Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Entertainment

January 9, 2013

Oprah to interview Armstrong for Jan. 17 show

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lance Armstrong has agreed to an interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he is to address allegations he used performance-enhancing drugs during a career in which he won seven Tour de France titles.

According to Winfrey's website on Tuesday, this will be a "no holds-barred interview." It will be the first with Armstrong since his cycling career crumbled under the weight of a massive report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The report detailed accusations of drug use by Armstrong and teammates on his U.S. Postal Service teams.

It's unclear if the interview at Armstrong's home in Austin, Texas, has already been taped. Nicole Nichols, a spokeswoman for Oprah Winfrey Network & Harpo Studios, declined comment.

The show will be broadcast Jan. 17 at 9 p.m. EST on OWN and Oprah.com.

Armstrong has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his Tour de France titles, but The New York Times reported Friday he has told associates he is considering acknowledging the use of performance enhancers.

The newspaper report cited anonymous sources, and Armstrong lawyer Tim Herman told The Associated Press that night he had no knowledge of Armstrong considering a confession.

Earlier Tuesday, "60 Minutes Sports" reported the head of USADA told the show a representative for Armstrong offered the agency a "donation" in excess of $150,000 several years before an investigation by the organization led to the loss of Armstrong's Tour de France titles.

In an interview for the premiere on Showtime on Wednesday night, USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said he was "stunned" when he received the offer in 2004.

"It was a clear conflict of interest for USADA," Tygart said. "We had no hesitation in rejecting that offer."

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