Armstrong confesses to doping: reports

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    Lance Armstrong - says he'd probably do it all again. Seriously? (Image: AFP)

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    Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has reportedly confessed to Oprah Winfrey during an interview on Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

    A person familiar with the situation said Armstrong confessed to doping to win the Tour de France.

    The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the interview is to be broadcast Thursday (US Time – Friday 1pm AEDT Australian time) on Winfrey’s network.

    Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey during an interview Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

    The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the interview is to be broadcast Thursday on Winfrey’s network.

    Armstrong was stripped of all seven Tour titles last year following a voluminous U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that portrayed him as a ruthless competitor, willing to go to any lengths to win the prestigious race.

    USADA chief executive Travis Tygart labeled the doping regimen allegedly carried out by the U.S. Postal Service team that Armstrong once led, “The most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

    After a federal investigation of the cyclist was dropped without charges being brought last year, USADA stepped in with an investigation of its own. The agency deposed 11 former teammates and accused Armstrong of masterminding a complex and brazen drug program that included steroids, blood boosters and a range of other performance-enhancers.

    A group of about 10 close friends and advisers to Armstrong left a downtown Austin hotel about three hours after they arrived Monday afternoon for the taping. Among them were Armstrong attorneys Tim Herman and Sean Breen, along with Bill Stapleton, Armstrong’s longtime agent, manager and business partner. All declined comment entering and exiting the session.

    Soon afterward, Winfrey tweeted: “Just wrapped with (at)lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!” She was scheduled to appear on “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday to discuss the interview.

    In a text to the AP on Saturday, Armstrong said: “I told her (Winfrey) to go wherever she wants and I’ll answer the questions directly, honestly and candidly. That’s all I can say.”

    Armstrong stopped at the Livestrong Foundation, which he founded, on his way to the interview and said, “I’m sorry” to staff members, some of whom broke down in tears. A person with knowledge of that session said Armstrong choked up and several employees cried during the session.

    The person also said Armstrong apologized for letting the staff down and putting Livestrong at risk but he did not make a direct confession to using banned drugs. He said he would try to restore the foundation’s reputation, and urged the group to continue fighting for the charity’s mission of helping cancer patients and their families.

    Armstrong spoke to a room full of about 100 staff members for about 20 minutes, expressing regret for everything the controversy has put them through, the person said. He told them how much the foundation means to him and that he considers the people who work there to be like members of his family. None of the people in the room challenged Armstrong over his long denials of doping.

    Winfrey and her crew had earlier said they would film Monday’s session at Armstrong’s home. As a result, local and international news crews were encamped near the cyclist’s Spanish-style villa before dawn.

    Armstrong still managed to slip away for a run despite the crowds outside his home. He returned by cutting through a neighbor’s yard and hopping a fence.

    More to come.

    © AP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (36)

    • Roar Guru

      January 15th 2013 @ 12:13pm
      B-Rock said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

      Depending on the nature of the confession this is a good outcome for all involved. Hopefully the media and the sport can leave the LA issue alone so cycling can focus on rebuilding its reputation.

      It seems obvious but has not been focussed on – The key cycling bodies need to put in place the right testing to ensure PEDs are minimised or all future champions will also be tainted.

    • Roar Guru

      January 15th 2013 @ 12:19pm
      Redb said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

      Well there’s a shock! Ruined me day 🙂

    • January 15th 2013 @ 12:25pm
      Garcia said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

      Liestrong 😉

      • January 15th 2013 @ 10:43pm
        Garcia said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:43pm | ! Report

      • January 15th 2013 @ 10:44pm
        Garcia said | January 15th 2013 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

        LIESTRONG

      • January 16th 2013 @ 2:37am
        AndyMack said | January 16th 2013 @ 2:37am | ! Report

        “liestrong”

        i like it.

    • Columnist

      January 15th 2013 @ 12:29pm
      Dane Eldridge said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

      Does anybody know which Australian network will be showing the interview?

      Some Googling tells me that it will be on Discovery Channel, but I would assume that the FTA channels will be wanting a taste of the action also…

      • January 15th 2013 @ 12:42pm
        The Kebab Connoisseur said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

        It’ll be on Youtube first or on some webcast. By the time it gets to our FTA network which will require the tapes to be placed on a jet, for Australia then the inevitable build up and prime time slot. Should be around Easter for the FTA “revelation”. Youtube, probably already up.

      • Editor

        January 15th 2013 @ 1:09pm
        Tristan Rayner said | January 15th 2013 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

        Dane: Not sure about FTA, but assume on delay.

        The Roar tweeted the following:

        Oprah’s interview w/ Lance Armstrong will alsobe streamed live from 1pm Friday, Jan 18 on http://Oprah.com #stream

        Oprah’s interview w/ Lance Armstrong will air in Australia on Foxtel’s Discovery channels live from 1pm Friday, Jan 18. #tv

    • January 15th 2013 @ 12:30pm
      polly said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:30pm | ! Report

      If this report is true then LA is one strange man. If he is going to confess then why Oprah, rather than to the USADA where he might have achieved something for the sport & himself ?

      • Roar Guru

        January 15th 2013 @ 1:38pm
        The Bush said | January 15th 2013 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

        Money.

      • January 15th 2013 @ 8:48pm
        SkinnyKid said | January 15th 2013 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

        HAHA think about it Polly. Who watches Oprah? Idiots that’s who. Just the type of idiot who will say ”well he owned up so he’s still a champion to me”

        Its a pathetic last grasp attempt to keep a level of following. Crude and pathetic.

    • January 15th 2013 @ 12:44pm
      nickoldschool said | January 15th 2013 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

      the yanks love these confession stories in which the accused finally admits his/her guilt and ask their God for forgiveness. anyone knows if LA contacted Bill Clinton, Marion Jones and co to get their advice on that?

      • January 15th 2013 @ 1:46pm
        Roarsome said | January 15th 2013 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

        don’t forget Channel 9 and Andrew Johns

        • January 15th 2013 @ 2:23pm
          nickoldschool said | January 15th 2013 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

          Haha, true. In the 90s we had cyclist Richard Virenque in France who had a teary confession admitting he took banned substances after having denied. The funny bit is that, being far from eloquent in his own language, he made a blunder saying something like ‘ I dopped willingly myself without really knowing’. That was a classic and all media had a go at him not only for doping but more so for being near illiterate. He made many more blunders like that after so it wasn’t just emotion.

      • January 16th 2013 @ 2:36am
        AndyMack said | January 16th 2013 @ 2:36am | ! Report

        Nice one Nick OS

        Problem is, i beleive LA is a confirmed non-beleiver, so wont be asking “god” for anything.

        Although, guess “facts” dont play a large role in all of this, so why not…..

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