LONDON, Jan 9, 2013 (AFP) – British cyclist David Millar has expressed
concern over what he believes will be Lance Armstrong’s “stage-managed”
appearance in an interview with US talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
Nest week’s broadcast will be Armstrong’s first interview since he was
stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the US Anti-Doping Agency
said he helped orchestrate the most sophisticated doping programme in cycling
A spokeswoman for Winfrey insisted Wednesday no question would be off
limits and Armstrong would not be paid for a 90 minute interview that is due
to air on January 17.
However, Millar now a member of the athletes’ commission for the World
Anti-Doping Agency, said Armstrong needs to be questioned by an official body.
“Only Lance would get to have his moment of truth, if that’s what it will
be, in front of Oprah Winfrey,” said Millar.
“It is not sitting in front of a judge or a disciplinary hearing being
properly questioned about the things he has done wrong. I doubt very much it
will be a proper interrogation,” added Millar, who himself served a two-year
ban after admitting doping in 2004 and then became a vocal campaigner against
drugs in sport.
“My biggest concern is that it will be completely stage-managed, that he
will just be ‘given the ball’, and that it will all be about his emotions
rather than concentrating on exactly what he did wrong.”
However, Nicole Nichols of Winfrey’s OWN cable TV network told AFP in
Washington via an e-mail: “Armstrong has no editorial control and no question
is off-limits.” She added the cyclist is getting no payment for the interview.
Last week, The New York Times reported that Armstrong, 41, was considering
publicly admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs, in an
apparent bid to return to competitive sport in marathons and triathlons.
On her Twitter feed Tuesday, Winfrey said: “Looking forward to this
conversation with @lancearmstrong”. Armstrong retweeted that message on his
own Twitter account.