AUSTIN, Texas — Lance Armstrong said he will answer questions "directly, honestly and candidly" during an interview with Oprah Winfrey next week. He will also apologize and make a limited confession to using performance-enhancing drugs, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Armstrong has spent more than a decade denying that he doped to win the Tour de France seven times. Without saying whether he would confess or apologize during the taping, Armstrong told The Associated Press in a text message early Saturday, "I told her (Winfrey) to go wherever she wants and I'll answer the questions directly, honestly and candidly. That's all I can say."

A confession would be a stunning reversal for Armstrong after years of public statements, interviews and court battles from Austin to Europe in which he denied doping and zealously protected his reputation.

Armstrong was stripped of his titles and banned from the sport for life last year after the U.S. Anti-Doping agency issued a detailed report accusing him of leading a sophisticated and brazen drug program on his U.S. Postal Service teams that included steroids, blood boosters and a range of performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong's interview with Winfrey is not expected to go into great detail about specific allegations levied in the more than 1,000-page USADA report. But Armstrong will make a general confession and apologize, according to the person, who requested anonymity because there was no authorization to speak publicly. Several outlets had also reported that Armstrong was considering a confession.

Armstrong hasn't responded to the USADA report or being stripped of his Tour de France titles. But shortly afterward, he tweeted a picture of himself on a couch at home with all seven of the yellow leader's jerseys on display in a room at his home in Austin. He also agreed to be interviewed there, in what the Oprah Winfrey Network announced would be a "no-holds barred" session. That's scheduled to be taped Monday and broadcast Thursday night.

"His reputation is in crisis," said crisis management expert Mike Paul, president of New York-based, MGP & Associates PR. "Most people don't trust what comes out of his mouth. He has to be truly repentant and humble."

He also has to be careful.

Armstrong is facing legal challenges on several fronts, including a federal whistle-blower lawsuit brought by former teammate Floyd Landis, who himself was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title, accusing him of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service. The U.S. Justice Department has yet to announce whether it will join the case.

The London-based Sunday Times is also suing Armstrong to recover about $500,000 it paid him to settle a libel lawsuit, and Dallas-based SCA Promotions has threatened to bring yet another lawsuit against Armstrong to recover more than $7.5 million an arbitration panel awarded him as a bonus for winning the Tour de France.

The only lawsuit potentially impacted by a confession might be the Sunday Times case. Potential perjury charges stemming from his sworn testimony in the 2005 arbitration fight would not apply because of the statute of limitations. Armstrong was not deposed during a federal investigation that was closed last year without charges being brought.

However, he lost most of his personal endorsements – worth tens of millions of dollars – after USADA issued its report and he left the board of the Livestrong cancer-fighting charity he founded in 1997. He is still said to be worth an estimated $100 million.

Livestrong might be one reason to issue an apology or make a confession. The charity supports cancer patients and still faces an image problem because of its association with Armstrong.

He may also be hoping a confession would allow him to return to competition in the elite triathlon or running events he participated in after his cycling career. But World Anti-Doping Code rules state his lifetime ban cannot be reduced to less than eight years. WADA and U.S. Anti-Doping officials could agree to reduce the ban further depending on what new information Armstrong provides and his level of cooperation. USADA chief Travis Tygart did not return a call Saturday from the AP.

Armstrong met with USADA officials recently to explore a "pathway to redemption," according to a report by "60 Minutes Sports" aired Wednesday on Showtime.

___

AP Sports Columnist Jim Litke and AP Radio correspondent Julie Walker contributed to this report.

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  • Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis

    In this July 24, 2004, file photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, follows compatriot and teammate Floyd Landis, left, in the ascent of the La Croix Fry pass during the 17th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Bourg-d'Oisans and Le Grand Bornand, French Alps.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong negotiates the route on the way to his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from professional cycling.

