Oprah to interview Lance Armstrong
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Lance Armstrong has agreed to a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey where he will address allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career.
According to a release posted on Winfrey’s website on Tuesday, it’s the first interview with Armstrong since his athletic career crumbled under the weight of a massive report by USADA detailing allegations of drug use by the famous cyclist and teammates on his US Postal Service teams.
It’s unclear if the interview at Armstrong’s home in Austin, Texas, has already been taped. Nicole Nichols, a spokeswoman for Oprah Winfrey Network & Harpo Studios, declined comment.
The show will air on Jan 17 in the United States.
Armstrong has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, but The New York Times reported Friday he has told associates he is considering admitting the use of PEDS.
The newspaper report cited anonymous sources, and Armstrong attorney Tim Herman told The Associated Press that night that he had no knowledge of Armstrong considering a confession.
Earlier Tuesday, “60 Minutes Sports” reported the head of the US Anti-Doping Agency told the show a representative for Armstrong offered the agency a “donation” in excess of US$150,000 several years before an investigation by the organisation led to the loss of Armstrong’s Tour de France titles.
In an interview for the premiere airing on Showtime on Wednesday night, USADA CEO Travis Tygart said he was “stunned” when he received the offer in 2004.
“It was a clear conflict of interest for USADA,” Tygart said. “We had no hesitation in rejecting that offer.”
Herman denied such an offer was made.
“No truth to that story,” Herman wrote Tuesday in an email to the AP. “First Lance heard of it was today. He never made any such contribution or suggestion.”
Tygart was travelling and did not respond to requests from the AP for comment. USADA spokeswoman Annie Skinner said Tygart’s comments from the interview were accurate. In it, he reiterates what he told the AP last fall: That he was surprised when federal investigators abruptly shut down their two-year probe into Armstrong and his business dealings, then refused to share any of the evidence they had gathered.