AUSTIN, Texas Lance Armstrong has finally come clean.
confessed to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey taped
Monday, just a couple of hours after a wrenching apology to staff at the
Livestrong charity he founded and has now been forced to surrender.
The day ended with 2 1/2 hours of
questions from Winfrey at a downtown Austin hotel, where she said the
world's most famous cyclist was "forthcoming" as she asked him in detail
about doping allegations that followed him throughout his seven Tour de
Winfrey appeared on "CBS This Morning"
on Tuesday to talk about the Armstrong interview, saying that both
parties had agreed not to speak publicly about it until the interview
aired, but "by the time I left Austin and landed in Chicago you all had
already confirmed it."
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.
would not characterize whether Armstrong seemed contrite but said he
seemed ready for the interview. "I would say that he met the moment,"
"I don't think `emotional' begins to describe
the intensity or the difficulty he experienced in talking about some of
The confession was a stunning reversal for
a proud athlete and celebrity who sought lavish praise in the court of
public opinion and used courtrooms to punish his critics.
more than a decade, Armstrong dared anybody who challenged his version
of events to prove it. Finally, he told the tale himself after promising
over the weekend to answer Winfrey's questions "directly, honestly and
The cyclist was stripped of his Tour titles,
lost most of his endorsements and was forced to leave Livestrong last
year after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a damning, 1,000-page
report that accused him of masterminding a long-running doping scheme.
Armstrong reportedly hopes to return to
competition in recognized triathlon events. However, WADA said "only
when Mr. Armstrong makes a full confession under oath - and tells the
anti-doping authorities all he knows about doping activities - can any
legal and proper process for him to seek any reopening or
reconsideration of his lifetime ban commence."
International Cycling Union, or UCI, issued a statement on Tuesday
saying it was aware of the reports that Armstrong had confessed to
Winfrey. The governing body for the sport urged Armstrong to tell his
story to an independent commission it has set up to examine claims it
covered up suspicious samples from the cyclist, accepted financial
donations from him and helped him avoid detection in doping tests.
Winfrey has promoted her
interview, one of the biggest for OWN since she launched the network in
2011, as a "no-holds barred" session, and after the voluminous USADA
report — which included testimony from 11 former teammates — she said
she went into the session with 112 questions ready to go. Not all of
them were asked, she said, but many were.
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart, a longtime
critic of Armstrong's, called the drug regimen practiced while Armstrong
led the U.S. Postal Service team "the most sophisticated,
professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever
seen." USADA did not respond to requests for comment about Armstrong's
In a recent "60 Minutes Sports" interview,
Tygart described Armstrong and his team of doctors, coaches and riders
as similar to a "Mafia" that kept their secret for years and intimidated
riders into silently following their illegal methods.
years, Armstrong went after his critics ruthlessly during his reign as
cycling champion. He scolded some in public and didn't hesitate to
punish outspoken riders during the race itself. He waged legal battles
against still others in court.
At least one of his
opponents, the London-based Sunday Times, has already filed a lawsuit to
recover about $500,000 it paid him to settle a libel case, and
Dallas-based SCA Promotions, which tried to deny Armstrong a promised
bonus for a Tour de France win, has threatened to bring another lawsuit
seeking to recover more than $7.5 million awarded by an arbitration
In Australia, the government of South Australia
state said Tuesday it will seek the repayment of several million dollars
in appearance fees paid to Armstrong for competing in the Tour Down
Under in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
"We'd be more than happy for Mr. Armstrong to make any repayment of monies to us," South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said.
Armstrong is in talks to return a portion of the millions of dollars in
taxpayer money his former team, U.S. Postal Service, once received, CBS
News has learned.
Senior Justice Department officials
have recommended that the government join a lawsuit filed by one of
Armstrong's former teammates that accuses the disgraced cyclist of
defrauding the federal government. Armstrong's U.S. Postal sponsorship
prohibited illegal doping.
CBS News has also learned Armstrong has indicated he may be willing to testify against others involved in illegal doping.
Andreu, the wife of former Armstrong teammate Frankie Andreu, was one
of the first to publicly accuse Armstrong of using performance-enhancing
drugs. She called news of Armstrong's confession "very emotional and
very sad," and choked up when asked to comment.
to be one of my husband's best friends and because he wouldn't go along
with the doping, he got kicked to the side," she said. "Lance could have
a positive impact if he tells the truth on everything. He's got to be
Betsy Andreu testified in SCA's
arbitration case challenging the bonus in 2005, saying Armstrong
admitted in an Indiana hospital room in 1996 that he had taken many
performance-enhancing drugs, a claim Armstrong vehemently denied.
"It would be nice if he would come out and say the hospital room happened," Andreu said. "That's where it all started."
teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France
title for doping, has filed a federal whistle-blower lawsuit that
accused Armstrong of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service. An attorney
familiar with Armstrong's legal problems told the AP that the Justice
Department is highly likely to join the lawsuit. The False Claims Act
lawsuit could result in Armstrong paying a substantial amount of money
to the U.S. government. The deadline for the department to join the case
is Thursday, though the department could seek an extension if
According to the attorney, who works outside
the government, the lawsuit alleges that Armstrong defrauded the U.S.
government based on his years of denying use of performance-enhancing
drugs. The attorney spoke on condition of anonymity because the source
was not authorized to speak on the record about the matter.
lawsuit most likely to be influenced by a confession might be the
Sunday Times case. Potential perjury charges stemming from Armstrong's
sworn testimony in the 2005 arbitration fight would not apply because of
the statute of limitations. Armstrong was not deposed during the
federal investigation that was closed last year.
is said to be worth around $100 million. But most sponsors dropped him
after USADA's scathing report — at the cost of tens of millions of
dollars — and soon after, he left the board of Livestrong.
the USADA findings, he was also barred from competing in the elite
triathlon or running events he participated in after his cycling career.
World Anti-Doping Code rules state his lifetime ban cannot be reduced
to less than eight years. WADA and U.S. Anti-Doping officials could
agree to reduce the ban further depending on what information Armstrong
provides and his level of cooperation.
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