Lance Armstrong to Speak With Oprah Winfrey on Doping Scandal

PHOTO: Lance Armstrong is surrounded by press photographers, signaling seven, during the Tour de France, July 24, 2005.
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Oprah Winfrey will interview cyclist Lance Armstrong for "Oprah's Next Chapter" on Jan. 17, her network said Tuesday.

The 90-minute interview at his home in Austin, Texas, will be his first since officials stripped him of his world cycling titles in response to doping allegations.

"Oprah Winfrey will speak exclusively with Lance Armstrong in his first no-holds-barred interview," a news release reads. "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."

"Oprah's Next Chapter" at 9 p.m. is the primetime series on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The tell-all interview will also be simultaneously streamed live on Oprah.com.

Armstrong, 41, was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from the sport for life by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in October 2012, after allegations that he benefited from years of systematic doping, using banned substances and receiving illicit blood transfusions.

"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling," Pat McQuaid, the president of the International Cycling Union, said at a news conference in Switzerland announcing the decision. "This is a landmark day for cycling."

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a 200-page report Oct. 10 after a wide-scale investigation into Armstrong's alleged use of performance-enhancing substances.

Armstrong won the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005.

According to a report by "60 Minutes Sports" on Showtime, the head of the doping agency said a representative of Armstrong's once offered to make a donation estimated around $250,000 to the agency.

Lance Armstrong's attorney Tim Herman denied it. "No truth to that story," Herman said. "First Lance heard of it was today. He never made any such contribution or suggestion."

Armstrong, who himself recovered from testicular cancer, created the Lance Armstrong Foundation (now known as the LIVESTRONG Foundation) to help people with cancer cope, as well as foster a community for cancer awareness. Armstrong resigned late last year as chairman of the LIVESTRONG Foundation, which raised millions of dollars in the fight against cancer.

The New York Times reported Jan. 4 that Armstrong told associates he is considering admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career. The Times' unnamed sources said he would admit the information in order to restore his eligibility in athletic events such as triathlons and running events. Herman denied the claims were true.

Herman told The Associated Press he had no knowledge of Armstrong considering a confession and said: "When, and if, Lance has something to say, there won't be any secret about it."

Armstrong, who has spent so much energy bitterly fighting accusers and whistleblowers, has left many questioning whether Winfrey's televised absolution will be able to help his cause.

Winfrey tweeted the news to her followers Tuesday night. "BREAKING NEWS: Looking forward to this conversation with @lancearmstrong #nextchapter"

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