World awaits Armstrong "confession"

Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:09pm EST
 

By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A road to redemption, or a path to prison? The jury is still out on exactly what Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey will mean for the disgraced cyclist.

Lawyers are divided on what the legal implications will be if, as expected, Armstrong admits to using performance drugs when the first part of his interview with Winfrey is broadcast from 9:30 p.m. EST on Thursday (0230 GMT on Friday).

And the general public are also split on what it will do to Armstrong's already shattered reputation.

Winfrey has let the cat largely out of the bag, confirming leaked media reports that Armstrong confessed to being a drug cheat, but stopped short of saying any more.

A cancer survivor who became a source of inspiration to millions of people after winning the Tour de France seven times, the sporting world already knew the real secret to Armstrong's success.

Doping officials banned him for life last year and stripped him of all his race wins after producing a mountain of evidence, including sworn witness accounts, that he cheated his way to victory.

All that remained was for the American, who had vehemently denied ever using drugs, to finally own up. Now that time has apparently come.

The report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that brought about his downfall described Armstrong as the ringleader of the "most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."   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