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Lance Armstrong's decision to sit down with Oprah Winfrey has been criticised by some. Lucas Jackson / Reuters
Lance Armstrong's decision to sit down with Oprah Winfrey has been criticised by some. Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Only a limited confession from Lance Armstrong

After being stripped of his Tour de France titles, the American could be ready to make a confession in a chat with Oprah Winfrey that will be aired on Thursday.

Lance Armstrong will make a limited confession to doping during his televised interview with Oprah Winfrey next week, according to an Associated Press source.

Armstrong, who has long denied doping, will also offer an apology during the interview scheduled to be taped on Monday in Austin, Texas, according to the person spoke on condition of anonymity.

While not directly saying he would confess or apologise, Armstrong sent a text message to the Associated Press on Saturday that said: "I told her [Winfrey] to go wherever she wants and I'll answer the questions directly, honestly and candidly. That's all I can say."

Armstrong, 41, who vehemently denied doping for years, has not spoken publicly about the US Anti-Doping Agency (USDA) report last year that cast him as the leader of a sophisticated and brazen doping programme on his US Postal Service teams that included use of steroids, blood boosters and illegal blood transfusions.

The USADA report led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and given a lifetime ban from the sport. everal outlets had reported that Armstrong was considering a confession.

The interview will be broadcast on Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network and oprah.com. A confession would come at a time when Armstrong is still facing some legal troubles.

Since the International Cycling Union effectively erased him from the sport's record books, British newspaper The Sunday Times has already sued Armstrong for more than 1 million ($1.6 million) over a libel payment made to him in 2006.

The newspaper paid Armstrong 300,000 to settle a libel case after publishing a story suggesting he may have cheated, and now wants that money plus interest and legal costs repaid.

Armstrong lost most of his personal sponsorship worth tens of millions of dollars after USADA issued its report and he left the board of the Livestrong cancer-fighting charity he founded in 1997.

But potential perjury charges stemming from his sworn testimony denying doping in a 2005 arbitration fight over the bonus payments have passed the statute of limitations.

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