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Report: Armstrong confesses to doping during Winfrey interview

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 15, 2013, 5:11 GMT,
Updated:
January 15, 2013, 5:12 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Race:
Lance Armstrong Oprah Interview
Lance Armstrong (US Postal) at the start of the 1999 Amstel Gold

Lance Armstrong (US Postal) at the start of the 1999 Amstel Gold

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Will Armstrong testify against the UCI?

Lance Armstrong has reportedly confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career during his interview with Oprah Winfrey, according to AP.

Winfrey tweeted soon after the interview that the recording took "More than 2 1/2 hours . He came READY!"

As per earlier leaks regarding the interview, the source remains anonymous.

The 90-minute program is scheduled to air on Thursday evening, US-time on the 'Oprah's Next Chapter' program on her eponymous US cable television network.

Armstrong was the focus of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's investigation which labelled the US Postal team's operation as "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen" on October 10, 2012. USADA stripped Armstrong of all results from August 1, 1998 when he declined to contest charges of doping in late August and handed the Texan a lifetime ban all of which was later ratified by cycling's governing body, the UCI.

Armstrong had an entourage of around 10 for the taping, which included his legal team Tim Herman and Sean Breen. Bill Stapleton, his longtime manager and business partner was also at the Austin hotel for the interview after the location was moved from the Texan's house.

Discussion with Tygart the catalyst?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Armstrong's decision to confess may be due to a discussion he had with USADA boss Travis Tygart last month near Denver airport.

Armstrong was reportedly keen to sound out Tygart for any potential wiggle room within the lifetime ban that was handed down by the Agency, with the 41-year-old professing a desire to compete in ironman triathlon.

It's been previously reported that USADA said that had Armstrong met with USADA following the charges being laid in June last year, then the Texan would have retained five of his seven Tour de France titles.

Tygart was unmoved by Armstrong's pleas which centred around the argument that drug cheats were not just a problem within cycling. As the meeting came to an end, the Wall Street Journal quotes an anonymous source that Armstrong told Tygart: "You don't hold the keys to my redemption," he said. "There's one person who holds the keys to my redemption," he went on, pointing at himself, "and that's me."

Will Armstrong testify against the UCI?

The New York Times reports that Armstrong will testify "against several powerful people in the sport of cycling who knew about his doping and possibly facilitated it," but not other cyclists.

That move comes at the request of Tygart who reportedly said that he would consider a reduction in Armstrong's lifetime ban if he lifted the lid on who allowed U.S Postal to become "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen."

 

 

 

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