Armstrong on Oprah

January 10th, 2013 at 8:49 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Will he admit to doping? That’s the big question being ahead of ’s pre-recorded interview with which is set to air in the United States next week.

The talk show diva’s network claims no question will be off-limits when the disgraced cyclist sits down for his first interview since being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

Others are not so sure.

“Armstrong has no editorial control and no question is off-limits,” Nicole Nichols of Winfrey’s OWN cable TV network told AFP in an email, adding Armstrong is getting no payment for the interview.

Nichols also said the 90-minute interview at Armstrong’s home in Austin, Texas – to be aired on January 17 on the OWN network and online worldwide – “is not live”.

Former cyclist David Millar, a member of the athletes commission for the World Anti-Doping Agency, however expects it will be “completely stage-managed”.

Of course. He will break down in tears and talk of how everyone was doing it. How at first he won his titles without drugs, but then realized the only way he could compete was to join the others who forced him into it.

It remains to be seen if Oprah will be a “sympathetic” interviewer or if she turns on him like she did with James Frey. Armstrong has arguably lied for longer and to more people than Frey did.

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40 Responses to “Armstrong on Oprah”

  1. Mike Wilkinson (71 comments) says:

    What a joke of a post, DPF! Although I agree it’ll be interesting to hear what Armstrong says, this isn’t some whodunit. If he doped, he was just behaving the same as so many other famous cyclists before him.

    Those who hoped that the Armstrong would wither away and die look like they’ll be disappointed. The sport of cycling ain’t going anywhere, warts and all!

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  2. Mike Wilkinson (71 comments) says:

    Sorry David. My first sentence was a little strong, but I couldn’t seem to edit and change it. Yours isn’t a joke of a post. I agree it’s interesting what Armstrong will say. I suggest it isn’t a whodunnit, though.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  3. seanmaitland (487 comments) says:

    DPF – you seem to have missed the first conclusion I made – he’s doing the interview with Oprah – how many millions is going to be making out of the interview.

    Its pretty obvious he is going to “confess” – no doubt with a whole lot more BS added to it so he can play the victim. I would be very surprised if he is straight up about it.

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  4. MT_Tinman (3,092 comments) says:

    I agree with Mr Wilkinson that “cycling ain’t going anywhere” but ask why then do the bastards have to pollute the road in front of road-tax paying drivers who are going somewhere?

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  5. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Who cares if some guy, who rode a push bike for a living, did some drugs to make him push better. It matters even less when you consider that most of those left in his wake were doped up as well.

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  6. RRM (9,762 comments) says:

    The sport of cycling ain’t going anywhere

    If drug abuse & cheating is all through it like a cancer as it appears, then I suspect not. Maybe it’s just time to embrace the roids and just have a separate championship for the honest sportsmen among them?

    Fully juiced road & velodrome cycling would be an awesome sport :-) Mutants & Orcs so big they make Arnie (as he was in his prime) look like Macaulay Culkin (as he is now), caning around a track at 143km/h and smashing each other out of the way in a battle for supremacy…

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  7. Keeping Stock (10,254 comments) says:

    Lance Armstrong will, as ever, do what is best for Lance Armstrong. Any resemblance to the truth is a mere coincidence.

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  8. Bullitt (138 comments) says:

    He never failed a drug test. He is only in this situation because he was more successful than anyone else. Classic tall poppy. Of course he was doing drugs but so is every other successful cyclist for a number of decades, stripping him of his titles doesn’t change that any more than wiping the records of every cycling title whether there is any proof or not (which I acknowledge there is in this case).

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  9. Keeping Stock (10,254 comments) says:

    @ Kea – the “myth” built up around Lance Armstrong was that of the cancer survivor who fought back, and beat all the drug cheats whilst reading clean. The truth is that Armstrong was doping even before he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and that everything has been built upon a lie. USADA’s evidence against him is compelling; so compelling in fact that Armstrong refused to contest it.

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  10. Dave Mann (1,200 comments) says:

    …. yawn….

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  11. kowtow (8,114 comments) says:

    Yet another well orchestrated media beat up,designed to pull in the stupid “punters” so others can make a fortune.

    Tour de Drugs or Oprah ,what’s the difference? They’re both bollocks for suckers.

