According to USA Today, Lance Armstrong plans to admit to using performance enhancing drugs and apologize to his fans in an upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey. The interview will be taped on Monday and is set to air this Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network. It has been reported that Armstrong will focus on apologizing for his misconduct. He will not, however, provide details of the events that lead up to the US Anti-Doping Agency stripping Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.
In 2012 the US Anti-Doping Agency released a report that resulted in not only the revocation of the Cyclist’s seven Tour de France titles, but also banning Armstrong from the sport for life.
Armstrong sent a text to The Associated Press saying, “I told her (Winfrey) to go wherever she wants and I’ll answer the questions directly, honestly, candidly. That’s all I can say.”
However, Armstrong’s doping situation is different from the doping cases sports fans have become somewhat accustomed to in other professional sports, specifically, baseball.
In contrast to similar situations–like that with former Major League Baseball great, and current MLB batting coach, Mark McGwire, admitting to the use of steroids–Americans are having trouble sympathizing for the tarnished cycling great.
While Mark McGwire admitted to using steroids when he broke the single season home run record, his very emotional and seemingly genuine public apology went over well with baseball fans and the MLB. McGwire was widely forgivin by baseball fans, and subsequently hired by the St. Louis Cardinals as an assistant coach.
Armstong’s situation could not be more different than McGwire’s. Amrstrong has not only publicly denied his use of PEDs through false testimony, but Armstrong has gone out of his way to bring down any person who attempted to expose his use of PEDs. He reportedly used threatening and intimidating behavior to keep at least one witness quiet, the Globe reports.
Armstrong has been defending himself against several legal issues, most of which are dying down for various legal reasons, including the statute of limitations, which may be one reason Armstrong has chosen to come forward.
ESPN.com reports, “Any potential perjury charges stemming from his sworn testimony denying doping in a 2005 arbitration fight with a Dallas promotions company over a contract bonus worth $7.5 million have passed the statute of limitations.”
Armstrong faces a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by former teammate Floyd Landis, accusing him of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service. But the U.S. Department of Justice has yet to announce whether it will join the case. The British newspaper The Sunday Times is suing Armstrong to recover an estimated $500,000 it paid him to settle a libel lawsuit.”