Lance Armstrong Reportedly Admits PED Use in Interview with Oprah Winfrey

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2013

After years of denying countless accusations of doping, Lance Armstrong has admitted to cheating during his illustrious cycling career, according to the Associated Press.


UPDATE: Tuesday, January 15 at 7:40 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

According to CBS News, Armstrong offered to cooperate in a federal investigation, but the Department of Justice turned down both offers:

MORE: Lance Armstrong also offered to be a cooperating witness in a federal investigation, but the DOJ turned down both offers as inadequate

— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 15, 2013


---End of Update---


UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 6:40 p.m. ET by Richard Langford

CBS News tweeted out the latest detail involved with Armstrong admitting to doping. 

JUST IN: @cbsnews has learned that Lance Armstrong has offered to pay more than $5 million to the fed. gov't to compensate for alleged fraud

— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 15, 2013

We will see if this is enough to appease the federal government. 


UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 1:25 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp

If Armstrong ever hopes to compete professionally again, the World Anti-Doping Agency has said he'll need to do more than confess his transgressions to Oprah Winfrey. 

From the Associated Press (via The Huffington Post):

Armstrong reportedly hopes to return to competition in recognized triathlon events.

However, WADA says "only when Mr. Armstrong makes a full confession under oath—and tells the anti-doping authorities all he knows about doping activities—can any legal and proper process for him to seek any reopening or reconsideration of his lifetime ban commence."

The agency says athletes must pass on details of performance-enhancing drug use "to the relevant anti-doping authorities."

---End of Update---


UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 12:16 a.m. ET by Austin Green

In addition to admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs, Armstrong also reportedly vowed to testify against several high-ranking cycling officials, according to Juliet Macur of The New York Times.

Armstrong, 41, is planning to testify against officials from the International Cycling Union, the worldwide governing body of cycling, about their involvement with doping in cycling, but he will not testify against other riders, according to the people familiar with his plans.

It is unclear what effect Armstrong's testimony will have, but it appears cycling will continue to be mired in controversy for the foreseeable future.

---End of Update--- 

The cycling legend sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a rare interview, and that is when Armstrong came clean about how he used performance-enhancers to win the Tour de France:

BREAKING: AP Source: @lancearmstrong confesses to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs. #tdf

— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) January 15, 2013

While many speculated that Armstrong would be making this kind of announcement, it was still shocking to see. How could it not be? This is a stunning reversal of everything Armstrong had previously proclaimed to the public. 

While admitting guilt after cheating is admirable, it is easy to be skeptical of Armstrong's motivation for this announcement. It is hard to arrive at any conclusion that he is trying to do anything but salvage his free-falling reputation.

Armstrong has put a lot of time, money and energy into denying all allegations of doping. He had aggressively stated time and time again that he was not cheating while pulling off an unprecedented seven Tour de France championships, and this has been going for years.  

Even as Armstrong decided to stop battling the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) charges of doping, he made sure to let it be known that he was not admitting to guilt.

This is that admission of guilt. 

Armstrong has little left to lose at this point. He had his Tour de France titles stripped, and he received a lifetime ban from any event governed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.  

Now, here he is after losing sponsors and countless fans, coming clean. It all seems a touch hollow, and nothing more than a calculated move to help lift his brand. 

It will be interesting to see what kind of effect this has on his legacy. I think, in this case, it will be too little, too late.