The Lance Armstrong interview - Live coverage - The Independent

The Lance Armstrong interview

The seven-time Tour de France winner talks to Oprah Winfrey as he breaks his silence on allegations he doped throughout his career

  • Lance Armstrong talks to Oprah Winfrey, breaking his silence following allegations that he doped throughout his career. The US cyclist has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and his Olympic bronze medal. Follow the latest updates on his interview below...
    1/18/2013 2:00:25 AM
  • Welcome to the live-blog for Lance Armstrong vs Oprah Winfrey: Round One. I’m here to let you know how it all goes down tonight, just in case you couldn’t find the Oprah channel in your cable guide. The disgraced cyclist has already been stripped of his seven Tour de France wins following USADA’s reasoned decision in October, and we know that he’ll admit to doping in the interview. The question is, how much is he going to confess? Oprah told CBS this week that the cyclist had come well prepared for her questions, but that he “did not come clean in the manner I expected”. You can tweet your thoughts to me @timwalker.
    1/18/2013 1:41:43 AM
  • I went to Austin last week, to find out what people think of Armstrong's legacy in his hometown. You can read the piece here while you make yourself comfortable.
    1/18/2013 1:49:12 AM
  • Bear in mind that the interview, originally set to air in full tonight, has now been split over two nights. Perhaps this is because Lance plans to lay out the facts in all their gory detail. More likely it’s so that Oprah’s channel can milk its big moment for ratings and advertising. Which raises the possibility that we’ll hear a lot tonight about Lance’s good works and celebrity girlfriends, and not a lot about the doping.
    1/18/2013 1:52:04 AM
  • Some in the cycling community were disappointed that Lance chose Oprah to be his confessor. They think she’ll give him an easy ride (pun intended). Then again, given their friendship, she may also be well placed to get him to open up, in a way that someone more combative – a Paxman or similar – might not. The TV host and the disgraced cyclist both have homes in Hawaii, and Oprah apparently persuaded Armstrong to confess over lunch. Armstrong sent a text message to the Associated Press over the weekend, which said: "I told [Oprah] to go wherever she wants and I'll answer the questions directly, honestly and candidly.” But his confession is believed to be “limited.”
    1/18/2013 1:56:10 AM
  • The man in charge of Lance’s PR strategy is veteran communications strategist Mark Fabiani. He worked for the Clintons during the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals, and he and his partner Chris Lehane are known as the “Masters of Disaster”.
    1/18/2013 1:57:46 AM
  • Why the straws?

    1/18/2013 2:01:02 AM
  • First question: did you ever take enhanced substances...?
    Answer: yes
    1/18/2013 2:02:25 AM
  • No Sheryl Crow questions then. Armstrong has admitted to using EPO and blood doping throughout his Tour de France career.
    1/18/2013 2:04:23 AM
  • Armstrong calls his life: "A mythic perfect story... And it wasn't true."
    1/18/2013 2:06:13 AM
  • Armstrong believes that he couldn't have won his seven tours without doping. He calls the US postal team's doping programme "professional", "conservative" and "risk-averse". But he rejects USADA's claim that it was "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".
    1/18/2013 2:12:55 AM
  • "My cocktail was EPO, [blood] transfusions and testosterone."
    1/18/2013 2:13:52 AM
  • The ad time for the commercial breaks in this interview was expected to sell out days ago. But who bought it? Nike? Adidas? Nope... "The Swiffer 360 duster extender."
    1/18/2013 2:17:58 AM
  • His ledge is that he won the 2009 Tour clean. That's the ledge he is going to try to use to build his future on.
  • Armstrong says that he did not dope during his comeback tours in 2009 and 2010. In fact, he claims, he has not doped since his last victory in 2005.
    1/18/2013 2:19:38 AM
  • Oprah impressive so far. Knows material, alludes to having read "questions for Armstrong" written elsewhere.
  • This is a make-or-break moment for Oprah as well as for Armstrong. Since she set up the LA-based Oprah Winfrey Network five years ago, she’s spent $300m trying to recapture the 10m audience she used to have for her daily daytime show. This is its highest-profile moment to date.
    1/18/2013 2:21:16 AM
  • Armstrong: "I'm not the most believable guy in the world right now..." That's an understatement.
    1/18/2013 2:23:25 AM
  • As the leader of the US Postal Team, Armstrong says he led by example. He denies that there was a bullying culture within the team to force other riders to dope. But... "I was a bully."
    1/18/2013 2:25:38 AM
  • Some speculation around that Armstrong's claim he stopped doping in 2005 is remarkably convenient: the statute of limitations is seven years...
    1/18/2013 2:30:59 AM
  • Remember that just before this interview was recorded, Armstrong came from the Livestrong HQ a few blocks away in Austin, where he reportedly made a tearful apology to staff. During the weekend he’s said to have called senior cycling world figures to apologise to them. So he’s had a long, tough couple of days. But then, he’s accustomed to those.
    1/18/2013 2:31:55 AM
  • "I am flawed," says Armstrong. "Deeply flawed."
    1/18/2013 2:38:12 AM
  • Dr Michele Ferrari, banned for life by USADA: "A good man and a smart man," says Armstrong.

