Lance Armstrong to break silence over Tour de France doping claims in TV interview

The former cyclist is to appear on an 90-minute television interview with Oprah Winfrey to discuss the allegations of using performance enhacing drugs which saw him stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong will break his silence for the first time next week over the doping scandal which brought his cycling career to a dramatic end.

The American was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the sport's governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI), following a report by the US Anti-Doping Agency which concluded the 41-year-old and his US Postal Service team had run "the most sophisticated, professionalism and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Armstrong will appear on a 90-minute television interview next Thursday evening with Oprah Winfrey in his first formal interview since the ban.

The interview will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and also be streamed live on her website.

"Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career," the channel said in a statement.

The interview will take place at 9pm ET on Thursday, January 17 (6am GST on Friday, January 18) and is scheduled to last for 90 minutes.

Reports at the weekend had claimed Armstrong was close to admitting to the damning report from USADA.

The Texan, who did not cooperate with the antidoping body's investigation, has remained silent since the sanction, although he opted not to appeal the decision.

News of the television interview came on the same day that another US television show claimed Travis Tygart, chief executive of USADA, had told them in an interview to be aired next week that Armstrong attempted to donate around $250,000 to the agency.

Tygart said he was bowled over by the "totally inappropriate" donation offer from one of Armstrong's representatives in 2004, which he immediately refused.

"I was stunned," Tygart said in the interview. "It was a clear conflict of interest for USADA. We had no hesitation in rejecting that offer."

Asked if the offer was in the range of $250,000, Tygart said: "It was in that ballpark."

Tygart declined to comment on Armstrong's decision to go on Winfrey's show.

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