Lance Armstrong confronts doping charges in interview

Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:13pm EST
 
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lance Armstrong could face the prospect of jail time and the repayment of millions of dollars following his reported admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career, legal experts said.

And the fallout from his confession to American talk show host Oprah Winfrey could also threaten the sport that made him rich and an inspiration to millions of people, with a top Olympic official warning about the sport's future at the games.

Already banned for life and stripped of all his race wins, including his seven Tour de France victories, Armstrong's problems may only just be starting.

CBS Television reported on Tuesday that the disgraced rider had offered to pay more that $5 million to the U.S. government in compensation for an alleged fraud against the U.S. Postal Service, which for years sponsored his cycling team.

The network also said he offered to cooperate as a witness in a U.S. investigation but the Department of Justice turned down his request, raising the prospect that he could yet serve time in prison.

"Having previously testified under oath and denying the doping allegations, Armstrong's admissions would make perjury or obstruction of justice charges a relatively easy charge for prosecutors," said Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago attorney.

The full extent of Armstrong's admission is yet to be revealed although U.S. media said on Monday he confessed to doping in an interview with Winfrey to be aired this week.

The talk show host confirmed the reports on Tuesday in an appearance on the "CBS This Morning" show.   Continued...

 
Cyclist Lance Armstrong is interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in Austin, Texas, in this January 14, 2012 handout photo courtesy of Harpo Studios. REUTERS/Harpo Studios, Inc/George Burns/Handout