Lance Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey: Will he admit guilt?

January 9, 2013

Lance Armstrong promised to get on with his life after he was stripped of his Tour de France titles.  (Mike Hutchings / Reuters)

The first stop for Lance Armstrong as he begins to discuss his amazing fall from grace will be Oprah Winfrey’s couch.

Armstrong, banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles because of doping allegations, will appear in a 90-minute interview on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” on Jan. 17. 

Armstrong, according to a news release from Winfrey’s network, “will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career.” “Oprah’s Next Chapter” airs at 9 p.m. EST on the Oprah Winfrey Network and the interview will be streamed live on Oprah.com.

Will this be the moment when Armstrong comes clean about his past? Although he has always adamantly denied doping charges, the New York Times reported last week that he is considering whether to admit to having used performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong’s attorney, Tim Herman, said he had no knowledge of that.

USA Today’s Christine Brennan reported today that Armstrong and Travis Tygart, chief executive officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency met last month to discuss the possibility of a public admission. “They [Armstrong and his advisers] were kind of beating around the bush trying to get the temperature of the situation. They were very general discussions,” a source told Brennan on condition of anonymity.

An admission would accomplish little for Armstrong athletically. He’s 41 and finished with cycling, although he competes in triathlons and marathons. Brennan writes that if he supplied new information to USADA or the World Anti-Doping Agency, his ban could be reduced, but that would also require the cooperation of cycling’s international federation.

Will you watch? And what do you hope to hear Armstrong say?

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | January 9, 2013