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Lance Armstrong "came clean " on doping: Oprah

Posted on Jan 15, 10:48PM | IBNS

American cycling star Lance Armstrong has "come clean" on his use of performance enhancing drugs in interviews to Oprah Winfrey, the celebrity talk show host said on Tuesday.

Speaking to a U.S. news network, Winfrey said that Armstrong's confession as part of the much-awaited two-and-a-half-hour interview will be telecast unedited over two nights from Thursday on her OWN cable network.

Even though the 41-year-old Armstrong "did not come clean in the manner that I expected," Winfrey said that she "was satisfied by the answers" and even "mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers".

"I didn't get all the questions asked, but I think the most important questions and the answers that people around the world have been waiting to hear were answered," Winfrey said.

Before sitting down with Winfrey in a hotel suite in his hometown of Austin, Texas on Monday, Armstrong, a cancer-survivor, went to the offices of his cancer charity foundation Livestrong, and apologized in person to its staff.

The interview by the disgraced cyclists was his first since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by the International Cycling Union (UCI) following a report from the United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) in October last year.

The move had ended Armstrong's last hope of clearing his name and cleared the way for organisers to officially remove his name from the record books, erasing the American's consecutive victories from 1999-2005.

USADA had said Armstrong should be banned and stripped of his Tour titles for "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen'' within his US Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams.

The USADA report said Armstrong and his teams used steroids, the blood booster EPO and blood transfusions. The report included statements from 11 former teammates who testified against Armstrong.

Armstrong had initially denied doping, saying he passed hundreds of drug tests, however he had chosen not to fight USADA in one of the agency's arbitration hearings, arguing the process was biased against him.