    1/18/2013 2:40:24 AM
  • A lot of ads for cars and car insurance on the US broadcast. Oh, and weight loss drugs... British viewers whose eyelids are drooping can see the interview in full on Discovery at 8pm tomorrow evening (Friday).
    1/18/2013 2:43:23 AM
  • At the time, Armstrong says he didn't feel bad about doping - and didn't even feel that he was cheating. "I viewed it as a level playing field."
    1/18/2013 2:47:41 AM
  • "The winning was almost phoned in". That's sad
  • Ads for deodorant now. "Stress response scent". Seems more appropriate than car insurance, I guess.
    1/18/2013 2:51:45 AM
  • RT @DavidGrann: Armstrong is right that the culture was rife with cheating; what set him apart was how he tried to destroy anyone who told the truth.
  • RT @BuzzFeedSports: "I can tell you with all honesty: I am happier today than I was then. I am happier today, not yesterday." #Armstrong
  • .@lancearmstrong Were you “high” when we both did the 2006 NY Marathon? My wife & kids want to know if I’m a loser or a hero.
  • Armstrong says he never paid anyone off to cover up a failed drug test. He made a donation to the UCI, "because they asked me to."
    1/18/2013 2:58:09 AM
  • Armstrong hasn't once come close to tears, presumably much to Oprah's disappointment. More relief than remorse?
    1/18/2013 3:02:15 AM
  • He intends to apologise to Emma O'Reilly, whom he admits was "bullied" and "run over". Yet he can't even remember suing her. "To be honest, Oprah, we sued so many people..."
    1/18/2013 3:03:39 AM
  • Aha. An ad for Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
    1/18/2013 3:06:02 AM
  • Refuses to be drawn on 96 hospital admission. He just barred a hold.
  • Armstrong believes his comeback in 2009 was what led to his doping being uncovered. If it wasn't for the comeback, he says, "We wouldn't be sitting here today". The comeback "didn't sit well with Floyd [Landis]" his former teammate, who later accused him of doping on Nightline in 2010 - leading to the Dept of Justice investigation into Armstrong.
    1/18/2013 3:17:56 AM
  • RT @paraicobrien: @DavidWalshST on #armstrong apology to him & others:
    Me: "do you accept apology?"
    DW: "No. Anyway that's not what matters"
  • Given how much Armstrong has fessed up to tonight, what more could there possibly be to come in tomorrow’s second round? Good works and celebrity girlfriends?
    1/18/2013 3:26:12 AM
  • Part 2 trail smells like the much craved tearathon. "Your mother. Your 13 year old son. The millions in their live strong bracelets." zzzz
  • "It's not my place to say, 'Hey guys, let's clean up cycling!' But if they had a truth and reconciliation commission...I'd be the first through the door."
    1/18/2013 3:29:31 AM
  • And there's the part 2 preview: The sponsors, Livestrong, his children, his mother... But still no tears. That's all for tonight, folks.
    1/18/2013 3:33:00 AM
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