According to news outlet sources on Saturday, January 12, 2013, Lance Armstrong will make a limited confession to doping during his televised interview with Oprah Winfrey next week, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The interview will be broadcast Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network and oprah.com.
Armstrong most notably won 7 straight Tour de France titles before the USADA brought mountains of evidence and sworn testimonials by teammates in October of 2012 claiming he doped and supported doping on his teams. Rather than fight it out, Armstrong stopped and did nothing. The USADA banned him for life from sports that follow world anti-doping regulations and stripped him of his tour victories.
Up until now, Armstrong has remained steadfast that he did not dope or cheat, but now sources say he will offer an apology and limited confession during the interview scheduled to be taped Monday at his home in Austin. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no authorization to speak publicly on the matter.
While not directly saying he would confess or apologize, Armstrong sent a text message to The Associated Press early Saturday that said: ''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.''
Armstrong faces several legal issues currently and more could follow if he confesses.
- A federal 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.
- A Dallas-based promotions company has threatened to sue Armstrong to recover more than $7.5 million it paid him as a bonus for winning the Tour de France.
- Potential perjury charges stemming from his sworn testimony denying doping in a 2005 arbitration fight over the bonus payments have passed the statute of limitations.
Many sports enthusiasts aren’t eager to hear about the confession, or claim to even care about the matter. Armstrong could be confessing to help improve the image of the Livestrong foundation that he parted ways with. He could be trying to get back into elite sports competitions such as triathlons and running. Perhaps he even has a guilty conscience.
Whatever the reason, one thing to be sure of is that it matters. The implications that could come from any confession and revelation of how and if Armstrong assisted in trafficking PED’s while on the USPS founded cycling team could send ripples through the Federal ranks. Who knew what and when did they know it. More players could be sued, brought in for trial or jailed. Past sponsors could come back for financial restitution from Armstrong. The brands such as Nike and Oakley that teamed with Armstrong would now have damage control to contend with on top of setting distance between themselves and Armstrong. Did the sponsors know about the doping? Worse yet, did any of them help? If Lance Armstrong confesses, large sums of money will change hands due to the legal process and many hours and dollars will be spent at the Federal level to investigate even more leads, taxing a budget that is already over the limit.
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