The (EP) O Effect: Oprah to interview Lance Armstrong next Thursday

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

by Simon_MacMichael   January 9, 2013  

Lance Armstrong - Tour Down Under 09

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.

 

42 user comments

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

Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [183 posts]
9th January 2013 - 10:52

3 Likes

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

posted by Ducci [61 posts]
9th January 2013 - 11:10

2 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.

zanf's picture

posted by zanf [561 posts]
9th January 2013 - 11:17

4 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 Wink, 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?! Big Grin

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3329 posts]
9th January 2013 - 11:26

5 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!

posted by MartyB [2 posts]
9th January 2013 - 11:29

6 Likes

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

posted by Deswahriff [11 posts]
9th January 2013 - 11:34

6 Likes

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

posted by Sam1 [219 posts]
9th January 2013 - 12:00

4 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.

posted by andyp [966 posts]
9th January 2013 - 12:16

7 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'...

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3329 posts]
9th January 2013 - 12:28

7 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. Angry

Boardman CX Team '14 | Cannondale CAAD8 '12 (written off, SMIDSY) | Scott Sportster '08

Gizmo_'s picture

posted by Gizmo_ [898 posts]
9th January 2013 - 12:38

5 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.

posted by Sadly Biggins [265 posts]
9th January 2013 - 14:18

4 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.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1174 posts]
9th January 2013 - 15:01

3 Likes

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

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
9th January 2013 - 15:07

5 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!

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posted by pedalpowerDC [235 posts]
9th January 2013 - 15:57

4 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.

posted by belgravedave [194 posts]
9th January 2013 - 16:05

4 Likes

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

lifes goal is not to arrive at the grave in a perfectly preserved body, but to skid in sideways yelling "yeah what a ride!"

posted by wheelsucker [47 posts]
9th January 2013 - 16:09

5 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!

Ride For Precious Lives - Annual Cornwall to Bristol charity ride.

posted by graphite [58 posts]
9th January 2013 - 16:39

6 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'.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
9th January 2013 - 17:30

4 Likes

Just seen that BBC clarify that no money exchanged hands for the interview.

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
9th January 2013 - 17:51

7 Likes

Can't be arsed to watch him spouting his lies. It will be all over the BBC news the following day anyway.

Now, if Dame Edna had been doing the interview that would have been different Big Grin

Did Nightrider 2013 and 2014 for Parkinson's UK. Might just have one last go in 2015.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [627 posts]
9th January 2013 - 18:46

5 Likes

Having looked at the drivel spouted on the Oprah website, it is so good to read all these cynical comments from 'haters' and 'trolls'. Please keep it up guys, because we need to repeat again and again... 'He isn't the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.' Monty Python, Life of Brian, quoted by David Walsh.

posted by Speedy1319 [25 posts]
9th January 2013 - 19:27

6 Likes

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

Head over to our Facebook page it's a bit more like old times there Wink

https://www.facebook.com/roadcc

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4147 posts]
9th January 2013 - 20:23

5 Likes

You guys are all dicks... I bet if you were in his shoes you'd do the same thing. If I was on the brink of death and survived and had a chance to come back and start over, I'd do the same thing. I'd be all in, no half assing, you're either with me or against me, cause life is too short to f*** around.

posted by mattsavage [13 posts]
9th January 2013 - 21:13

5 Likes

I wonder if the interview will be on that long couch in the room with the 7 yellow jerseys hanging on the wall. I wouldn't be surprised. Confused

posted by Rgriffith7 [8 posts]
9th January 2013 - 21:16

4 Likes

mattsavage wrote:
You guys are all dicks... I bet if you were in his shoes you'd do the same thing. If I was on the brink of death and survived and had a chance to come back and start over, I'd do the same thing. I'd be all in, no half assing, you're either with me or against me, cause life is too short to f*** around.

(On the assumption that you're not being ironic). If you cheat to win, you are by definition NOT a legitimate winner. What bit of that don't you understand? If wanting a drug free sport makes me a "dick", well, just call me Richard.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
9th January 2013 - 22:36

6 Likes

If Lance does own up (and given his past history that's a very big if) - I'd hope that the Police arrest him on suspicion of perjury there and then.

However, I've seen too many people verifiably lie in court to expect that to happen.

One thing that worries me is how Lance is being made a scapegoat for what was (and possibly still is) a widespread problem. I can't decide which is worse, that so many cyclists cheated or that the UCI didn't catch them.

If cycling is indeed a sport of self-abuse why aren't more cyclists sectioned under the mental health act?

posted by hairyairey [290 posts]
10th January 2013 - 9:13

2 Likes

I feel a musical coming on...
Lance! the oprah.

posted by robert_obrien [117 posts]
10th January 2013 - 11:27

7 Likes

mattsavage wrote:
You guys are all dicks... I bet if you were in his shoes you'd do the same thing. If I was on the brink of death and survived and had a chance to come back and start over, I'd do the same thing. I'd be all in, no half assing, you're either with me or against me, cause life is too short to f*** around.

Yeah, you tell em! If I had just endured cancer and chemotherapy and recovered, the first thing I'd do is pump myself full of more drugs, particularly ones that are thought to increase the likelihood of developing testicular cancer. Yeah!

The sad part of that is that if he had come back and been a good racer, won a couple of stages or the odd classic, and been a good domestique in the GTs, it would have STILL been a wonderful cancer survival story, and it would have been true. As it is, the whole thing was built on sand.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3329 posts]
10th January 2013 - 13:09

5 Likes

Sadly Biggins wrote:
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.

'Jon Inman interviewing Vlad the impaler' Genius!

posted by belgravedave [194 posts]
10th January 2013 - 20:06

6 Likes

Written about this in skippyblogging.blogspot , and included as couple of thedse comments !

Thought at one time the guy was about to have his toes curl up with his second go round of cancer !

Cancer will get him before he confesses unreservably !

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

skippy's picture

posted by skippy [385 posts]
10th January 2013 - 20:12

3 Likes