In a 2 1/2-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong, the most accomplished cyclist in history, confessed to using drugs during a career of unprecedented feats that have been stripped away in the wake of doping speculation.
In an Austin, Texas, hotel room, Armstrong, who won seven Tour de France races, was “forthcoming,” according to Winfrey on CBS This Morning, about his use of banned substances.
Winfrey, according to reports, asked Armstrong detailed questions about his illegal activities. The entire interview was to be aired Thursday on Winfrey’s OWN network, but now will be broken into two nights because there is much material.
Armstrong made his confessions just hours after giving an emotional apology to the staff of Livestrong, the charity he founded but had to depart.
On CBS This Morning, Winfrey said she had not planned to address Armstrong’s confession before the interview aired on her OWN network but, “by the time I left Austin and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it.”
“So I’m sitting here now because it’s already been confirmed,” she added.
Winfrey said Armstrong seemed prepared for the interview and “I would say that he met the moment,” she said. “I don’t think ’emotional’ begins to describe the intensity or the difficulty he experienced in talking about some of these things.”
The admission was a remarkable reversal for Armstrong, who rose to celebrity status and who sought lavish praise in the court of public opinion and used that courtroom to punish his critics.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said Armstrong must confess under oath to seek a reduction in his lifetime ban from sports.
WADA said Tuesday it “read with interest media reports suggesting a television ‘confession’ made by Lance Armstrong” to Winfrey on Monday.
Armstrong reportedly hopes to return to competition in recognized triathlon events.