Posted by Editoress on 01/15/13
A day after tweeting that she spent two and a half hours filming her hotly anticipated interview with Lance Armstrong, talk show host Oprah Winfrey has announced that the interview will be expanded from one 90 minute segment on Thursday night to two segments - Thursday at 9:00 pm (Eastern) and Friday at 9:00 pm (Eastern).
Winfrey tweeted: "Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!" . While there has been no official confirmation that Armstrong will admit to doping, Associated Press and others have all stated that unnamed sources confirmed that Armstrong has admitted to using banned performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) during his career, including before he had cancer. Winfrey tacitly admitted as much in interviews herself following the Armstrong taping session.
One of the more sensational allegations comes from New York Times writer Juliet Macur - who has written extensively about Armstrong for a decade, and is likely to have access to insiders.
Macur, in her (late) January 14th New York Times piece, alleges that Armstrong will not only come clean about doping, but will paint himself as just another cyclist pressured by higher ups to use PEDs. Macur says that Armstrong will name some of those figures, including team owners and UCI officials, as well as potentially testify in the federal whistleblower suit filed by former team mate Floyd Landis. (Read the full Macur article Here)
The UCI put out its own statement that "The UCI notes the media speculation surrounding the interview and reports that he has finally come clean and admitted doping during his cycling career."
"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 (USPS) team."
There is much speculation that the UCI officials referred to could include past UCI president Hein Verbruggen and possibly current president Pat McQuaid.
Travis Tygart, head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which spearheaded the investigation that saw Armstrong stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, has stated that they would reconsider Armstrong's lifetime competition ban if he testified in their investigations and 'named names'.
There are also reports that Armstrong and his agent, Bill Stapleton, are in negotiations to repay funds to sponsors and others, as a way to head of potential lawsuits. Armstrong has also reportedly telephoned a number of riders to apologize for past denials.
Watch on the OWN network (check local listings) or at oprah.com.
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