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Oprah Winfrey

Holding Back About

Lance Confession

1/15/2013 6:25 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF


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Oprah Winfrey is already talking about her 2-and-a-half hour "confession" interview with Lance Armstrong ... except she's not exactly revealing what he said to her.

Oprah appeared on "CBS This Morning" to talk about the sit-down ... but nobody on the set -- including anchor Gayle King -- really pushed her about what Lance said.

Oprah DID say Lance confessed about using performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career ... but added, "He did not come clean in the manner I expected."

But nobody followed up with questions about WHY Lance's answers were so unexpected.

Here's what we do know:

-- Oprah says she prepared 112 questions for the interview, and got through most of them.
-- Oprah says "there were times" Lance got emotional, but she didn't drop details.
-- Oprah says she was so tough with her questioning, that Lance asked her to lighten up.
-- After the interview, Oprah says both she and Lance were exhausted and satisfied.
-- Lance's lawyers were NOT in the room during the interview.
-- Oprah suggests Lance's people leaked details about the interview to the AP.

The Oprah vs. Lance interview is set to air Thursday -- no word if Oprah plans to release any clips of the meeting before then.

Our question -- why the hell did the execs at CBS News let Gayle -- Oprah's BFF -- conduct an interview with this kind of news significance knowing she wouldn't push her hard?

Lance Armstrong

Reportedly CONFESSES

Yes Oprah, I Cheated

1/14/2013 3:54 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Lance Armstrong ADMITTED to Oprah Winfrey ... he DID use performance-enhancing drugs during his pro cycling career to win the Tour de France ... this according to the Associated Press.

Lance wrapped up his one-on-one interview with Oprah just a few hours ago ... and according to the report, Lance finally 'fessed up to cheating ... the first time he's ever admitted wrongdoing during his professional career.

Earlier in the day, Lance apologized to the staff at Livestrong, choking up and saying he was sorry for letting down the organization.

The way Lance worded his admission could have serious legal ramifications -- considering he's facing possible criminal prosecution and civil liability for allegedly lying about his PED use in a number of legal proceedings.

Lance Armstrong

Reportedly APOLOGIZES

to Livestrong Staff

1/14/2013 11:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0114_lance_armstrong_tmzLance Armstrong reportedly issued an emotional apology to several staff members at his Livestrong organization in Texas  ... amidst rumors that he's finally going to admit that he cheated.

According to the AP, Armstrong met with staffers right before he headed to an interview with Oprah Winfrey ... an interview in which he's rumored to finally admit he doped during his cycling career.

During the meeting with Livestrong staff, Armstrong reportedly choked up ... and said "I'm sorry" for letting everyone down.

Armstrong's apology was vague at best -- at no point did he ever admit to using any performance enhancing drugs ... or cheating in any way.

It's the first time the disgraced cyclist has acted remorseful since the cheating saga began several years ago.

After the apology, Armstrong met with advisers and his legal team before going face-to-face with Oprah at a nearby hotel.

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Lance Armstrong

Reportedly Ready to Come Clean to Oprah

1/12/2013 5:05 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0112-lance-armstrong-oprah-tmzLance Armstrong is gearing up to admit that he was doping throughout his illustrious cycling career ... and he will make the admission to Oprah Winfrey this week ... so says a new report.

Armstrong will not go into great detail, says USA Today, but will make the admission during an interview that tapes Monday and airs on Thursday.

The seven-time Tour de France winner has adamantly denied any wrongdoing for years, often attacking anyone who accused him.

Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of all his Tour de France victories last year.

Lance Armstrong

I'M BACK

ON MY BIKE

10/30/2012 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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For the first time since he was banned from pro cycling for LIFE, a sponsorless, titleless, cancerless Lance Armstrong was seen on his bike this week ... training ... just for the hell of it.

TMZ has obtained photographs of Armstrong in Waikoloa Village, HI yesterday -- riding his bicycle on a local highway with another rider.

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Sources tell TMZ, Armstrong has been hanging around the Hawaiian town for the last week -- riding his bicycle, swimming at the local public pool, and visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

In the photos, Armstrong is wearing a Livestrong jersey, despite stepping down as chairman from the foundation earlier this month in the wake of his doping scandal.

He's also wearing a helmet made by Giro -- one of the sponsors that kicked Lance to the curb this month.

As for the bike, Lance's rep tells us Armstrong has traded out his iconic Trek for a Crumpton -- "a local bike maker from Austin, TX."

Lance's rep also says, "[Armstrong] will continue to stay active and try to be the fittest 40 year old out there (he's now 41)."

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Lance Armstrong

Sorry Nike ...

I'm an ASICS Man Now

10/22/2012 6:16 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Lance Armstrong has GIVEN UP on Nike ... after Nike gave up on him ... 'cause the disgraced athlete was sportin' a pair of ASICS while jogging in Texas this weekend. 

As we previously reported, Armstrong was dropped by nearly all of his sponsors last week ... in the wake of a report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in which Armstrong is accused of being one of the worst cheaters in the history of sport.

In addition to being banned from cycling for life, Armstrong was also stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles early Monday morning.

