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WADA: Lance Armstrong must confess under oath for ban to be reconsidered

01.16.13 at 10:43 am ET
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Lance Armstrong will have to confess under oath, not just to Oprah, for anti-doping authorities to consider lifting his lifetime ban. (AP)

Although his public confession to Oprah Winfrey will air this week, Lance Armstrong can’t hope to have his lifetime ban from competition lifted unless he confesses under oath to doping, according to anti-doping officials.

“He’s got to follow a certain course,” David Howman, director general of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), told The Associated Press. “That is not talking to a talk show host.”

There has been speculation that Armstrong indeed intends to cooperate with the agency and name other cyclists who used performance-enhancing drugs to help his own case. By all accounts, Armstrong was the ringleader of a vast network of doping in cycling, and thereby could be instrumental in beginning to clean up the sport.

“Lance knows everything that happened,” said Frankie Andreu, one of his former teammates. “He’s the one who knows who did what because he was the ringleader. It’s up to him how much he wants to expose.”

Armstrong retired from cycling in 2011 but could still compete in triathlons if the ban were lifted. He’s been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and lost most of his endorsements over the last year.

Armstrong’s confession to Winfrey will air on her OWN network on Thursday and Friday. Beyond that, he will need to cooperate with the anti-doping agencies and present evidence of his claims to move toward an end to his ban. The International Cycling Union also has encouraged Armstrong to testify before an independent commission it has set up to investigate claims that, among other things, it helped Armstrong avoid failing doping tests.

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