Lance Armstrong will be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, amid reports that he might publicly admit to doping.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the sport’s governing body, following a report by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network said the 90-minute interview would address “years of accusations of cheating”.
Lance Armstrong has maintained his innocence as he received a life ban from USADA.
But the New York Times reported on Friday that the 41-year-old was considering a public admission that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs. An admission could lead to an apparent bid to return to competing in marathons and triathlons, the paper reported.
The interview announcement was first made on Oprah Winfrey’s Twitter account on Tuesday, and confirmed when Lance Armstrong retweeted it 15 minutes later.
The interview – his first since being stripped of his wins – will be broadcast on January 17 on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network and live-streamed online.
Lance Armstrong will be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, amid reports that he might publicly admit to doping
Lance Armstrong ended his fight against doping charges in August 2012. In October, USADA released a 1,000-page report saying he had been at the heart of “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme” ever seen in sport.
He was stripped of his titles by the International Cycling Union (UCI) shortly afterwards and given a lifetime ban from the sport.
Lance Armstrong also resigned as chairman of the Livestrong foundation – the cancer charity he created – after the cycling body’s decision.
His lawyer, Tim Herman, has described the USADA report as a “one-sided hatchet job” and the cyclist himself has accused the agency of offering “corrupt inducements” to other riders to speak out against him.
It is believed he is considering an admission because he wants to resume his athletic career, and has shown an interest in competing in triathlons.
Asked whether the 41-year-old was set to come clean, Tim Herman told the New York Times: “Lance has to speak for himself on that.”
Separately, the head of USADA told a US investigative programme that Lance Armstrong offered the agency a donation of some $250,000 in 2004, reports said.
Speaking to 60 Minutes Sport, to be broadcast in the US on Wednesday, Travis Tygart said the offer was a “clear conflict of interest” and quickly rejected.
Former cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping last October, is said to be considering admitting publicly that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his disgraced cycling career.
Lance Armstrong, 41, is reported to have told anti-doping officials that he will make a public admission of guilt in the hope than he can persuade them to restore his eligibility to compete in triathlons, which have replaced cycling as his sporting passion.
For more than a decade, Lance Armstrong has vehemently denied ever doping, even after anti-doping officials laid out their case against him last October in a report which accused him of running “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen”.
All Lance Armstrong’s results from August 1, 1998 were expunged from the record books, including his seven consecutive Tour de France “wins” from 1999 to 2005, and he was banned from cycling for life.
Up until now Lance Armstrong has refused to cooperate with the investigation and has consistently denied wrongdoing, but he has been under pressure from various fronts to confess.
Wealthy supporters of Livestrong, the charity he founded after surviving testicular cancer, have been trying to persuade him to come forward so he could clear his conscience and save the organization from further damage.
Lance Armstrong is said to be considering admitting publicly that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career
According to The New York Times, Lance Armstrong has been in discussions with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and met the agency’s chief executive, Travis Tygart, in an effort to mitigate the lifetime ban he received for playing a lead role in doping on his Tour-winning teams.
Lance Armstrong is also seeking to meet with David Howman, the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Since quitting cycling, Lance Armstrong has hopes of competing in triathlons and running events, but those competitions are often sanctioned by organizations that adhere to the World Anti-Doping Code, under which Lance Armstrong received his lifetime ban.
According to the code, an athlete might be eligible for a reduced punishment if he fully confesses and details how he doped, who helped him dope and how he got away with doping.
Lance Armstrong has been keeping a low profile since doping revelations ruined his once illustrious career and reputation.
In November he was spotted canoeing in the warm Pacific waters just off Hawaii. The holiday island has become a regular destination for Lance Armstrong to seek refuge, as he throws himself into training for Ironman Triathlon events.
An Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile run, raced in that order and without a break. Most Ironman events have a strict time limit of 17 hours to complete the race.