Cycling: Armstrong "to admit doping" in Oprah interview

LOS ANGELES: Lance Armstrong plans to admit to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that will be taped on Monday at the disgraced cyclist's home in Austin, Texas, USA Today reported.

In an article posted on its website on Friday night, USA Today cited "a person with knowledge of the situation" as saying Armstrong plans to admit for the first time to doping throughout his career, but that he probably will not get into great detail about specific cases and events.

The announcement that Armstrong had agreed to an interview, to air on Winfrey's OWN cable TV network on Thursday, had sparked widespread speculation that he might finally confess to being a drug cheat after years of strenuous denials.

It will be Armstrong's first interview since he was stripped in October of his seven Tour de France titles after the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said he helped orchestrate the most sophisticated doping programme in sports history.

Armstrong's years of dominance in the sport's greatest race raised cycling's profile in the United States to new heights and gave him a unique platform to promote cancer awareness and research.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised almost $500 million (375 million euros) since its creation in 1997.

But in the aftermath of the allegations, several top sponsors dropped Armstrong and the ultimate ignominy came on November 14 when his name was dropped from the charity he founded, which now is known as the Livestrong Foundation.

- AFP/al

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