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Lance Armstrong Faces Oprah Backlash

His choice of venue for his expected doping confession earns derision from the cycling world.


The "tell-all" interview airs January 17.
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By Will Godfrey


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Yesterday's announcement that Lance Armstrong has chosen to appear in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey—coming days after The New York Times reported that he was considering a public doping admission—is earning derision from his fellow former pros. "Only Lance would get to have his moment of truth, if that's what it will be, with Oprah Winfrey," David Millar, a British cyclist who was banned for doping in 2004 and is now a member of the athletes' commission for the World Anti-Doping Agency, tells the BBC. "It is not sitting in front of a judge...I doubt very much it will be a proper interrogation." He fears the focus will be more on Armstrong's emotions than on any wrongdoing. Matt DeCanio, an American ex-cyclist who admitted doping before campaigning against it, thinks Armstrong's decision is about money: "Oprah Winfrey appeals to the general American public who shops at Wal-Mart...and just wants to hear a feelgood story," he says. "I think he will say that he did what it took to win in the situation in which he was racing....He is basically going to do and say anything that will mean that you can still buy a candy bar with his face on it or a bicycle that he endorses." Armstrong, now 41, was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and banned for life by the US Anti-Doping Agency last October, following charges that long-term, systematic doping and blood transfusions were behind his success. The 90-minute interview will air on Oprah's Next Chapter on OWN at 9 pm (ET) on Tuesday January 17. A press release claims it will be "no-holds-barred"—but it will also be pre-recorded.

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