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Armstrong to admit doping in Oprah interview, report says

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 12, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

— Lance Armstrong plans to admit to doping throughout his career during an upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey, USA Today reported late Friday.

The interview, scheduled to be taped Monday and broadcast Thursday night on the Oprah Winfrey Network, will be conducted at Armstrong’s home in Austin, Texas.

Citing an anonymous source, USA Today reported that the disgraced cyclist plans to admit using performance-enhancing drugs, but likely will not get into details of the allegations outlined in a 2012 report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from the sport.

His representatives declined comment late Friday, including attorney Tim Herman, but Armstrong sent a text to the Associated Press early Saturday morning saying: “I told her (Winfrey) to go wherever she wants and I’ll answer the questions directly, honestly, candidly. That’s all I can say.”

The New York Times first reported last week that Armstrong was considering making a confession.

The 41-year-old Armstrong, who vehemently denied doping for years, has not spoken publicly about the USADA report that cast him as the leader of a sophisticated and brazen doping program on his U.S. Postal Service teams that included use of steroids, blood boosters and illegal blood transfusions.

Winfrey’s network announced Tuesday that Armstrong agreed to a “no holds barred” interview with her.

A confession to Winfrey would come at a time when some of Armstrong’s legal troubles appear to be clearing up.

Any potential perjury charges stemming from his sworn testimony denying doping in a 2005 arbitration fight with a Dallas promotions company over a contract bonus worth $7.5 million have passed the statute of limitations.

Armstrong faces a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by former teammate Floyd Landis accusing him of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service, but the U.S. Department of Justice has yet to announce if it will join the case. The British newspaper The Sunday Times is suing Armstrong to recover about $500,000 it paid him to settle a libel lawsuit.

Armstrong lost most of his personal sponsorship — 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.

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