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  12. seanmaitland (487 comments) says:

    Agree with Keeping Stock – this is about WAY more than just cycling and drugs in cycling – its about a guy who made millions from being a cancer survivor who beat the odds, its about a guy who implicitly ended the careers of many people who crossed his path and its about a guy who fleeced millions of dollars for his fake charity. Its completely different to other riders who took drugs.

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  13. Mike Wilkinson (71 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock, calm down. Armstrong’s not god, he’s just another bloke, same as everyone else. Yes, he may have doped, but so did that many other successful cyclists. None of the others had to overcome testicular cancer, though. So Armstrong’s still something of a legend.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  14. Mike Wilkinson (71 comments) says:

    Come on, Seanmaitland. The guy was a professional cyclist, are you expecting him to be like Mother Teresa?

    Furthermore, I doubt that cancer survivors give two hoots whether he did drugs. Of the chemo- and radio-therapy type, It’s drugs that keep those guys alive, after all.

    I think there’s a fair bit of jealousy tied up in much of the anti-Armstrong hype.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  15. RRM (9,762 comments) says:

    Mike Wilkinson – I genuinely admire your willingness to see the best in the guy.

    Good on him for beating the cancer. But no matter how harrowing your backstory is, using performance-boosting drugs to win in sport is cheating. He made his name as a top sportsman, and he was happy to be seen and applauded on the world stage as a top sportsman, when in fact he was a dirty fucking cheat.

    So for me, it’s just impossible to roll this turd in enough glitter to mask the smell.

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  16. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    I really admire the kiwi guy who first outed him. He got a lot of B/S for his efforts but then the road of a whistle blower is never easy.

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  17. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Armstrong will need a strategy to keep himself relevant, keep Livestrong going as a ‘charity’ and continue to keep the millions rolling in. Sure, the cash from Oprah will be good, and there might be a follow-up confessional book to flog, but what will be his ongoing scam? Maybe a crusade agasint drgus in sport? The poacher turned gamekeeper?

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  18. seanmaitland (487 comments) says:

    Mike – nope – he made millions from his books about how he beat cancer and used that experience to win the Tour de France, he also got people to donate tens of millions to his charity, of which a lot of the money then got pissed down the drain. Also you can google about how many people’s careers he ended – theres plenty on the net about that.

    Or do you think he is no worse than your run of the mill Floyd Landis etc?

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  19. Nookin (3,253 comments) says:

    “He never failed a drug test.”

    Yes he did — in 1999. He managed to persuade a medic to give a post-dated prescription for a non-existing ailment. I also gather that a re-test for medical purposes disclosed EPO.

    It is one thing to say that he only did what everyone else did. Armstrong went further. He pilloried a cyclist for speaking out against drugs and drove him out of the sport almost. He was a bully who threatened livelihoods. It wasn’t just Armstrong. A lot of people made a lot of money out of the Armstrong legend and they were all keen to keep the gravy flowing.

    Confessions on Oprah? He will keep a very sharp focus on his deposition in 2005 or 2006 when, on oath, he swore that he had not taken drugs and attacked those who accused him. He won’t being wanting to face perjury charges.

    Armstrong is a cheat, a liar, a bully and a fraud who has let down millions who wanted to believe.

    The Oprah show will be about as edifyng as Tom Cruise’s sofa jumping stunt.

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  20. Akaroa (552 comments) says:

    I have to take issue with the correspondent who claims that ‘Cycling isn’t going anywhere” – (and others who write off Le Tour -) and sound a note of caution.

    Don’t condemn the sport out of hand just because some of it adherents are unable to hack it without chemical assistance.

    I don’t know Mr Armstrong personally, but as I am a former cancer sufferer I have nothing but admiration for the way he has attacked his own affliction and – not to be forgotten – the inspiration and financial assistance he has rendered to other cancer sufferers and the fight against that condition. They can’t take THAT away from him.

    As for his cheating in the Tour. OK. He’s a cheat. So what? Has no other professional sportsman ever stretched the boundaries of behaviour to take an unfair advantage.

    To his critics, i say this. Grow up! When considering Armstrong, and any other pro cyclist’s misbehaviour, take the long view. Have a look at the history of the Tour de France and tell me if there is any other sporting competition that comes anywhere near it for drama, pain and suffering, excitement and World-wide appeal. Its far bigger than its individual competitors.

