Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • French journalist tells of release from captivity in Syria

    Read more

  • South Korea ferry captain defends decision to delay evacuation

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

Sport

Armstrong admits to doping in Oprah interview

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-01-18

US cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in an interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey aired in the United States late on Thursday.

Incredulous, attentive and direct, Oprah Winfrey dug into the psyche of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong on Thursday, calling him out as a bully and a brazen liar after he admitted to years of systematic doping.

Casting aside her trademark warmth and brimming eyes, Winfrey wasted no time on niceties, plunging straight into short, direct questions that saw the seven-times Tour de France winner end years of denials.

"Were you a bully?" Winfrey challenged Armstrong, referring to the pressure he put on cycling team mates to join him in taking performance enhancing substances.

"Tell me, how were you a bully?" she persisted at one point in the first 90-minute televised interview on her OWN cable channel.

Winfrey, 58, pioneered the art of confessional TV during her 25-year-long reign on her daytime chat show, making her comfortable couches the go-to place for celebrities wanting to apologize for indiscretions or unburden their darkest secrets.

But on Thursday's broadcast, bright sofas were replaced with two hard-backed chairs, and Armstrong was made to watch video of his past victory speeches and interviews.

"You didn't just deny it. You brazenly and defiantly denied it," she told Armstrong over his years of repeated lies.

"This is too late. It is too late for probably most people and that is my fault," he conceded. "I view this situation as one big lie."

"You are suing people, and knowing they are telling the truth. What is that?" she later asked of Armstrong's legal actions against journalists, friends and fellow team members who spoke out over the years.

Armstrong, 41, dressed in an open-necked blue shirt and dark jacket, may have been expecting a different reception when he chose Winfrey as his confessor, rather than holding a news conference or issuing a statement.

"Oprah is so overbrimming with humanity that the person being interviewed hopes that a bit of it will rub off on them," said Robert Thompson, professor of pop culture at Syracuse University, before the broadcast.

"Part of sitting down and doing an interview and confessing to another person and being asked questions is almost like you are starting to pay a penalty.

"The idea is that Oprah will do that, not necessarily in a softball way, but in a gentle way. Oprah is not going to hit you on the head," Thompson told Reuters.

What were you thinking?


The smiles were few and far between on Thursday, as Winfrey dug deep for answers without ever raising her voice.

"I can't reconcile what you were thinking when you did this?" she said, after playing video of Armstrong's 2005 Tour de France victory speech in which he dismissed critics as cynics.

A second hour of the interview, taped earlier this week in Texas, will be shown on Friday.

"Was it just you being your cocky, arrogant, jerk self?" Winfrey asks Armstrong in an excerpt of Friday's one-hour session.

Armstrong "did not come clean in the way I expected," says Oprah
Although Winfrey's influence has waned since she ended "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2011 to launch her OWN cable channel, she has proved she can still pull in the big names, if not the huge audiences she enjoyed when her show was broadcast in 140 nations.

Landing Armstrong was arguably Oprah's finest moment since she coaxed pop singer Michael Jackson out of 14 years of TV interview silence for a 1993 broadcast watched by an estimated 90 million people worldwide.

For much of Thursday, the OWN cable channel ran a countdown clock during regular programming ahead of "Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive."

The interview was also watched online by viewers from as far afield as Britain, Singapore, South Korea and Brazil, according to comments on Oprah.com.

Winfrey herself termed the sit-down with Armstrong "certainly the biggest interview I have ever done in terms of exposure."

What may prove a huge PR boost to Oprah and her OWN TV ratings, may not be so clear-cut for Armstrong.

"I'm not sure what he expects, or what he can achieve by fessing up after so many years. But if Armstrong wants to be talked about, you couldn't do better than doing it with Oprah," said Thompson.

(REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2013-01-18

  • CYCLING

    Armstrong doping scandal could see Olympics drop cycling

    Read more

  • SPORT

    US cyclist Lance Armstrong 'admits to doping'

    Read more

  • USA

    US cyclist Lance Armstrong apologises to Livestrong staff

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)