Last updated: January 9, 2013 11:43 am

Armstrong to break silence in Oprah interview

Lance Armstrong©Reuters

Lance Armstrong will give a “no-holds-barred” television interview with Oprah Winfrey next week, the first time the disgraced former cyclist will speak about the doping scandal that has shredded his reputation.

The chat show host’s media company made the announcement in a statement, saying the 90-minute interview would be aired on January 17.

The statement said: “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 interview will take place at the home of the seven-times winner of the Tour de France in Austin, Texas.

He has for several years flatly denied doping allegations. But the New York Times last week reported that the 41-year-old was weighing up whether to confess to the use of performance-enhancing drugs in order to resume his sporting career.

A report published last year by the US Anti-Doping Agency went into extensive detail about the doping scandal, accusing him and his US Postal Service team of running “the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”.

The International Cycling Union stripped him of his Tour titles and imposed a life ban. The report prompted several sponsors to desert the former cyclist, including Nike.

It also led to his resignation in October as chairman of Livestrong, the cancer charity he founded, “to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career”, Mr Armstrong said at the time.

Travis Tygart, Usada chief executive, added to pressure on Mr Armstrong by alleging that he offered through a representative a donation of more than $150,000.

The allegation, being aired on 60 Minutes Sports on Wednesday, said the offer was made in 2004 but rejected. “It was a clear conflict of interest for Usada,” Mr Tygart said.

Mr Armstrong’s media representative is reported to have denied the allegation.

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