CONFESSION: Armstrong is expected to explain to Oprah how he cheated his way to success
DISGRACED CYCLIST Lance Armstrong is set to confess to how he used performance enhancing drugs during a career in which he won seven Tour de France titles – honours that have since been stripped from the American.
Armstrong is expected to reveal all to Oprah Winfrey; on Tuesday (January 8) the US talk show queen’s TV network announced that it will broadcast the interview on January 17. The exclusive marks the first occasion the long distance cyclist will officially speak on the record since he was banned from racing for life by the UCI (International Cycling Union).
“Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career,” read a statement from the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Last weekend saw reports emerge that the 41-year-old Texan was contemplating a move back into competitive athletic events, and he hoped to persuade anti-doping authorities to sanction it through owning up to his use of banned substances.
However, Tim Herman, Armstrong’s lawyer, refuted that his client was in discussion with agencies about a return.
The American anti-doping body Usada brought about Armstrong’s downfall when, last October, they published their findings of an investigation into the cyclist, describing Armstrong’s doping programme as the “most sophisticated, professionalised and successful… that sport has ever seen”. It documented that he used methods including anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, blood transfusions and other doping.
Two weeks after the report, Armstrong’s seven Tour de France winner’s medals were revoked and UCI banned him for life, agreeing to Usada’s sanctions.
As of yet, Armstrong has always maintained he has not used illegal means to boost performance, and says he has never tested positive. The interview with Winfrey could herald a total reversal, a moment where Armstrong cannot deny the seemingly damning evidence.