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Mon January 14, 2013
Reports: Lance Armstrong Has Told Livestrong Staff He's Sorry
Cycling superstar Lance Armstrong, who has been stripped of his many victories because anti-doping authorities say he used performance enhancing drugs throughout his career, has reportedly told the staff at his Livestrong cancer charity that he's sorry. But it's not clear at this hour exactly what it is he's supposedly apologized for.
CNN national news editor Justin Lear says a Livestrong publicist has confirmed that Armstrong "apologized to the Livestrong staff today in person at their Austin, [Texas] office."
"Armstrong addressed the staff Monday and said, 'I'm sorry.' [A person with knowledge of what happened] 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."
ABC News says Armstrong "apologized today to the Livestrong staff ahead of his interview with Oprah Winfrey, a foundation official [said]. The official did not provide details."
USA Today quotes Livestrong spokesman Katherine McLane as saying it was a "very sincere and heartfelt apology to the staff."
That interview with Oprah, which is being taped at Armstrong's Austin home today, is due to air on her cable network Thursday at 9 p.m. ET and will be webcast on Oprah.com. We expect there will be many leaks about what he says before it's broadcast.
Up to now, Armstrong has always denied he cheated during his cycling career. Last August, though, he said he would stop fighting such allegations. He's been stripped of his seven Tour de France victories.
But in the past two weeks, both The New York Times and USA Today have reported that Armstrong has discussed publicly adding that he cheated during career. And then he agreed to the interview with Oprah — who can provide a high-profile platform for a public admission.