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Oprah: Armstrong comes clean, if not contrite

  • Reports: During interview, ex-cycling champ admits to doping
  • He could face possible civil suits for his reported confession
Oprah: Armstrong comes clean, if not contrite

Oprah Winfrey says Lance Armstrong did not come clean in the way she was expecting, but she didn't give many more specifics when it came to his reported doping confession during their interview, which is scheduled to air over two nights, starting Thursday on OWN.
Winfrey told CBS News Tuesday morning that she would rather people make their own decisions about whether Armstrong was contrite, though she described him as serious and thoughtful.

Winfrey also said that she studied for the interview as if she were studying for a college exam. She had some 112 questions ready and asked as many as she could during their more than two-hour interview.

"He answered questions in a way that he was ready," she said. "I can only say that I was satisfied by the answers."

Before sitting down on camera with Winfrey, Armstrong gathered several members of the Livestrong Foundation, which he founded, in a conference room. Armstrong was tearful during the 15-minute meeting, but he reportedly didn't address the issue of steroid use in cycling directly. 

So why is Armstrong coming clean now? One report says he is trying to get his lifetime ban from elite cycling competitions reduced to four years -- and, to this end, he may name names in any ongoing doping investigations.

"We were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers," Winfrey told CBS. 

The big question now is this: Could his years of denials put Armstrong in danger of ending up behind bars for lying under oath? CNN contributor Jeffrey Toobin says, "not likely." Experts suggest that the disgraced champ is surrounded by the best legal advice available, and they can't imagine him doing the interview with Winfrey without having been fully briefed and made aware of absolutely every possible legal scenario.

Armstrong's interview on "Oprah's Next Chapter" will play out over two consecutive nights, starting Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

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