  • Lance Armstrong

    FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2011, file photo, Lance Armstrong pauses during an interview in Austin, Texas. Armstrong said on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, that he is finished fighting charges from the United States Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his unprecedented cycling career, a decision that could put his string of seven Tour de France titles in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Thao Nguyen, File)

  • ARMSTRONG

    FILE - This July 25, 1999 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong being kissed by his wife Kristin, left, and his mother Linda after the 20th and final stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Paris. The superstar cyclist, whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

  • Lance Armstrong

    FILE - In this July 6, 2010, file photo, Lance Armstrong grimaces prior to the start of the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Wanze, Belgium. Armstrong said on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, that he is finished fighting charges from the United States Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his unprecedented cycling career, a decision that could put his string of seven Tour de France titles in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

  • ARMSTRONG JALABERT MC EWEN

    FILE - This July 28, 2002 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, center, flanked by best sprinter Robbie McEwen, of Australia, right, and best climber Laurent Jalabert, of France, after the 20th and final stage of the Tour de France cycling in Paris. The superstar cyclist, whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

  • ARMSTRONG

    FILE - This July 23, 2000 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong riding down the Champs Elysees with an American flag after the 21st and final stage of the cycling race in Paris. The superstar cyclist, whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

  • Lance Armstrong

    FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2011, file photo, former cycling champion Lance Armstrong smiles during a news conference at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, granted Armstrong an extension of up to 30 days to contest drug charges while the seven-time Tour de France winner challenges the case in federal court. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

  • Lance Armstrong, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich

    FILE - In this July 24, 2005 file photo, Lance Armstrong gestures from the podium after winning his seventh straight Tour de France cycling race, as second-placed Ivan Basso of Italy, left, and third-placed Jan Ullrich of Germany, look on, after the 21st and final stage of the race in Paris. Armstrong, he superstar cyclist whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong, right, chats with other riders at the start line of the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the starting line in Snowmass Village, Colo., early Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from the sport.

  • Lance Armstrong, Keegan Swirbul

    Lance Armstrong, front, talks to reporters after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. Race-winner Keegan Swirbul, 16, of Aspen, left, clapso his hand.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong guides his bicycle down the steps after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from professional cycling.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong listens at the World Cancer Congress in Montreal Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong speaks to delegates at the World Cancer Congress in Montreal Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong signs autographs for supporters after a run, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, on Mont Royal Park in Montreal.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong talks to supporters prior to a run, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, on Mont Royal Park in Montreal.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line of the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

  • Lance Armstrong, Isabelle Armstrong, Grace Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line of the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon with his ten-year-old twin daughters Grace, left, and Isabelle, right, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

  • Lance Armstrong

    In this Aug. 25, 2012, file photo, cyclist Lance Armstrong prepares to take part in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race in Snowmass Village, Colo. With U.S. anti-doping officials set to issue their report on Armstrong's case, a lawyer for the cyclist on Tuesday again criticized the process which led to himn being banned from the sport for life.

  • Lance Armstrong

    In this Aug. 25, 2012, file photo, Lance Armstrong considers a question from a reporter after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo.

  • Lance Armstrong

    This April 1, 2012 file photo shows seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong grimacing during a news conference after the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon in Galveston, Texas.

  • This is a July 24, 2005, file photo showing overall leader Lance Armstrong, of Austin, Texas, surrounded by press photographers, signaling seven, for his seventh straight win in the Tour de France cycling race, prior to the start of the 21st and final stage of the race, between Corbeil-Essonnes, south of Paris, and the French capital.

  • Lance Armstrong

    This July 5, 2004 file photo shows U.S. Postal Service team leader and five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, third from right, framed by his teammates as the pack rides during the second stage of the 91st Tour de France cycling race between Charleroi and Namur, Belgium.

  • Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie

    This March 21, 2009 file photo shows Lance Armstrong, of the United States, beside fellow countryman George Hincapie, left, during the Milan-San Remo cycling classic in San Remo, Italy.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong waits for the start of the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Panama.

  • Lance Armstrong

    This May 11, 2012, file photo shows cycling great and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong at a rally in favor of Proposition 29, at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong (center) leads the pack coming to Jack's restaurant in Pleasant Grove, Ala., Friday, April 27, 2012,, on the fourth day of the Bo Bikes Bama charity bike ride on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Alabama tornadoes.

  • Lance Armstrong

    From left, Bo Jackson, Lance Armstrong, Picabo Street and Ken Griffey, Jr. gather for a photo as the greeted fans and signed autographs in Pleasant Grove, Ala., Friday, April 27, 2012,, on the fourth day of the Bo Bikes Bama charity bike ride on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Alabama tornadoes. Jackson and about 140 bicyclists and the celebrity bikers rode from Cordova, Ala. to Bessemer, Ala. on Friday.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong waits for the start of the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon, Sunday, April 1, 2012, in Galveston, Texas. Armstrong finished in seventh place.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.