Armstrong 'did not come clean in the manner I had expected', reveals Oprah
13:42 GMT, 15 January 2013
13:43 GMT, 15 January 2013
Lance Armstrong admitted admitted using performance-enhancing drugs in a TV interview to
be shown on Thursday.
The disgraced cyclist is said to have
confessed in an interview with American TV chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah tweeted: ‘I would say (Lance Armstrong) did not come clean in the manner I had expected. It was surprising to me.’
Banned: Disgraced cyclist Armstrong conducted his first interview since being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles with Oprah Winfrey
The revelation came after Armstrong visited the staff of his charity the Livestrong Foundation at the Texas offices to apologise for putting their work at risk.
Several employees cried when he told them: ‘I’m sorry.’
'He had a private conversation with the staff, who have done the important work of the foundation for many years,' Livestrong Foundation spokeswoman Katherine McLane was quoted as saying by Reuters.
'It was a very sincere and heartfelt expression of regret over any stress that they've suffered over the course of the last few years as a result of the media attention,' she added.
He promised he would try to restore the foundation’s reputation – before meeting his legal team to prepare for the Oprah interview.
Armstrong reportedly spoke to a room
full of about 100 staff members for about 20 minutes, expressing regret
for everything the controversy has put them through.
He told them how much the foundation
means to him and that he considers the people who work there to be like
members of his family. None of the people in the room challenged
Armstrong over his long denials of doping.
After the interview, Winfrey tweeted: 'Just wrapped with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!'
and her crew planned on filming Monday's session at Armstrong's home.
As a result, local and international news crews were camped near the
cyclist's Spanish-style villa before dawn.
still managed to slip away for a run despite the crowds outside his
home. He returned by cutting through a neighbour's yard and hopping a
Meanwhile, the government of South Australia state said it will seek damages or compensation from Lance Armstrong after his reported confession to Winfrey that he doped during his career.
South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said the state would seek the repayment of several million dollars in appearance fees paid to Armstrong for competing in the Tour Down Under cycle race in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Weatherill said reports Armstrong admitted doping during a recorded interview with Winfrey changed the government's view on its entitlement to compensation.
He said Armstrong 'has deceived the cycling community around the world' by repeatedly denying he used performance-enhancing drugs during a career in which he won the Tour de France seven times.
'We'd be more than happy for Mr. Armstrong to make any repayment of monies to us,' Weatherill said.
Shamed: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven tour titles
Weatherill refused to say how much the
South Australian state government paid to Armstrong to secure his
participation in the ProTour race for three-straight years.
Armstrong chose the Australian cycle tour, the first event of the annual ProTour, to make his return to professional cycling in 2009 after a two-year retirement. He also made the six-stage road race his last professional race before his final retirement in 2011.
The South Australian government paid appearance fees to Armstrong to build the profile of the race and promote tourism. That effort was hugely successful and in each of the years Armstrong competed, hundreds of thousands watched the race live and millions more saw it on television.
Armstrong has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and for a decade he strenuously denied doping and resorted to lawsuits to protect his reputation.
The publication of a damning 1,000-page report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which placed Armstrong at the center of what it called one of the most sophisticated doping operations in sports, has led to counter-suits against the rider.
Those who had been successfully sued by Armstrong, including Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, are now seeking repayment of the damages they were forced to pay. Others are seeking repayment of sponsorships and prize money paid during Armstrong's career as the world's most famous professional cyclist.