Lance Armstrong will break his long silence over allegations that he cheated his way to seven Tour de France titles in his first ‘no-holds-barred’ interview with US talk-show host Oprah Winfrey.
Armstrong 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.
The interview will be broadcast in two parts, this first of which will air in the United States at 9pm ET on Thursday, January 17, and viewers in the UK can watch a live simulcast of the full interview on the Discovery Channel or online via Oprah.com at 2.00am GMT, early on Friday morning.
Veteran US talk show host Winfrey spoke to Armstrong at his home in Austin, Texas, in his first formal interview since the seven-time Tour de France winner was stripped of his titles and banned from professional cycling for life in 2012.
Armstrong was subsequently dropped from millions of dollars in endorsement deals after the US Anti-Doping Agency released an extensive report accusing the renowned cyclist of doping throughout his career.
After a federal investigation into rumours of Armstrong’s cheating was dropped without charges, USADA stepped in with an investigation of its own.
The USADA report concluded the 41-year-old and his US Postal Service team had run “the most sophisticated, professionalism and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”.
The agency deposed 11 former team-mates and accused Armstrong of masterminding a complex and brazen drug program that included steroids, blood boosters and a range of other performance-enhancers.
The Texan, who did not co-operate with the investigation, has remained silent throughout the entire scandal after he opted not to appeal USADA’s decision.
He was given a lifetime ban from professional cycling by the UCI, cycling’s world governing body, and late last year he resigned as chairman of the foundation he created, Livestrong, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the fight against cancer.
Shortly after filming concluded, reports emerged that Armstrong admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs during the interview, according to an AP source.
The interview was so lengthy that it would be broadcast over two nights, starting on Thursday. It was originally going to be broadcast in one-off 90-minute programme.
Winfrey told CBS This Morning that she had prepared well and took 112 questions into her interview with him, and said he was “serious and thoughtful” and “met the moment”.
“I would say he did not come clean in the manner that I expected,” she told CBS, without giving anymore details.
“It was surprising to me. I would say that for myself, my team, all of us in the room, we were mesmerised and riveted by some of his answers.”
Winfrey also said that she had agreed with Lance Armstrong and his team that they would not talk about what had been said until the interview has aired.
Her television network OWN will broadcast the interview exclusively in the United States.
In the UK, it will screened on the Discovery Channel and in high-definition on Discovery HD.
With huge media interest in the Armstrong scandal across the globe, the interview will also be simulcast live online worldwide via Oprah.com.
…Thursday 17th January Oprah Winfrey & Lance Armstrong – A Worldwide Exclusive Part 1: 2.00am-3.25am (Fri) – Discovery / Discovery HD Repeated at 8.00pm on Fri 18 Jan Friday 18th January Oprah Winfrey & Lance Armstrong – A Worldwide Exclusive Part 2: 2.00am-3.00am (Sat) – Discovery / Discovery HD Repeated at 8.00pm on Sat 19 Jan Watch both parts live online via Oprah.com Discovery is available on Sky 520 & Virgin 212 …