finished it complete with narration by Matt Damon but before they could release it. Tonight on Nightline did Lance -- Nightline ran a tell all former teammate Floyd Landis who dropped out bomb. Did you see -- Armstrong receiving transfusions -- more than won't. I guess -- times. Look at some point people have to tell their kids and Santa Claus isn't real. I hate to be do it -- It's just not real. They put the film on the shelf and re shot a completely different story it was Lance is abuse of power. That is really the more reprehensible thing part of that was the way he went after people particle was -- way he actually wrapped himself in the -- Of the cancer survivor he first confessed to Oprah. Did you ever take banned substances to enhance -- cycling performance yes. Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance -- cycling performance this. And all seven of your Tour de France victories did you ever take banned substances -- plateau this. Armstrong talked to give me. Hours later live in -- line. I didn't live. A lot of allies but -- -- on the -- and you know it's different I guess it's time for some reason when he went on Oprah. It just dropped like a -- What do you think went -- -- Part of the problem was Lance hasn't used economically. And I think you saw that discomfort on Oprah. And I think he himself realizes what complete disaster was. Photos from behind the scenes with -- -- show a fallen champion who has lost some of his swagger still Armstrong trusted give me from their earlier time together and for the first time. Agreed to explain some of his secrets including how he got away with using the blood booster EPO. The half life of EPO is. Four hours. So. You can back it up from -- -- And when you're in trouble. -- passed every test because he does not take you deal. Yes he will do my defense was that -- passed server control you give them and that's true the samples that were given work cleaning. -- is great tragedy was he couldn't see the difference he couldn't see the borderline. Between where the sport ended and we're real life began. Much of Armstrong's life today centers around trying to keep what he has left. Three major lawsuits including a fraud case brought by the US Department of Justice they seek to strip -- of more than 100. Million dollars. You talk to many -- the last time -- communicated with Lance was when I let him know that for. The film was going to be called the Armstrong -- Product or not so well if his reputation stands a chance that any kind of redemption. It will likely take awhile people don't. Like that troops as much as they liked the beautiful -- And that's a hard thing from -- to accept because he found much more affection -- beautiful mind. And the ugly truth. -- Neal Karlinsky for Nightline. In Los Angeles. Our thanks to Neal Karlinsky who's followed every twist and turn of that story. The Armstrong lie opens in select cities on November 8 coming up next Brian Ross confronts doctors. Who may be costing hundreds of coal miners the benefits they say they -- -- What -- big hospitals and big mining companies have in common. -- -- country hundreds of miners who say they are suffering from debilitating lung disease say they are not getting the financial support they are owed. And a year long ABC news investigation shows some of the coal company's most important allies in fighting the miners. Are prominent doctors from a world renowned hospitals. ABC's Brian Ross for Nightline investigate -- He's had mole or -- hard now. The animals -- could stand -- After years of working in America's coal mines are hard lives are honored and soulful ballads -- now. -- -- -- It's too -- Fox's death and finally -- -- -- company doctors tried to did not you don't. That as his autopsy -- fox did have the deadly debilitate -- disease called black. His -- -- -- -- -- that shrinks and scars the -- When you put it and evil in two -- one of these monitors what comes back count with a needle is. Black liquid it's. It's like something out of the X-Files. This is a story that begins in coal country with miners out of breath and out of -- But ended up taking us to one of the nation's top hospitals -- tough questions about big money and black law. Gary fox died at the age of 58 denied for ten years seven to 900 dollars or so a month. He would have been due under a special federal program for months. And the coal company doctors this one and this one found he had disabling black -- But they did I'd have to -- And Gary fox is just one of hundreds of coal -- Then like -- cluster. Men like Steve day I'm not sure no longer -- Some of the hundreds of miners who a year long joint investigation by ABC news and the senator from public integrity found. Have been quietly battling and losing against big coal companies. Another prominent expensive. Doctors it's a total national disgrace the deck is stacked. In theory and in practiced against coal -- men and women and it is tragic. Black -- remains the scourge of coal country. Yet big coal companies have been able to avoid paying millions of dollars in black lung benefits to alien minors thanks largely. To their doctors says West Virginia senator Jay rock. You can hardly -- but just cried -- rage. Was sadness in the case of the late Gary fox one of the first doctors -- -- company asked to review his records was doctor Gregory Fino. Among specialists from Pittsburgh. Who certainly stands out in Appalachia in his red Porsche. Several judges had described doctor Fino as -- style to the black lung program and biased in his findings. Doctor feels -- and Gary fox. Black -- not present. -- 3 good morning. Brian Ross from ABC news from trying to get a hold of my area asked about your work with the homeowners for the Coca after. When we caught up of doctors feel he told us he is not -- and fines disabling black -- and minors about 12% of the time. Meaning most of the time he does not and he refused to even look at the autopsy reports of Gary fox. It did indeed find black -- This is an -- mister Gary fox if you take a look at. But I give it to you. But our investigation found that perhaps the coal company's most important -- -- whom they have paid millions of dollars over the years. Is the prestigious Johns Hopkins hospital in -- And in particular the longtime head of the black lung unit ad