The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

January 14, 2013

Armstrong ready as Oprah comes to town

(Continued)

Yet Armstrong looked like just another runner getting in his roadwork when he talked to the AP, wearing a red jersey and black shorts, sunglasses and a white baseball cap pulled down to his eyes. Leaning into a reporter's car on the shoulder of a busy Austin road, he seemed unfazed by the attention and the international news crews that made stops at his home. He cracked a few jokes about all the reporters vying for his attention, then added, "But now I want to finish my run" and took off down the road.

The interview with Winfrey will be Armstrong's first public response to the USADA report. A person with knowledge of the situation told the AP on Saturday that Armstrong will give a limited confession and apologize. He is not expected to provide a detailed account about his involvement, nor address in depth many of the specific allegations in the more than 1,000-page USADA report.

In a text to the AP on Saturday, Armstrong said: "I told her (Winfrey) to go wherever she wants and I'll answer the questions directly, honestly and candidly. That's all I can say."

After a federal investigation of the cyclist was dropped without charges being brought last year, USADA stepped in with an investigation of its own. The agency deposed 11 former teammates and accused Armstrong of masterminding a complex and brazen drug program that included steroids, blood boosters and a range of other performance-enhancers.

After he was stripped of his Tour titles, Armstrong defiantly tweeted a picture of himself on a couch at home with all seven of the yellow leader's jerseys on display in frames behind him. But the preponderance of evidence in the USADA report and pending legal challenges on several fronts apparently forced him to change tactics dramatically. And he still faces legal challenges.

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