Huffpost Celebrity

Lance Armstrong Grants Oprah Winfrey Rare Televised Interview

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lance Armstrong has agreed to an interview with Oprah Winfrey and is to address allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs during a career in which he won seven Tour de France titles.

According to Winfrey's website on Tuesday, this will be a "no holds-barred interview." It will be the first with Armstrong since his cycling career crumbled under the weight of a massive report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The report detailed accusations of drug use by Armstrong and teammates on his U.S. 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. She said Armstrong has not been paid for his appearance and there are no restrictions on what's discussed.

The show will be broadcast Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. EST on OWN and Oprah.com.

Armstrong has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his Tour de France titles, but The New York Times reported Friday he has told associates he is considering acknowledging the use of performance enhancers.

The newspaper report cited anonymous sources, and Armstrong lawyer Tim Herman told The Associated Press that night he had no knowledge of Armstrong considering a confession.

Earlier Tuesday, "60 Minutes Sports" reported the head of USADA told the show a representative for Armstrong offered the agency a "donation" in excess of $150,000 several years before an investigation by the organization led to the loss of Armstrong's Tour de France titles.

In an interview for the premiere on Showtime on Wednesday night, USADA chief executive 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 traveling 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: He was surprised when federal investigators abruptly closed their two-year investigation into Armstrong and his business dealings, then refused to share any evidence they gathered.

"You'll have to ask the feds why they shut down," Tygart told the AP. "They enforce federal criminal laws. We enforce sports anti-doping violations. They're totally separate. We've done our job."

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 at 9 p.m. EST on Jan. 17 on OWN and Oprah.com.

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 U.S. Anti-Doping Agency told the show a representative for Armstrong offered the agency a "donation" in excess of $150,000 several years before an investigation by the organization 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 traveling 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.

"You'll have to ask the feds why they shut down," Tygart told the AP. "They enforce federal criminal laws. We enforce sports anti-doping violations. They're totally separate. We've done our job."

Also on HuffPost:

PHOTOS: Lance Armstrong
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Lance Armstrong giving Oprah exclusive interview: Is this it?

Armstrong over doping in interview met Oprah

LA confessional: Is Armstrong about to come clean?

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong (lancearmstrong) on Twitter

Lance Armstrong - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lance Armstrong - New York Daily News

Lance Armstrong | Facebook

Representatives of Lance Armstrong offered 250G 'donation' to USADA in 2004 ...

What Lance Armstrong, And The USADA, Might Gain From A Confession

Agency Could Gain if Armstrong Confesses

Lance Armstrong to Admit to Doping Allegations?

Will It Really Matter If Lance Armstrong Confesses?

How Cycling Champion Lance Armstrong, Who Denied Doping, Lied to the ...

Report: Lance Armstrong considering admitting to doping

Lance Armstrong: Caught in web he created, cyclist deserves no sympathy

Report: Lance Armstrong weighing doping confession

In Reversal, Armstrong Is Said to Weigh Admitting Drug Use