Armstrong may have to spill more beans
Lance Armstrong may not be done confessing.
His interview with Oprah Winfrey hasn't aired yet, but already some people want to hear more — under oath — before Armstrong is allowed to compete in elite triathlons, a sport he returned to after retiring from cycling in 2011. In addition to stripping him of all seven of his Tour de France titles last year, anti-doping officials banned Armstrong for life from sanctioned events.
"He's got to follow a certain course," David Howman, director general of World Anti-Doping Agency, told the AP. "That is not talking to a talk show host."
Armstrong already has had conversations with US Anti-Doping Agency officials, touching off speculation that the team leader who demanded loyalty from others soon may face some very tough choices himself: whether to cooperate and name those who aided, knew about or helped cover up a sophisticated doping ring that Armstrong ran on his tour-winning US Postal Service squads. Former teammate Frankie Andreu, one of several riders Armstrong cast aside on his ride to the top of the sport, said no one could provide a better blueprint for cleaning up the sport.
"Lance knows everything that happened," Andreu told The Associated Press. "He's the one who knows who did what because he was the ringleader. It's up to him how much he wants to expose."
World Anti-Doping Agency officials said nothing short of "a full confession under oath" would even cause them to reconsider the ban. Although Armstrong admitted to Winfrey on Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs, Howman said that is "hardly the same as giving evidence to a relevant authority."
The International Cycling Union also urged Armstrong to tell his story to an independent commission it has set up to examine claims that the sport's governing body hid suspicious samples, accepted financial donations, and helped Armstrong avoid detection in doping tests.
Winfrey wouldn't detail what Armstrong said during their interview at a downtown Austin hotel. In an appearance on CBS This Morning, she said she was "mesmerised and riveted by some of his answers." What had been planned as a 90-minute broadcast will be shown as a two-part special, Thursday and Friday, on Winfrey's OWN network.
The lifetime ban was imposed after a 1,000-page report by USADA last year outlined a complex, long-running doping program led by Armstrong. The cyclist also lost nearly all of his endorsements and was forced to cut ties with the Livestrong cancer charity he founded in 1997. The damage to Armstrong's reputation was just as severe.
The report portrayed him as well-versed in the use of a wide range of performance-enhancers, including steroids and blood boosters such as EPO, and willing to exploit them to dominate. Nearly a dozen teammates provided testimony about that drug regimen, among them Andreu and his wife, Betsy.