Washington, Jan 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Cycling superstar Lance Armstrong, who overcame cancer to win the Tour de France seven consecutive times, and has defiantly denied using performance-enhancing drugs, has admitted to doping in an interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
“I think he was just, ready. I think the velocity of everything that’s come at him in the past several months and the past several weeks, he was just ready,” Winfrey told “CBS This Morning” Tuesday.
The interview – taped in Austin, Texas Monday – is scheduled to air over the course of two nights, beginning Thursday on Winfrey’s OWN network.
Last year, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) stripped Armstrong of all the titles he had won since 1998 and announced a lifetime ban from all sports that follow the World Anti-Doping Agency code.
The USADA found in its report that as a champion cyclist, Armstrong took part in and helped enforce “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”.
In an effort to reduce the ban, Armstrong is set to testify against officials from the International Cycling Union, which governs the sport, The New York Times reported, citing “people with knowledge of the situation”.
CBS News reported Armstrong is negotiating the possible return of a portion of money his team – sponsored by the US Postal Service – received, an amount said to be in the millions.
Winfrey described Armstrong as “emotional” at times during the interview, telling CBS that “emotional doesn’t begin to describe the intensity of the difficulty that I think he experienced in talking about some of these things”.
She also called it “certainly the biggest interview I’ve ever done in terms of its exposure”.