Armstrong to break silence

  • Last Updated: January 10 2013, 19:28 GMT

Lance Armstrong will break his silence over allegations of drug doping after it was announced he is to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey next week.

Lance Amstrong: Set to break silence

The American was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the sport's governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI), following a report by the US Anti-Doping Agency which concluded the 41-year-old and his US Postal Service team had run "the most sophisticated, professionalism and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

It will be Armstrong's first formal interview since he was banned for life by the UCI with the Oprah Winfrey Network claiming in a statement that "Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career."

British cyclist David Millar fears Armstrong's appearance will be "completely stage-managed".

Millar said: "Only Lance would get to have his moment of truth, if that's what it will be, in front of Oprah Winfrey.

"It is not sitting in front of a judge or a disciplinary hearing being properly questioned about the things he has done wrong. I doubt very much it will be a proper interrogation.

"My biggest concern is that it will be completely stage-managed, that he will just be 'given the ball', and that it will all be about his emotions rather that concentrating on exactly what he did wrong.

"The question should also be asked whether he is getting paid for going on the show."

A spokeswoman for the Oprah show said Armstrong was not being paid to appear and that Winfrey was free to ask him any question she wanted.

She said in an email: "No payment for the interview. No editorial control, no question is off limits."

The producers are also unlikely to release the transcript of the show before it is screened.

Millar himself served a two-year ban after admitting doping in 2004 since when he has become a campaigner against drugs in sport.

Armstrong's interview will take place at 9pm ET on Thursday, January 17 (0200 GMT on Friday, January 18) and is scheduled to last 90 minutes.

It will come only hours after the full details are announced of the 2014 Tour de France's 'Grand Depart' in Yorkshire.

The New York Times claimed at the weekend that Armstrong was close to admitting to the damning report from USADA.

The Texan, who did not co-operate with the USADA investigation, has remained silent since the sanction, although he opted not to appeal the decision.

Armstrong, who has shown an interest in competing in triathlons, also removed mention of his seven Tour wins on his Twitter profile.


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