WASHINGTON – His fall nearly complete, disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong finally confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs in an interview on Monday with Oprah Winfrey, USA Today reported.
Report by Reuters
Although American media had widely speculated that Armstrong would admit to cheating in the interview, neither Winfrey nor Armstrong would confirm the report, in which the newspaper cited an anonymous source.
“We are not confirming any specific details regarding the interview at this time,” a spokesman for Oprah’s network OWN told Reuters.
The report did not say which drugs Armstrong admitted to using and the American’s attorney and his spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Armstrong (41) has always vehemently denied using performance-enhancing drugs and had never tested positive to a doping test. But the evidence against him has been overwhelming.
Oprah, on Twitter, offered little more herself other than to say Armstrong came prepared for the interview, which will be broadcast tomorrow.
“Just wrapped with Lance Armstrong More than 2½ hours. He came READY,” Winfrey tweeted.
But the television host hinted she would provide some more snippets, confirming she was set to appear on CBS television yesterday morning to talk about the interview.
CBS reported Armstrong had indicated he may be willing to testify against others involved in illegal doping and was in talks about repaying part of the taxpayer money he earned during his career.
The unconfirmed reports about his admissions followed Armstrong’s apology to the staff of the cancer foundation he had started over difficulties they may have experienced because of the doping controversy.
“He had a private conversation with the staff, who have done the important work of the foundation for many years,” said Livestrong Foundation spokeswoman Katherine McLane.
“It was a very sincere and heartfelt expression of regret over any stress that they’ve suffered over the course of the last few years as a result of the media attention,” she said.
Shortly after, Armstrong joined his legal team to meet with Winfrey for an interview described as “no-holds-barred”.
The interview was supposed to take place at Armstrong’s Texas home, but was switched to a hotel in downtown Austin after news crews camped outside his house before dawn.
A cancer survivor who went on to become the greatest cyclist the world has seen, Armstrong’s fall from grace has been as swift and spectacular as his rise through the French alps.
Long dogged by accusations he cheated his way to the top, an October report from the US anti-doping body USADA ultimately triggered his rapid slide.