Lance Armstrong has finally come clean.
Armstrong confessed to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey taped on Monday, just a couple of hours after a wrenching apology to staff at the Livestrong charity he founded and has now been forced to surrender.
The day ended with 2½ hours of questions from Winfrey at a downtown Austin hotel, where she said the world’s most famous cyclist was “forthcoming” as she asked him in detail about doping allegations that followed him throughout his seven Tour de France victories.
Speaking on CBS This Morning, Winfrey said she had not planned to address Armstrong’s confession before the interview aired on her OWN network but, “by the time I left Austin and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it”.
“So I’m like, ‘How did you all do that?’ We all agreed that we weren’t going to say anything.”
Winfrey, 58, said she went into “the biggest interview I’ve ever done” with 112 questions, and grilled him so intensely that, during a break at the 100-minute mark, Armstrong asked if their conversation might lighten up.
With a world-class scoop on her hands, Winfrey flew home to Chicago with the video tape in her handbag “along with my dog food” for fear it might be pilfered if beamed back to the editing room via satellite.
“I would say he did not come clean in the manner that I expected,” she added.
“It was surprising to me. I would say that for myself, my team, all of us in the room, we were mesmerised and riveted by some of his answers.
“I felt that he was thoughtful. I thought that he was serious ... I would say that he met the moment.”
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