Armstrong: ‘I doped. I was a bully.’
January 17, 2013
The substance of what Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey on an Oprah Winfrey Network special tonight was already known — he doped.
It was the details that people tuned in to find out, and while Armstrong didn’t fully deliver, he did admit to an awful lot.
During a special that streamed live on Oprah.com, Armstrong and Winfrey’s conversation began with the former cyclist answering a string of yes or no questions from Winfrey, conducting her highest-profile interview for her fledgling network, OWN, whose ratings struggles have been well documented.
Armstrong admitted to taking EPO, testosterone and blood doping. He admitted to bullying people to keep quiet about it.
He said several times he did not want to name names or accuse other riders, but he made it clear that, in his view, the rampant doping culture would have made it impossible to win without doping.
Armstrong admitted that many of the people he sued who accused him of doping were correct, though he chose not to comment on whether he confessed to doping to a doctor during his cancer treatment, as the wife of one of his former teammates had alleged.
On Twitter Armstrong inspired half a dozen trending topics during the interview, which many tweeted about under the hashtag “doprah.”
Winfrey, who presumably won the interview because of her sympathetic nature, was lauded for doing a good job asking questions, though some social media commenters and TV critics noted that her follow-up questions could have been more forceful.
Before the airing of the interview, which continues with part two Friday night at 9 p.m., OWN said that it had received “premium” pricing on ads during the show.
But viewers on Oprah.com noted that no ads where shown on their broadcast. The New York Times’ Brian Stelter said that was because the network did not have time to insert them before the broadcast.
The interview is expected to shatter OWN’s former record of 3.5 million total viewers for an interview with the late Whitney Houston’s family that aired last year.
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