Lance Armstrong apologizes to staff of cancer foundation

Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:47pm EST
 

By Corrie MacLaggan

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Former champion cyclist Lance Armstrong apologized to the staff of the cancer foundation he started on Monday, the same day Oprah Winfrey was scheduled to interview him in what is widely expected to be his first admission of doping.

"He had a private conversation with the staff, who have done the important work of the foundation for many years," said Livestrong Foundation spokeswoman Katherine McLane.

"It was a very sincere and heartfelt expression of regret over any stress that they've suffered over the course of the last few years as a result of the media attention," she said.

The apology came as Armstrong was scheduled to tape an interview with Winfrey to air on Thursday -- his first interview since being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

The disgraced cyclist plans to admit in the interview to doping throughout his career, USA Today reported on Saturday. McLane declined to comment on whether Armstrong will admit to doping during the interview.

"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," according to a press release from Winfrey that called the event a "no-holds-barred interview."

Armstrong has always vehemently denied using performance-enhancing drugs and has never been proven to have tested positive.

But an October report from the U.S. anti-doping body USADA cited Armstrong's involvement in what it characterized as the "most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," involving anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, blood transfusions and other doping.   Continued...

 
Lance Armstrong, founder of the LIVESTRONG foundation, takes part in a special session regarding cancer in the developing world during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York September 22, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson