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Saturday 3 December 2016

Kimmage rules out on-stage interview with Armstrong

Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong

High-profile journalist Paul Kimmage has refused an offer to interview disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong in Dublin.

The disgraced athlete had challenged Kimmage to lead an interview with him when he appears in Dublin next month.

However, Kimmage - who played a key role in the investigation which ended Armstrong's cycling career - has ruled out the prospect.

Armstrong (45) is billed to appear at the One Zero conference in Dublin on October 21.

His appearance at the event has been billed as a "no holes barrred" 90-minute interview about his controversial career.

In 2012 Armstrong was stripped of his titles after he was forced to admit that he had taken drugs throughout his cycling career, including his seven Tour De France wins between 1999 and 2005.

Freelance writer Ewan MacKenna is currently booked to conduct the interview with Armstrong, but the cancer-surviving cyclist has made it clear that he would rather be interviewed by Kimmage.

In a post on his social media account to Kimmage he said: "Here's a thought. How about you and I do the interview?"

MacKenna quickly offered to step aside from his interviewing role for the event, before Kimmage made it clear that he was not ready to join Armstrong on stage.

He replied to the Texan: "You're confusing me with one of those muppets that used to dance to your tune".

"But I'll answer you, although I'm not sure you deserve it. Will I sit down with you? Absolutely. But not on these terms," he later said.

Debate

He then appeared to rule out the prospect altogether when he reminded organisers to "honour" their agreement that they made with MacKenna.

Last night organisers said that the event was "much more than an interview".

"Our intention was always to bring a world-class event to Dublin and to debate the areas of sport that are so vital to its future. That is happening regardless," founder Richard Barrett said in a statement.

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