Billed as a “no-holds barred” discussion, the meeting was recorded in an Austin, tx resort Friday mid-day, confounding information teams that had collected outside Armstrong’s house in expectation of Winfrey’s appearance.
The 21 / 2-hour meeting will be modified to 90 moments and broadcasted on the OWN System at 9 p.m. Southern time Friday. But the promotion force to generate viewership to the wire network began almost instantly, with Winfrey tweeting “Just covered up with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 time. He came READY!”
Soon subsequently, CBS released a information launch that Winfrey would appear on “CBS This Morning” Wednesday to talk about the meeting. The meeting will be Armstrong’s first community claims since he was removed of his history seven Trip de Portugal headings in the awaken of a frightening review by U.S. Anti-Doping Organization that specific career-long use of prohibited performance-enhancing ingredients and blood-doping methods.
The meeting took position at Austin’s Four Periods Hotel, and only a few individuals were present: Remedy, Winfrey and photographic camera experts. Movie of the process was sent to other bedrooms, where experts and team of Remedy and Winfrey each supervised.
While a partial confession, at the least, had been expected, it remains to be seen whether Armstrong’s manner and delivery in fielding Winfrey’s questions and providing his version of events will evoke skepticism or empathy. It’s also unclear whether there is anyone left among the viewing public to be persuaded, one way or the other, about Armstrong’s misdeeds and contrition.
One professional cyclist, British road-racing champion Nicole Cooke, made her position unequivocally clear during an interview with the BBC on Monday in which she discussed her decision to retire from the sport.
Cooke, 29, said that she had felt pressure to take performance-enhancing drugs during her career but had steadfastly refused. She lamented her bad fortune to have competed in an era when “cheats and liars” had corrupted her sport.
Citing Armstrong by name, Cooke said: “When Lance cries on Oprah later this week, and she passes him the tissue, spare a thought for all those genuine people who walked away with no rewards — just shattered dreams. Each one of them is worth a thousand Lances.”
Armstrong’s decision to break his silence has generated tremendous buzz.
In Britain, the bookmaker Ladbrokes has been soliciting wagers on specific words and phrases Armstrong might use in the Winfrey interview. The so-called “Buzzword Bingo Game” lists various options, with odds for each, on a grid. Among them: “Sorry,” 1:4; “Witch hunt,” 2:1; “Confess,” even odds; and “Never tested positive,” even odds.
Journalists stateside and abroad weighed in on what questions Winfrey should ask and whether Armstrong should be forgiven if his televised confession were complete and convincing.
In addition to being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, Armstrong, 41, has been banned from competition for life by cycling’s international governing body.
He also faces a whistleblower lawsuit that could potentially cost him tens of millions of dollars, which claims that he defrauded the federal government by doping under the banner of the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team. Filed by former teammate Floyd Landis, that suit would gain considerable momentum if the U.S. Justice Department sees sufficient merit to join the action.