Lance Armstrong admits to doping in Oprah interview

Tom Pennington

After years of denials, seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong apparently admitted to using PEDs in a tell-all interview with Oprah that is set to air Thursday and Friday nights.

Lance Armstrong had his big interview with Oprah on Monday, and as you'd expect, lots of details are beginning to leak out ahead of Thursday's airing (which is now a two-parter).

Ahead of the taping, Armstrong went for a run (ducking the press gathered around his house by cutting through a neighbor's yard and hopping a fence), but not before reportedly apologizing the the Livestrong staff, and urged them "to continue fighting for the charity's mission of helping cancer patients and their families."

Armstrong addressed the staff Monday and said, "I'm sorry." The person said the disgraced cyclist choked up and several employees cried during the session.

The person also said Armstrong apologized for letting the staff down and putting Livestrong at risk but he did not make a direct confession to the group about using banned drugs. He said he would try to restore the foundation's reputation.

Then it was time for the interview itself, which was "emotional at times." And as you've no doubt heard by now, Lance apparently admitted to Oprah that he did indeed use PEDs to help him win the Tour de France a record seven times. But even though an admission was expected, Oprah said she was still "mesmerized and riveted" during the interview, even "surprised."

"He did not come clean in the manner that I expected," she said. "It was surprising to me."

"I feel that he answered the questions in a way that he was ready," Winfrey said. "I choose not to characterize. I would rather people make their own decisions about whether he was contrite or not."

Yes, Oprah gave interviews about her interview before the interview actually aired.

Next up for Armstrong -- even before hoping for a chance to compete in running and triathlon events again -- may be confessing under oath.

The Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive interview will air Thursday, from 9-10:30 p.m. ET, on the Oprah Winfrey Network, and Friday at 9 p.m. Both nights will also be live-streamed on Oprah.com.

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