Oprah Winfrey is confirming that Lance Armstrong came clean to her about his use of performance-enhancing drugs during their 2 1/2 hour interview Monday. She says the cyclist was "forthcoming" as she asked him in detail about doping allegations that followed him throughout his seven Tour de France victories.
Speaking on "CBS This Morning," Winfrey said she had not planned to address Armstrong's confession before the interview aired on her OWN network but, "by the time I left Austin and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it."
Winfrey interviewed Armstrong at a hotel in downtown Austin. The session was to be broadcast on Thursday but Winfrey said it will now run in two parts over two nights because there is so much material.
Armstrong won every Tour from 1999 to 2005, but each of those titles was stripped last year as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a massive report built around the testimony of former teammates. The agency deposed 11 former teammates and accused Armstrong of masterminding a complex and brazen drug program that included steroids, blood boosters and a range of other performance-enhancers.
The report portrayed him as a ruthless competitor, willing to go to any lengths to win the prestigious race. USADA chief executive Travis Tygart labeled the doping regimen allegedly carried out by the U.S. Postal Service team that Armstrong once led, "The most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."
The 41-year-old Armstrong vehemently denied the charges for years, and fiercely attacked his critics. But after losing his titles and being abandoned by corporate sponsors, he has changed course.
A federal investigation of the cyclist was dropped without charges being brought last year.
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