Is Lance Armstrong pedaling a confession? The disgraced former seven-time Tour de France cycling champion will appear on OWN’s Oprah’s Next Chapter on January 17, the network announced today. This interview with Oprah Winfrey will be Armstrong’s first since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency charged him with using illegal performance-enhancing drugs during a career that has made him one of America’s and the world’s most well-known athletes. The big question is whether Oprah will rip the skin off Armstrong the way she did author James Frey after he promoted his recovery memoir A Million Little Pieces, and then came back to be flayed when it was revealed he’d embellished big parts of the book.
That seems like small stuff compared to Armstrong, but maybe he’ll get a nicer Oprah since he didn’t lie to her, only the rest of the world, apparently. The cyclist, who nearly died from testicular cancer only to recover and win his seven Tour de France titles, all along denied the doping claims that followed in his victorious wake. However, with the results of the Anti-Doping Agency investigation Armstrong was stripped of his wins. He has since lost most of his corporate sponsors, resigned from his charity and has been banned from competition for life. The 90-minute special, filmed at Armstrong’s Austin home, comes amid reports this week that Armstrong was looking for a forum to come clean.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.