Home
Armstrong to break silence in show that will be streamed live worldwide

When stories began circulating last week that Lance Armstrong might be considering making a confession, more than one joker on Twitter suggested that Oprah Winfrey might be just the person to facilitate such a discussion. Well, we don't know whether an admission of doping will be forthcoming, but Armstrong will be interviewed by Winfrey next Thursday, and what's more, the transmission will be streamed live worldwide on the Oprah.com website.

A press release published on Tuesday on Oprah.com suggests that anyone expecting a confession, however limited, shouldn't hold their breath. It reads:

Los Angeles, CA – Oprah Winfrey will speak exclusively with Lance Armstrong in his first no-holds-barred interview. Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career.

The special 90-minute Thursday night episode of Oprah's Next Chapter will air Thursday, January 17 (9:00 – 10:30 p.m. ET/PT) on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. In addition-the interview will be simultaneously streamed LIVE worldwide on Oprah.com.

In the interview, Winfrey speaks with Armstrong at his home in Austin, Texas in the only interview since the seven-time Tour de France winner was stripped of his titles and dropped from millions of dollars in endorsement deals after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released an extensive report accusing the renown cyclist of doping throughout his career. Armstrong was given a lifetime ban on competing professionally. Late last year, Armstrong resigned as chairman of the foundation he created, Livestrong, which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the fight against cancer.

Whether Winfrey will pull her punches only time will tell, but she is certainly not the sort of media figure to be daunted by the Texan, even in his own home.

Armstrong's motives for doing the interview can only be guessed at, but since the weekend it has certainly seemed that the Armstrong camp is testing the waters ahead of some action by their man most likely some form of confession or partial confession. From a legal point of view any confession by Armstrong would be a dangerous gamble, but maybe the calculation is that a redeemed Armstrong can make more than he loses - even though he risks losing his freedom. He won't be making any money for his Oprah interview - not from the show anyway. According to a show spokeswoman contacted by the BBC Armstrong is not being paid for his appearance: "No payment for the interview. No editorial control, no question is off-limits." Interestingly she refused to say when the interview would take place leading some to conclude that it already has - the French newspaper, L'Equipe has already run a story to that effect.

Winfrey and Armstrong do share some common ground. Both have made high profile visits to Australia, and both those trips cost their host country's taxpayers dear - a fee estimated to be between A$3 million and A$5 million in the case of Winfrey for her Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure in 2010, while the previous year had seen Armstong trouser a fee generally reckoned to be A$2 million for his comeback race in the Tour Down Under. He'd be back for more the following year.

News of the programme comes as CBS prepares to screen an interview on its 60 Minutes Sports show on Wednesday evening with Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, in which he claims that Armstrong offered the organisation a 'donation' of $250,000 in 2004.

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

42 comments

Avatar
JohnVeleco [2 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Should watch it or should we just ignore it? By watching it we'll be feeding the fat payout he's getting for this

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

There are already plans afoot on Twitter for a drinking game. I vote we watch and join in the fun.

 36

Avatar
Leviathan [1981 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I would like to see it live and judge for myself his own words if he says anything.

But when is it on? 9pm Eastern Time or Pacific time (9:00 – 10:30 p.m. ET/PT?)

Avatar
Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Drinking game, I'll get some shots of cola ready.....Who wants to make up some bingo cards  19

Avatar
Simon_MacMichael [2450 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
bikeboy76 wrote:

I would like to see it live and judge for myself his own words if he says anything.

But when is it on? 9pm Eastern Time or Pacific time (9:00 – 10:30 p.m. ET/PT?)

Good point. Standard practice in US to screen big shows at prime time in the different time zones. So 9pm if you're in NYC, 9pm if you're in LA.

Guessing any worldwide live stream would follow the NYC time, so 2am GMT. Los Angeles would be 5am GMT.

 28

Guess we'll find out for sure in the coming days.

Avatar
WolfieSmith [1323 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I can guess the self justifying stream from Armstrong: As a professional he had to compete in the professional climate of the time; It was up to the UCI to control doping not him; He was exploited by the industry more than he exploited it; He had no proper father figure which made him an angry bully... At this point tears will be shed by both parties and all will be forgiven. High five the agent backstage and carry on as normal.

Avatar
notfastenough [3684 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Colour me cynical, but I'm only expecting him to trot out the same nonsense about everyone being out to get him, never failed a test etc etc.

It would be good if he confessed, but as mentioned by others, there are a few too many prosecutions and lawsuits that will come his way, and I don't think he can be guaranteed immunity from all of them.

Avatar
bikewithnoname [86 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

She's not exactly Paxman is she? I'd be surprised if there are any tough questions at all, LA will no doubt paint himself as a victim  31

Avatar
Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Simon_MacMichael wrote:

There are already plans afoot on Twitter for a drinking game. I vote we watch and join in the fun.

 36

I'd better take the next day of work then...'Tell me about your pa, Lance' DRINK! 'Those Europeans were all doping when I got there' DRINK! 'I had no choice, I had to do it, level playing field' DRINK!

and so on till alcohol poisoning ensues

Avatar
notfastenough [3684 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

never failed a dope test - 1 shot
tyler/floyd/greg are out to get me - 1 shot

Being even more cynical, if he does confess, he's such a cunning and calculating (sociopath?) individual that I reckon he would only do it because the writing is on the wall anyway and he's seen Tyler making cash off it, and figures that the 'great' Lance Armstrong will make even more, enabling him to deal with all the lawsuits etc.

