Could this be any more textbook?
Lance Armstrong, looking to somewhat recover his name, star power and athletic eligibility, is going to sit down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Monday and admit that he used performance-enhancing drugs in the pursuit of his record (and now defunct) seven Tour de France titles, according to USA Today.
It?s not new for an athlete to admit to performance-enhancing drug use in hopes of public forgiveness and legacy recovery. And it?s not new for celebrities to use Winfrey as their foil when they talk about their greatest wrongs.
But for the recalcitrant Armstrong to fold so quickly and so obviously after spending years aggressively beating off accusations of doping is something else.
Armstrong is scheduled to tape the interview Monday at his home in Texas, and it will air Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network, according to USA Today. Armstrong is expected to admit to drug use generically but not to go into great detail about the accusations, which have been heavily catalogued over the last year in the final push to bring him down and strip him of his titles.
Armstrong regularly shed accusations of doping throughout the pursuit of his record seven Tour de France titles, passing drug tests and denouncing critics. But that all quickly fell apart this fall when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency compiled its most recent and comprehensive stack of evidence, including many testimonials from teammates.
The effects of the doping fallout have been cited as the reason why Armstrong will suddenly switch his stance and admit to the accusations, according to information that was first reported in the New York Times. Armstrong?s cancer-fighting foundation, Livestrong, is said to be struggling since Armstrong was stripped of his accolades. By admitting his deeds and banking on what has been a forgiving American public when it comes to sports stars who ?fess up, Armstrong could help the charity recover. (He has already resigned from his role there.)
Armstrong is also said to be interested in continuing his athletic career, and he has been banned from most competitive events due to the doping ruling.
Admission also carries a big risk, though. Armstrong won many lawsuits against accusers, and saying he did use performance-enhancing drugs would change the scenario.
This much is certain, though: If Armstrong was the all-American hero, if his battling back from cancer to win his cycling titles was as epic as it comes, and if his fall from grace is as big of ruin as a star can expect, then there?s only one person he can talk to if he hopes to salvage anything.
She?s heading to his home on Monday.
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