Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey that he started using performance-enhancing drugs to gain an edge in cycling in the mid-1990s, before he was diagnosed with cancer, a person familiar with the interview told USA TODAY Sports.
Armstrong and his representatives also have had discussions with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency about meeting soon over several days for a "full debrief," when Armstrong would be expected to "answer every question, give over records, telephone calls, test results, everything," the source said.
It is not certain if Armstrong will agree to the full debriefing, but he is aware it would be a prerequisite to any potential reduction of his lifetime ban from sanctioned competitions, the source told USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case and because the Winfrey interview details are supposed to remain confidential until it airs Thursday night. Armstrong had intended to make a general confession to Winfrey but avoid getting into great detail during the interview, which was held Monday in Armstrong's hometown of Austin.
Winfrey went on Twitter to say the interview lasted more than 21/2 hours and Armstrong "came READY!" She will appear today on CBS This Morning to promote the interview, which will be shown on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
It is the public's reaction to Armstrong's apology that is critical to the cyclist, who was not only stripped of his seven Tour de France titles but was dropped by his sponsors in October after USADA released more than 1,000 pages of evidence against him. Armstrong had said over the weekend that he looked forward to a candid conversation with Winfrey.
Armstrong's admission that he started doping in the mid-1990s is consistent with USADA's evidence. In one statement, former Armstrong teammate George Hincapie said he and Armstrong started using the blood booster EPO around 1995 or '96 because they felt they otherwise could not compete. Another cyclist, Stephen Swart, said in his statement that he knew his teammates on the 1995 Tour de France team were using EPO, including Armstrong.
The source told USA TODAY Sports that the Armstrong camp also has had discussions with federal authorities about naming others who were involved in doping, a step that could qualify as the substantial assistance that cycling's governing bodies would require before considering a reduction of Armstrong's penalties.
According to the source, one stumbling block for Armstrong could be the International Cycling Union, which the source says remains opposed to "truth and reconciliation," meaning the possibility of reducing Armstrong's ban to anything less than eight years.
Before talking to the iconic talk-show host Winfrey on Monday, Armstrong issued an emotional apology to the staff at Livestrong, the charity he founded to support cancer survivors.
Armstrong, who was diagnosed with advanced cancer in 1996 and made a remarkable recovery, stepped down from the foundation's board in October after USADA's case file spelled out in detail how and when he used performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions to boost his performance.
The evidence also showed Armstrong going to extraordinary efforts to enforce a code of silence among cyclists, attacking anyone who implicated him.
A confession comes with legal risks for the cyclist. Justice Department attorneys have recommended the government join a federal whistleblower suit filed by Armstrong's former teammate, Floyd Landis, a federal law enforcement official briefed on the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly told USA TODAY Sports.
The suit alleges Armstrong's doping defrauded the government and violated his contract with the U.S. Postal Service, which sponsored his cycling team for around $30 million.
Armstrong, 41, has sought to reconcile with Landis to no avail.
Originally Posted by CREDMI
You're fucken damn right, you've rustled my jimmies & I assume everyone else's!!! I tell you what, I'll pay your airfare over to Melbourne, it will only be a one way ticket though, because I will KILL you, you child molesting fuckwit!!!
Idk how to feel about him, part of me feels bad for him because he will be vilified no matter where he goes for being a cheater and making America look bad and he went from amazing story and person to losing everything. But in the end he brought it all on himself so noone else to blame. I would watch the interview but have no idea how lol. I thought Oprah retired?
The following, taken from another forum, sums up my thoughts on this piece of shit better than I ever could myself:
Here's roughly what's going to happen now:
People will see this interview, with the lights dimmed, slow music intro to set the mood. Lance Armstrong is known for his ability to speak well (and lie) and has had months to prepare for this interview. Oprah will not ask hard questions regarding ethics because of the Discovery Channel - Lance Armstrong connection and that Oprah is on DC network.
So he will admit he was doped, something we've all known for a long time now. Then he will shed some fake tears and apologize and attempt to rationalize it in a very nice way (it's easy to manipulate when you've done it so long and had time to prepare).
A lot of people, especially Americans, will eat it up, just so they can cheer once more for their hero. And people will soon start saying shit like "Everyone was doped up when he was riding, so he was the winner amongst them anyway!" and other stupid shit like "He has apologized and confessed, what more can a guy do? He's just human and made some mistakes and now he has paid for them." (Which is of course pure BS)
This is exactly what Armstrong is betting his money on with this move. He has made a gigantic fortune through sponsorship deals that he was only given because of his champion status. So even if he pay back the money he earned through direct sponsorship from US tax dollars (US POSTAL), he is still floating in a sea of unethical cash.
He lied to sooo many, sooo many times. He accused people of being crazy, idiots and jealous. He threatened people. He NEVER admitted it, he kept lying 'til the bitter end when they finally stripped him of his titles. He has ruined carreers for honest riders, this is their fucking livelihood and he has ruined it. No different from straight up robbing people. He set the standard for doping and basically ruined an entire sport for a decade. Just a few months ago he was still posting obnoxious pictures of himself laying on a couch in his mansion with his shirts hanging on the wall, like a statement "I'M STILL CHAMP".
But now that he is being banned from every sort of events and livestrong wants nothing to do with him, he realize that the only card left in his deck to play and that is the sympathy-remorseful-sinner card, and he has played it now. And I am almost certain that people will gobble it up.
Caressing the ball was something I had to do. I lifted my eyes to the heavens and asked for help because if God exists, there's no way he's French.
Read the article written ever so eloquently by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports. Great read and shows you how deceitful Lance truly was. If somebody wants me to provide a link to it, I have no problem doing so.
the man is a terrible human being (in relevance to his sporting career, livestrong is a fantastic organisation.)
he has systematically cheated for year after year, come out and sued papers and categorically denied doping. he has ruined the careers of so many promising cyclists with his my way or the highway drug crap. he has shamed people by accusing and shaming anyone that speaks out against him. he has dismantled a sport which will now for a long time be associated with his activities. he cheated and lied his way into the hearts of millions around the world with his sop story and being a hero. he has stolen money, careers and livelihoods from people around the world. he has crushed the dreams of so many who once believed in him.
and now he wants to get on television, cry a bit, say he's sorry and turn into a snitch. how fucking low can you sink? texans are supposed to be known for their bravery and being a man. lance is not a man. lance is a child. got his hand caught in the cookie jar and now wants to blubber and cry his way out of it. hopefully people see through what will be an obvious charade and don't forget that he has really done. he has destroyed careers, hopes and a sport. and that really takes a special piece of shit to do that.