Avatar
arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

How long until the book is available? Maybe if we all ignore him, his value to sponsors, TV shows and publishers will continue to plummet. If the Oprah show viewing figures are through the roof, Larry is sitting pretty and his move to politics begins. What better example of the American dream than that?  31

Avatar
bikecellar [268 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

 37

Avatar
pepita1 [175 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I will not be giving up my precious sleep time to hear more excuses and delusional thinking.

Avatar
Ducci [90 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I think MercuryOne has hit it pretty much on the head as far as the format and content of the 'interview' will follow ;), hands up if you think the interview will be conducted in his rec room surrounded by 'his' yellow jerseys....

Avatar
zanf [836 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I'll watch it if he jumps up and down on the sofa like Tom Cruise, just to prove how batshit crazy he actually is.

I dont think he'll be fooling anyone (except all the septics who love an Oprah sofa confessional and want to believe him).

Unless he names names and does it to clear his conscience rather than because he wants to get back to competing in triathlons, I have little interest.

Avatar
notfastenough [3684 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Ducci wrote:

I think MercuryOne has hit it pretty much on the head as far as the format and content of the 'interview' will follow ;), hands up if you think the interview will be conducted in his rec room surrounded by 'his' yellow jerseys....

That would indeed be ace. It's like a train crash, it's perverse to watch but not sure I'll be able to help it. Although the early-hours slot might take care of that for me.

Funny, the last half dozen Lance stories have lacked any rabid fanboys telling everyone else how brilliant he is... wonder why that is?!  4

Avatar
MartyB [2 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

Difficult not to think this will be a highly manipulative interview by Armstrong portraying himself as a victim and martyr, only doing what others were doing (as the Lance-apologist photographer Graham Watson was saying in his blog a few days ago, which apparently met with Armstrong's approval).

Being interviewed at home in Texas will also give Armstrong an opportunity to create just the right surroundings to say what he wants to say to an American audience which I suspect will be a lot more sympathetic to his case than people over here.

No-one has said how much Armstrong is being paid by Oprah Winfrey for providing this exclusive interview. I assume it will be a large amount, which will no doubt help him with his legal fees!

Avatar
Deswahriff [15 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

...will he confess to bullying, intimidation and threatening women, though? He can't blame that on "everyone else doing it"...

Avatar
Sam1 [220 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I'm seriously concerned that if I watch it I'll end up punching my laptop screen. I mean it.  14 14

Avatar
andyp [1448 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

He's not going to admit to anything on Oprah, surely. Not unless he's surrounded by hundreds of lawyers. As soon as he confesses, he's potentially going down.

Avatar
notfastenough [3684 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

@Deswahriff
I doubt it - he's never going to confess to being a bad person - maybe, just maybe, to doing 'what everyone else was doing'...

Avatar
jollygoodvelo [1420 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

He won't confess to anything at all. I predict that the phrase "maybe I've made some mistakes" will be used, perhaps "I'm not an angel", and similar.

Then they'll talk about all his charity work, how many people he's inspired to take up cycling, and a million people who care about the sport will combust.  14

Avatar
Sadly Biggins [269 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

He'll have had so many conditions as to what Oprah can and can't ask before being interviewed that it's going to be like Jon Inman interviewing Vlad the Impaler.

Avatar
Colin Peyresourde [1724 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

My feeling is that Oprah will bottle anything meaningful and it'll be an open forum for him to tell 'Lance's version'. Which will no doubt cut out anything to do with reality and pretty much be the greatest story ever told....poor cancer victim competes in dirty race and in order to compete he has to sell his poor soul to the drug toting devil and how hard it's been for him to be paid millions of pounds for repeatedly telling the same lie.

Avatar
The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

"Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal".
Where do I begin...?

Avatar
pedalpowerDC [334 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

The guys at RedKitePrayer.com had a good analysis of this nonsense. Anything Lance does is completely self serving because his cashflow has come to an abrupt halt. He doesn't travel on Livestrong's dime any more. He doesn't get paid to all of the things he normally does. Padrag even floated the idea that it's politically motivated so he can run for office in Texas.

Go away Lance!

Avatar
belgravedave [268 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I for one can't wait to see the interview and yes I'm sure it will be cringe worthy and they'll be tears and we will all stare at the TV and mouth 'what a c**t'.
But the fact is this is showbiz.
If fans of the sport want to turn cyclists like Wiggins into a hero, with a gold throne and a knighthood (still miffed he accepted the bloody thing) then we need a baddie.
I'm thinking Armstrong as Lord Voldemort and Sir Wiggins as Harry Potter.
Oh and hats off to anyone who doesn't watch the interview, your a better person than me.

Avatar
wheelsucker [58 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

I think I did a little sick in my mouth, pass the bucket there's more  39

Avatar
graphite [65 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes
Deswahriff wrote:

...will he confess to bullying, intimidation and threatening women, though? He can't blame that on "everyone else doing it"...

Oh, c'mon we all know that wasn't him, it was his twin. Give the guy a break!

Avatar
_SiD_ [162 posts] 3 years ago
0 likes

A simple statement on his website or twitter account would suffice. But no it has to be a global event. I just wish he's go away - I don't want him to be rehabilitated.

Some serious coinage on the back of a TV interview - no doubt Oprah paid top dollar, but I bet - and you can add this into your drinking game - it's publically stated that the fee goes to Livestrong. Let the rehabilitation begin.

If he'd gone away in 2005 I honestly think he would be where he is now.
The man simply 'wouldn't let it lie'.

Pages