hoc. Doctor Paul Wheeler who says it only takes him a quick look at X rays to spot the most severe cases of black lung that automatically qualify for benefit. It's so you can tell in second to destroy you tell your father as different from your mother they represent -- in theaters march 1. And for his work the coal companies pay Hopkins 750. Dollars for each X -- he reads from -- -- About ten times the amount miners typically pay their doctors why -- they paying you so much more. I think it has to do with the name of the hospital you don't mind being the coal companies. Doctor. Well I can be myself as the doctor for a number of companies not just -- companies. For the coal companies it seems money well spent. By no means does every miner who applies for benefits necessarily have black -- But of available records in the last thirteen years examined by ABC news and the Center for Public Integrity. We found that of some 1573. Cases. Doctor Wheeler never found a single case of severe black lung at any coal -- not one. Doctor Wheeler acknowledged our fight -- you stand by all those cases absolutely. That's my opinion and -- that having that have a perfect right in my opinion you've become essentially Dr. know. He has never find. No I do find black -- not not according to what we've seen. Not the severe black and that allows minors to automatically collect benefits. Hopkins says their doctors have confirmed thousands of cases compatible with black -- over the last forty years. But would not say how many were severe black -- In court testimony last year. Doctor Wheeler said the last time he recalled diagnosing the case of severe black lung was in the 1970s. Or early eighties in your reports and your testimony has led. Hundreds of thousands of miners to be denied benefits that they think -- -- I have no idea what happens once -- -- in -- department doesn't matter to you. It would matter to me if -- were wrong. And the -- proven to me that I'm wrong. But our investigation found he's been wrong a lot. Based on more than 100 cases of liners in which autopsy is -- biopsy is later found black -- after doctor Wheeler had not. He read their X rays as negative what do you say about it -- -- the doctors should not be working. At Hopkins university or anywhere else. I'm very close to Hopkins my wife is on the health part of board. Of Hopkins. And I think it's a disgrace I'm shocked to hear that. Hopkins itself receives the money directly paid by the -- -- -- in a written statement to ABC news Johns Hopkins strongly defends doctor Wheeler and says to our knowledge no medical or regulatory authority has ever challenged -- called into question. Any of our diagnoses conclusions are reports from the black -- program. Black loan. And act. You're just. -- -- -- But doctor -- findings are disrupting lives all -- -- country Steve day says he's been told he only has a few more months to live. Diagnose and black lung by the veterans administration and his own doctors he can't be far from his oxygen tanks and cannot sleep lying down. And -- cults. The black. Will steal -- -- And did kill me you don't have black -- It would take a full and we'll leave it. And doctor Wheeler Hopkins says today's X rays did not show the disabling form -- -- lost. -- -- -- And days 1000 dollar a month benefit was canceled -- -- at that. If I am I anti America displeasure. You think he's doing the work of Coca nowhere they took -- -- we sent the X rays of Steve -- to Jack Parker at West Virginia University. He once oversaw the government's X ray screening program for -- -- This is a classic case of -- isn't any doubt about it. No doubt whatsoever -- represents advanced black lung disease doctor Wheeler had found the X rays were compatible with tuberculosis. -- -- fungal lung infection caused by bird and bat -- that's so unlikely that I believe the chances of being those other diseases is zero. -- zero chance zero chance. So for somebody to make that diagnosis. That surprise you. If it does surprise me and more important I think it disappoints me. Would you say that diagnosis of the black lung was intellectually dishonest. Yes. It'll actually decide yes -- But doctor Wheeler says he is protecting the system. Keeping miners from collecting black lung benefits for a disease he says they did not board do not hat. That would seem to be inappropriate. To me that they're getting paid for something they don't -- they don't have. Reminder Steve day he worries he will be out of breath before he can prove his case. And the suggestion that he and his family are somehow trying to cheat. Just one final insult from a system. He says has left them feeling betrayed. My kids for -- used. My brain child it's cheated. He's cheated and it's unfair. And if he doesn't have black color and black -- neighbor -- exist for anybody. And -- line. Germantown and -- -- For Nightline. Brian Ross ABC news in -- for West Virginia. And our thanks to Brian Ross for that comprehensive and eye opening reports. We're gonna switch gears now though coming up next for us in this high tech toddler gets suited up in a costumes designed by his dad. The Halloween hijinks have just begun. Tonight on feeding frenzy it's Halloween -- you mania. School by Photoshop C airbrushed fixes revealed in this video -- yet again -- isn't always believing. Especially on Halloween when the -- aren't the -- Check out these created by former NASA engineer mark Grover -- signed an. June conundrum easy get up that contain moving I'm -- beating hearts and -- flammable got. Black. He's even found a way to make your house. Our -- look around. You may have seen the neon stick figure toddler cost -- floating around the Internet but there's also version from grownups the mastermind behind me. Sight -- Royce retain the babies to snowboarding glow in the dark doodles. Carving up mountain time. There's been so much interest voice tells us he's wanting to kick -- And for the coolest bare bones costumes why not terrify under the drive -- employees wire -- And it's not just driving. So it -- the Franken driver neatly tucked behind the driver's seat it's turning late night. Indiscriminate. That is not -- -- Thanks for watching ABC news tune -- to Good Morning America tomorrow and as always -- online at abcnews.com.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.