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Oprah: Lance Armstrong Admitted Doping

Posted at: 01/15/2013 8:20 AM
Updated at: 01/15/2013 10:32 AM

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - 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. USADA accused Armstrong of masterminding a long-running and sophisticated doping operation on his teams.

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.

UCI urges Armstrong to testify before its panel

Cycling's governing body is urging Lance Armstrong to testify before its independent commission on doping.

The International Cycling Union, or UCI, says it is aware of media reports that Armstrong confessed to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey taped Monday.

The federation says "if these reports are true, we would strongly urge Lance Armstrong to testify to the independent commission established to investigate the allegations made against the UCI in the recent USADA reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and the United States Postal Service team."

The UCI says it won't make any further statement until it has seen the interview, which is to be broadcast on Thursday night.

The UCI recently set up an independent panel to look into claims that it covered up suspicious samples from Armstrong, accepted financial donations from him and helped him avoid detection in doping tests.

Government likely to join Armstrong case

An attorney familiar with cyclist Lance Armstrong's legal problems says the Justice Department is highly likely to join a whistleblower lawsuit filed against Armstrong by former teammate Floyd Landis.

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 necessary.

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 U.S. Postal Service was a longtime sponsor of Armstrong's racing career.

The attorney spoke on condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak on the record about the matter.

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