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Armstrong to tell all to Oprah on drug scandal

Lance Armstrong will break his silence over allegations of drug doping after it was announced he is to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey next week.

The American was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the sport's governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI), following a report by the US Anti-Doping Agency which concluded the 41-year-old and his US Postal Service team had run "the most sophisticated, professionalism and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

It will be Armstrong's first formal interview since he was banned for life by the UCI with the Oprah Winfrey Network claiming in a statement that: "Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career."

The New York Times claimed at the weekend that Armstrong was close to admitting to the damning report from USADA.

The Texan has remained silent since the sanction, although he opted not to appeal the decision.

Armstrong, who has shown an interest in competing in triathlons, also removed mention of his seven Tour wins on his Twitter profile. Asked whether the 41-year-old was set to come clean about his drug-taking past, Armstrong's lawyer, Tim Herman, told the New York Times: "Lance has to speak for himself on that."

Earlier yesterday, American show 60 Minutes Sports reported the head of the US Anti-Doping Agency Travis Tygart told the show a representative for Armstrong offered the agency a "donation" in excess of $150,000 (¤114,600) several years before an investigation by the organisation led to the loss of Armstrong's Tour de France titles.

In an interview for the premiere airing on Showtime on tonight, USADA CEO Travis Tygart said he was "stunned" when he received the offer in 2004.

Herman denied such an offer was made.

hnews@herald.ie


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