Lance Armstrong agrees to tell-all interview with Oprah
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2013 8:32PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 9, 2013 11:01AM EST
LOS ANGELES -- Lance Armstrong has agreed to an interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he is to address allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs during a career in which he won seven Tour de France titles.
According to Winfrey's website on Tuesday, this will be a "no holds-barred interview." It will be the first with Armstrong since his cycling career crumbled under the weight of a massive report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The report detailed accusations of drug use by Armstrong and his teammates.
It's unclear if the interview at Armstrong's home in Austin, Texas, has already been taped. Nicole Nichols, a spokeswoman for Oprah Winfrey Network & Harpo Studios, declined comment.
The show will air on Jan. 17 in the United States.
Armstrong has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his Tour de France titles, but The New York Times reported on Friday he has told associates he is considering admitting the use of PEDS.
The newspaper report cited anonymous sources, and Armstrong attorney Tim Herman told The Associated Press that night that he had no knowledge of Armstrong considering a confession.
Earlier Tuesday, "60 Minutes Sports" reported the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency told the show a representative for Armstrong offered the agency a "donation" in excess of $150,000 several years before an investigation by the organization led to the loss of Armstrong's Tour de France titles.
In an interview for the premiere airing on Wednesday, USADA CEO Travis Tygart said he was "stunned" when he received the offer in 2004.
"It was a clear conflict of interest for USADA," Tygart said. "We had no hesitation in rejecting that offer."
Herman denied such an offer was made.
"No truth to that story," Herman wrote on Tuesday in an email to the AP. "First Lance heard of it was today. He never made any such contribution or suggestion."
Tygart was travelling and did not respond to requests from the AP for comment. USADA spokeswoman Annie Skinner said Tygart's comments from the interview were accurate. In it, he reiterates what he told the AP last autumn: That he was surprised when federal investigators abruptly shut down their two-year probe into Armstrong and his business dealings, then refused to share any of the evidence they had gathered.
"You'll have to ask the feds why they shut down," Tygart told the AP. "They enforce federal criminal laws. We enforce sports anti-doping violations. They're totally separate. We've done our job."