Plus, several major Livestrong donors are calling for their money back ... claiming they were duped into donating to the charity "based on a fraud."

Despite the criticism, Armstrong -- who stepped down from his role as president of Livestrong because of the scandal -- wore his yellow bracelet on his wrist this weekend.

The charity vows it will continue to raise money for cancer research ... even without Lance.

Lance Armstrong Stripped

of Tour de France Wins

10/22/2012 5:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

1022_armstrongLance Armstrong is no longer a Tour de France winner -- after the International Cycling Union announced it will officially strip him of his seven titles amid allegations of doping.

"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten," ICU President Pat McQuaid said at a news conference this morning. "This is a landmark day for cycling."

McQuaid announced that the group accepted the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's massive report accusing Armstrong of direct involvement in what it called "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

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The International Cycling Union said they will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Armstrong has also been banned from cycling for life.

This final blow comes after Lance lost his endorsement deals with Nike, Giro Helmets, Trek Bicycles, FRS energy drink and Anheuser-Busch. He also stepped down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer-fighting charity.

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Lance Armstrong

No Apologies or Admissions

at Livestrong Event

10/20/2012 6:38 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

1019-lance-armstrong-livestrongLance Armstrong took the mic at a Livestrong event last night -- the charity he stepped down from this week -- but did not directly address his doping scandal, only saying it's "been a difficult couple of weeks for me and my family."

The gala dinner -- which was held in Austin, TX -- was expected to raise $2.5 million.

Armstrong is still a member of the board, but stepped down as its chairman on Wednesday as the doping scandal that has followed him for years continues to tear down his legacy.

He lost his endorsement deals this week with Nike, Giro Helmets, Trek Bicycles, FRS energy drink and Anheuser-Busch.

Lance Armstrong

THREE More Sponsors

Pull Out

10/17/2012 2:29 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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The bloodletting continues for Lance Armstrong ... the disgraced cyclist just lost THREE more huge sponsors ... including his bike deal. 

Trek Bicycles has officially ended their deal with Armstrong ... ditto for the FRS energy drink company. Anheuser-Busch has also announced it will NOT renew Lance's deal to endorse its Michelob Ultra line when it expires at the end of the year.

Of course, Lance was already fired by Nike this morning -- and hours later, his bike helmet company followed suit.

How's your Wednesday going?

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Bike Helmet Company

DROPS Lance Armstrong

10/17/2012 1:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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The bike helmet company that crafted Lance Armstrong's $15,000 helmet for the 2010 Tour de France -- and launched a full line of Lance Armstrong helmets -- has DROPPED the disgraced cyclist in the wake of the doping scandal, TMZ has learned.

A rep for Giro Helmets tells TMZ, "We will not be continuing our sponsorship of Lance Armstrong moving forward. We continue to support the cancer community through our association with LIVESTRONG."

Giro's not the first company to boot Armstrong -- Nike announced it would no longer be sponsoring him either, claiming Armstrong "misled" the company for more than a decade.

FYI -- the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a report last week, detailing Armstrong's direct involvement in what it called "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

Armstrong -- who's been banned from pro cycling for life -- still denies the doping allegations.

Lance Armstrong

Booted from Nike

Steps Down from Livestrong

10/17/2012 5:57 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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Nike has ended its contract with Lance Armstrong -- claiming the athlete "misled" the company amid allegations of doping.

"Due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness that we have terminated our contract with him," the company says.

Armstrong also announced he will step down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer-fighting charity as of this morning. Nike says they will continue to support the organization.

"To spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship," Armstrong says in a statement.

The move comes a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a report detailing Armstrong's direct involvement in what it called "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

As we previously reported, Lance has been banned from cycling for life ... but he still denies any wrongdoing.

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Lance Armstrong

11 Cycling Teammates

RATTED Me Out

10/10/2012 9:05 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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11 former members of Lance Armstrong's United States Postal Service cycling team TURNED on the disgraced athlete -- and testified against him in an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

The USADA announced .... the cyclists who provided evidence to the organization include George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton and disgraced former Tour de France champ Floyd Landis.

“The U.S.P.S. Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices,” the USADA said in a statement.

“A program organized by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.”

The USADA says its investigation into Armstrong uncovered "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

As we previously reported, Lance has been banned from cycling for life.

Barry Bonds

Of Course I Support

Lance Armstrong*

9/4/2012 4:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE


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How's this for irony ... Barry Bonds -- the poster child for steroid abuse in MLB -- is coming to Lance Armstrong's defense after the cyclist was banned from cycling for doping ... claiming Lance got screwed over ( ... of course).

Bonds -- who was found guilty last year of felony obstruction of justice for lying during a federal investigation into steroid use by MLB players -- was leaving BOA steakhouse last night in Hollywood, when he was asked what he thought of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's ruling on Lance.

Bonds said, "I think if it wasn't for him, U.S. cycling wouldn't even be here. He was the greatest cyclist of all."

The photog asked Bonds if he thought Lance had been the victim of a witch hunt -- Bonds replied, "I don't know what they're doing, all I know is I love him. He's a great athlete."

Moral of the story -- for Bonds, the ends justify the means ... even if the means were dirty.

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