    Oh, and BTW, our national game – Rugby – is well-known for its sporting ethic and absence of any cheating whatsoever that occurs therein.

    (Ha!! I feel a Tui moment coming on!!)

    Lance Armstrong is but a pygmy in the wider cycling arena that is almost a hundred years of Tour de France history. He’ll eventually be forgotten, but the Tour will go on.

    Vive le Tour!!

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  21. Mike Wilkinson (71 comments) says:

    RRM, I don’t believe I’m showing any willingness to “see the best in the guy”. Instead, I’m merely commenting about the remarkable willingness of many to “see the worse in guy”, even when he hasn’t behaved any different to many other famous cyclists.

    Seanmaitland, of course I think Armstrong’s better than Floyd Landys. The latter didn’t come back from testicular cancer.

    Nooklin, if you’re a bloke, can I ask whether you’ve ever had testicular cancer? I haven’t, but I quite imagine that, if I did, I wouldn’t care in the slightest about the drug intake of someone who had it also yet came back to take seven Tour de France victories.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  22. The J (4 comments) says:

    Nookin – My understanding is that the Statute of Limitations expired on his deposition, so he couldn’t now be charged with perjury. Which is probably why he’s only now considering telling all…

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  23. Keeping Stock (10,254 comments) says:

    @ Mike Wilkinson – here’s a good read for you:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/nov/26/tyler-hamilton-secret-race-william-hill

    Tyler Hamilton’s allegations, like those of Stephen Swart, Frankie and Betsy Andrieu and Floyd Landis to name just a few are far too detailed to have been fabricated. As seanmaitland noted, Armstrong’s whole persona was built upon a lie. Even the Livestrong charity has removed Armstrong’s name from its literature now.

    At the end of the day, Lance Armstrong won as many Tours de France as you and I did.

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  24. Keeping Stock (10,254 comments) says:

    And Mike; like so many, I so wanted to believe that Lance Armstrong was clean, and that the story he told was true. Sadly, the evidence is compelling that it was all bullshit all along.

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  25. Mike Wilkinson (71 comments) says:

    Haha, whatever Keeping Stock. At the end of the day, Lance Armstrong would easily destroy me on a bike, even if I was at my fittest. And, as I said, to Nookin, I haven’t had testicular cancer.

    The way I see it, the ICU didn’t have the balls to admit that drugs are rife in the sport. It had no recourse but to strip Armstrong of his titles. That means I see no reason not to talk about him like the legend he is.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  26. RRM (9,762 comments) says:

    I’m merely commenting about the remarkable willingness of many to “see the worse in guy”, even when he hasn’t behaved any different to many other famous cyclists.

    Then they are cheats also.

    That doesn’t elevate Armstrong much in my estimation.

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  27. Mike Wilkinson (71 comments) says:

    Why not, RRM? Other cyclists did the same as Armstrong (without also overcoming testicular cancer). Yet, they managed to keep their titles. Don’t you feel bad (even just a wee bit) that Armstrong didn’t?

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  28. RRM (9,762 comments) says:

    That is the cycling body’s shame Mike.

    But other people’s cheating doesn’t exonerate Armstrong of his cheating, and dishonest unequal treatment of the various cheats by the cycling body doesn’t exonerate him of his cheating either.

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  29. Mike Wilkinson (71 comments) says:

    I actually agree with that, RRM. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    However, it’s the future I’m most concerned about. Unless the ICU becomes more willing to change it’s approach to drugs, something like the Armstrong fiasco will happen again, possibly with bigger effects. For example, Bradley Wiggns is loved in Britain, right now – they even had him help open their Olympics. Imagine if he went down for drugs too.

    I don”t see any alternative to the ICU adopting a new approach. It will only be able to do so, however, if the public’s willing to accept it. Right now, I very much doubt they are: for example, look at how easily you found it to equate drug use with cheating, even when the majority of successful athletes engage in it.

    I guess we shall await the next case of drug use in cycling. It might not be Wiggns, but I remain confident it’ll be someone.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  30. scrubone (3,090 comments) says:

    USADA’s evidence against him is compelling; so compelling in fact that Armstrong refused to contest it.

    Or, there was so much false evidence he didn’t see the need to spend the rest of his life defending himself.

