- (Photo: Reuters/Eric Gaillard/Files)
Former professional cyclist and inspirational speaker Lance Armstrong will appear on "Oprah's Next Chapter" on Thursday, Jan. 17, where he will give a "no-holds-barred interview" addressing the doping scandal that has shocked the world and put his reputation in jeopardy in the eyes of many people.
"Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career," a preview for the show on Oprah Winfrey's website states.
This will be the former seven-time Tour de France winner's first interview since he was stripped of all of his titles by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency late last year. The agency accused the cyclist of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions throughout his career. Armstrong, 41, has been fighting the charges for many years, and although he still maintains his innocence, he decided to drop his defense against the anti-doping agency, which also cost him millions of dollars in terms of lost endorsement deals, along with his titles.
Armstrong's impressive accomplishments in sports were not the only thing that made him a motivational figure to millions around the world. In 1996, the cyclist was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer, which threatened his life. Doctor's initially projected that he had a less than 40 percent survival chance, but after several different treatments and intensive therapy, Armstrong was declared cancer-free in 1997. He went on to win seven Tour de France titles in his career, writing inspirational books detailing his trials along the way, such as 2000's It's Not About the Bike and Every Second Counts in 2003.
After he was given a lifetime ban on competing professionally last year, however, he decided to resign from his position as chairman of his Livestrong foundation, which has raised millions of dollars for cancer research and the search for a cure.
A report last week suggested that Armstrong was ready to admit to the doping accusations in public, in an attempt to "persuade anti-doping officials to restore his eligibility so he can resume his athletic career." The report claimed that the people "familiar" with the situation believe that the former cyclist is "moving toward confessing." If Armstrong does indeed make such a decision, despite years of publicly denying the charges, it is likely he will use his interview on "Oprah's Next Chapter" to offer an explanation to the world.