Armstrong interview surprising to Winfrey
Cycling:Oprah Winfrey has confirmed that Lance Armstrong came clean to her about his use of performance-enhancing drugs during their interview which will be broadcast on Thursday, although not in the way she had expected him to. Winfrey had not planned to address Armstrong’s confession before the interview aired on her own network but gave an interview after contents of the show were leaked.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the International Cycling Union (UCI) last year after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) found he had been at the heart of “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”.
“I would say (Lance Armstrong) did not come clean in the manner I had expected. It was surprising to me,” talk show host Winfrey told the CBS This Morning programme.
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. The first part is due to be broadcast at 9pm local time on Thursday (2am Irish time on Friday morning).
Armstrong, 41, has always vehemently denied using the drugs and had never tested positive to a doping test. But the evidence against him has been overwhelming and pressure has been building on him to admit that he cheated.
In an appearance on CBS' "This Morning" show on Tuesday, Winfrey stopped short of confirming a confession and said she would leave to others to decide if Armstrong had been contrite in the interview. She added that she found him to be thoughtful and serious.
When asked why Armstrong had agreed to an interview that lasted more than two hours, Winfrey said: "I think he was just ready. I didn't get all the questions asked, but I think the most important questions and the answers that people around the world have been waiting to hear were answered.