    Since when has a refusal to reply to false allegations been evidence of guilt?

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  31. James Stephenson (2,132 comments) says:

    At the end of the day, Lance Armstrong won as many Tours de France as you and I did.

    Yes, but crucially those races now stand with no winner. I was never an Armstrong Fanboi, but I have to accept that many of my cycling heroes undoubted doped.

    Whatever you think of LA as a man (not much in my case) there is no doubt that in a sport that rewards attention to detail and obsessive preparation and training, he was head and shoulders above anyone else of his generation.

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  32. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    ‘Since when has a refusal to reply to false allegations been evidence of guilt?’
    In many jurisdictions, refusal to plead was taken as a plea of guilty. If the allegation were false, Armstrong had the opportunity to provde evidence of thei9r falsity. Face it: the guy is an incredible athlete and beat a nasty form of cancer; but is also a serial cheat and liar and as dodgy as they come.

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  33. Keeping Stock (10,254 comments) says:

    @ scrubone – I doubt that even the Crown Prince of Conspiracy Theories, the Rt Hon Winston Peters would believe that their has been fabrication of evidence and testimony on such a grand scale.

    Hell; even the title of Armstrong’s best-seller was misleading. It was never All About the Bike. Instead, it was always all about whatever was best for Lance Armstrong. That’s why the Oprah interview will be so carefully stage-managed by LA’s people that any mea culpa will have to be taken with a large chunk of rock salt.

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  34. Nookin (3,253 comments) says:

    “Nooklin, if you’re a bloke, can I ask whether you’ve ever had testicular cancer? I haven’t, but I quite imagine that, if I did, I wouldn’t care in the slightest about the drug intake of someone who had it also yet came back to take seven Tour de France victories.”

    I am a bloke. I have not had testicular cancer.

    For years I believed in Armstrong — esp after reading “It’s not about the Bike”. I initially thought USADA was on a witch hunt. Then the evidence came in the form of USADA’s reasoned decision. I read Walshe’s book.

    Sure, I credit Armstrong with considerable internal strength to come back but that doesn’t give him the rights he assumed. Cyclists were pressurised into drugs. Some died. Walsh describes how some cyclists, on EPO, had alarms to warn them of adverse effects of EPO. Some had to get up during the night and pedal like hell to stop blood turning to syrup. Armstrong and his henchmen virtually made drug-taking compulsory for anyone wanting to succeed. Worse, he turned on those who threatened him. People’s businesses were threatened with boycotts. Armstrong had a team of defamation lawyers ready to pounce. Surviving cancer doesn’t give you those rights.

    James

    Your last comment is on the mark and cycling will take a long time to recover from the damage.

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  35. Mike Wilkinson (71 comments) says:

    James/Nookin, thanks for the thoughtful comment. Whatever we might think of Armstrong, it seems that we agree that focusing on the future is important.

    I’m not sure cycling will take that long to recover. People have short memories. I think it just needs another rivalry like Contador/Schlek or Armstrong/Ullrich and few will remember the doping. That is until someone gets busted for drugs and we’ll go for this whole cycle once again.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  36. Jaffa (84 comments) says:

    Trouble is, the ones who accuse him of lying and doping, are themselves liars and dopers, and in spite of them all taking drugs, he still beat them.
    How galling!

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  37. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Armstrong is a bully. He is one of the most appalling and craven figures in sport. Why anyone would defend him beggars belief.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220965/I-hope-breaks-baseball-bat-head-Lance-Armstrong-appears-Livestrong-event-bullying-victims-tell-abusive-tactics-cover-doping-scandal.html

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  38. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    This is typical Armstrong. If he’s prepared to act like a pig in public, you can only guess how he acts in private.

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  39. SteveO (77 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t be too sure that we will see a confession on Oprah, it would be completely out of character for Armstrong. And, as Nookin pointed out, there is the little matter of a possible perjury charge – not to mention the millions of dollars he has won in defamation cases over the years that would now be in danger of having to be repaid.

    I predict an angry Armstrong will pull out all the old lines about never failing a drugs test etc and focus heavily on how much the French hate him because he is American.

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  40. muggins (3,340 comments) says:

    http://davidbain.counterspin.co.nz/blog/lance-armstrong-has-finally-confessed-what-about-david-bain

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